I came up with this low sugar apple currant spread to use up this year's bumper crop of currants. Since currants are quite tart, currant jelly uses a lot of sugar. Currant seeds are sizable, so I knew a regular jam wouldn't be popular with my family. (Plus, currant jam is still loaded with sugar.) Instead, I cooked up my currants and ran them through the chinois (food mill). This gave a mix of juice and a little bit of puree. I cooked the currant juice/puree up with some applesauce (and cinnamon), but it was still very runny and tart. (Both currants and apples have natural pectin, but not quite enough in this case.) I added sugar for sweetening, and some Pomona's low sugar pectin for thickening. Voila! [Read more…]
Some people avoid home canning because they're afraid of botulism poisoning, but following the right guidelines will help you prevent foodborne illness. Botulism spores are everywhere – from the deep ocean to mountain tops. You're likely breathing them right now. It's only under specific conditions that they become dangerous. In this post we'll cover botulism causes, symptoms and treatment. You'll learn how to prevent botulism in home canned food so you can can safely. [Read more…]
I discovered these almond pears with almond liquor many years ago in the Ball Blue Book. I used to make them up as a special treat for my husband's great uncle, Bill. Bill wasn't a big fan of fruits and vegetables, but the splash of Amaretto in these pears won him over. I always made sure to keep a couple jars of pears stashed in his kitchen cupboard. [Read more…]
Misinformation never dies on the internet – it just gets turned into another Facebook meme that gets shared over a million times. Today's case in point – margarine myths. I am not a fan of margarine. I think it's a sad excuse for butter, and always has been. That said, the whackadoo information and fearmongering being shared on the internet is just plain silly. If you're going to avoid bad food, do it for legitimate reasons. There are plenty of them.
In this post I'll present some margarine myths and the real problems with margarine.
While gathering this year's currant harvest, I had a vision. What if I combined Queen Anne's lace jelly with currants for a unique seasonal treat? I could picture the clear jelly with bright red berries suspended in it for a pop of color and flavor. All I needed to do was figure out a way to make it happen. Luckily, I had one of my dearest friends visiting and a cool summer day. We started canning and cooking and made a day of it. The results of the experiment were delicious. [Read more…]