Quick Pickles

May 30, 2013

Quick PicklesQuick Pickles

I love to make my own pickles.  I think they’re better than the store bought ones.  If you want to make them spicy then add the hot peppers of your choice.


3 Thinly Sliced Unpeeled Small Pickling Cucumbers

1 Thinly Sliced White Onion

1/2 Cup Sugar

1/2 Cup White Vinegar

1/2 Cup Cider Vinegar

2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds

1 Teaspoon Celery Seeds

4 Hot Peppers Cut In Half

In a large size sterilized glass jar layer the cucumbers, onions and hot peppers (if you are using the hot peppers). Set aside.  In a medium size saucepan heat the sugar, vinegars, kosher salt, mustard seeds and celery seeds over a medium heat.  Stir just until the sugar dissolves.  Pour the heated vinegar mixture over the cucumbers and onions (and hot peppers if using).  Set aside and let cool.  Place the lid on the jar and put in the refrigerator for several days before serving.  Makes about 1 quart.

Mango Chutney

May 6, 2013

MangosMango Chutney

Chutneys are condiments that are made of fruits or vegetables cooked in vinegar, sweetened with sugar or dried fruit and flavored with spices.  Chutneys should be smooth and pulpy with a mellow flavor and are best left to mature to blend flavors for at least a couple of weeks.  Use as an accompaniment with meats, curries, cheese, savory pies or as a sandwich filling.


6 Peeled & Thinly Sliced Ripe Mangos

1 1/4 Cups Cider Vinegar

1 1/3 Cups Light Brown Sugar

1 1/2 Ounce Peeled & Chopped Fresh Gingerroot

2 Crushed Garlic Cloves

2 Teaspoons Chili Powder

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

In a large size saucepan cook the sliced mangoes and vinegar over a low heat for 12 minutes.  Stir in the brown sugar, ginger, garlic, chili powder and kosher salt.  Turn the heat up to medium high and slowly bring to a boil.  Stir well.  Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.  Wash one 1/2 pint canning jar in very hot and soapy water.  Rinse well.  Ladle the hot chutney into the cleaned jar.  If you are increasing this recipe then you will need more jars so make sure to plan accordingly.  Fill almost to the top of the jar, but leave just a tad bit of room.  Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean damp cloth.  Place the lid on the jar and close tightly.  Place the filled jar(s) into a boiling hot water bath.  Remove from the hot water bath and set on a wire rack or towel to cool.  Let cool for 12 hours.  Store in a cool place until ready to use.  Makes 1/2 pint.

Old Fashioned Apple Butter

February 22, 2013

Old Fashioned Apple Butter

I grew up making apple butter.  Homemade is much better and is so handy to have around.  It’s great to spread on bread, muffins or over pancakes.  I like to use firm apples like Gala, Fuji or Granny Smith.  By the way, there is no butter in Apple Butter!


8 Large Peeled, Cored & Chopped Apples

3 Cups Apple Cider

2 Tablespoons Grated Orange Rind

2 1/2 Cups Light Brown Sugar

4 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

3 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

2 Teaspoons Ground Allspice

1 Teaspoon Ground Cloves

In a large size soup pot combine the apples, grated orange rind and apple cider. Cook for 5 hours over a medium-low heat. You will want the apples to be very soft and the mixture to be nice and thick.  Remove from the heat and cool completely.  In a food processor or blender add the mixture.  Process until the mixture is smooth.  Pour the mixture back into the soup pot.  Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, allspice and cloves.  Cook over a medium-high heat for 2 hours with the lid on. Stir often.  Remove the lid and cook for 2 more hours.  Pour into washed pint mason jars.  Don’t fill to the top of the jar. Leave about 1/4 inch at the top. At this point you can put them into a canning water bath or not.  If you choose not to then store the filled jars into either the fridge or freezer.  Cool the jars completely before putting in the fridge or freezer.  Makes approximately 3 Pint Jars – give or take. 



August 7, 2012


Most of the apples that you use for cooking will work for canning and freezing.  The best types of apples for canning and freezing are Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty and Jonathan.  Stay away from soft varieties like Red Delicious and those with bruises. 


8 Pounds Apples

2 Cups Water

1/4 Cup Strained Fresh Lemon Juice

1 1/4 Cups Sugar

Wash, core and quarter your apples.  In a large heavy pot combine the apples, water and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat.  Simmer, with the lid on, for 30 minutes until the apples are very tender.  Make sure to stir often.  Press the apples through a food mill or sieve.  Return the pulp to the pot and throw away the skins.  Stir in the sugar.  Add a bit more water if you need to for your desired consistency and bring to a boil.  Spoon the hot applesauce into hot, sterilized pint canning jars.  Make sure to leave 1/2 inch headspace.  Wipe the jar rims and adjust the lids.  Process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes.  Remove the jars from the hot water and cool on wire racks.  Makes 6 pints.

Homemade Ketchup

July 31, 2011

Homemade Ketchup

Asian and Indonesian cultures invented what we know today as ketchup. Dating back thousands of years, ke-tsiap or kecap, was popular in the 17th century China. Ketchup started as a spicy, pickled fish sauce made of anchovies, walnuts, mushrooms and kidney beans.  British seamen brought ke-tsiap home with them where the name was changed to catchup and then finally ketchup.  It wasn’t until the late 1700s that New Englanders added tomatoes to the blend.  Homemade tomato ketchup has a fresher, more robust flavor than commercial ketchup when using fresh organic tomatoes and spices. 


3 Pounds Cored & Quartered Ripe Tomatoes

½ Cup Cider OR Malt Vinegar

¼ Cup Sugar

½ Teaspoon Ground Ginger

½ Teaspoon Salt

2 Garlic Cloves

1 Small Onion

1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cloves

½ Teaspoon White Pepper

Cut the tomatoes in quarters and puree them in a food processor.  Strain the puree through a coarse sieve to remove the skins and seeds.  Next, puree the onion and garlic cloves.  Combine with the tomato puree and pour into a large cooking pot.  Cook and stir occasionally over a low heat until it is reduced by about a third and is considerably thicker.  While the ketchup is cooking stir in the vinegar, sugar, ground ginger, salt, ground cloves and white pepper.  Continue cooking, uncovered and stirring, for 30 minutes until thick.  You can adjust any of these ingredients to suit you.  You can add more or less sugar if you like.  Let your tongue be the guide.  If you want to can the ketchup just pour into sterile canning jars leaving 1/8 inch of head space and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.  Makes 2 cups of ketchup

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