I hope I never lose my sense of wonder. If that makes me naive, then so be it.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

daring kitchen, september

Fall is in the air, and now in my kitchen. This month's Daring Kitchen challenge was for preserving food. Now, I've done the canning thing. Every year since I've been married, I think. And two years ago, with our stall at the local farmer's market, we made more preserves than I'd ever thought I could in one summer.

We made jam. Strawberry, peach, raspberry, plum, strawberry-rhubarb.
We made jelly. Raspberry, apple, crabapple, cranberry-merlot, grape-apple, jalapeno pepper, hot red pepper.
We made marmalade. Traditional orange and lemon, and a raspberry-orange version we made up ourselves.
We made bread & butter pickles. Cucumber relish. Corn relish. Chow-chow. Salsa. Chili sauce. Chutney.

So when I saw preserves, I thought, done that. But they came up with one that, in our thousand-plus jar summer, we had never, ever made: apple butter.
The September 2010 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by John of Eat4Fun. John chose to challenge The Daring Cooks to learn about food preservation, mainly in the form of canning and freezing. He challenged everyone to make a recipe and preserve it. John’s source for food preservation information was from The National Center for Home Food Preservation.
We started off with Pink Lady apples (yummy to eat, too, by the way), cored and cooked until we had, well, applesauce - another fall favorite of mine to make. I don't peel the apples for applesauce; it saves time and makes the sauce a pretty pink color. After adding sugar and spices, it was back on the stove to slowly simmer. And simmer. And simmer. The house smelled amazing, as a side bonus.

Several hours later, it had thickened into a plummy-brown, smooth, spreadable paste. Some was put into a freezer bag to preserve it, but some we kept out and tried on toast. Delicious! Definitely something I will make again.