Sep 272013

2 Homemade Ketchup Recipes – Home Canned and Lacto-Fermented @ Common Sense Homeasteading

My youngest loves ketchup.  I think he could almost live on salsa and ketchup, if I’d let him.  This year we’ve turned roughly 130 pounds of tomatoes into salsa, and around 60 pounds into ketchup.  When I make homemade ketchup, I generally use it as a means to use up all the odds and ends of tomatoes rolling around, such as excess cherry tomatoes or slicing tomatoes that have split.  I’ll put a pot on the back of the stove and keep measuring tomatoes into it over a day or two, slowly cooking them down while I’m working on other projects in the kitchen.  (You could also use a slow cooker.)  The taste of this recipe is similar to a popular national brand – no big range of added spices – but like most home processed products, the flavor is richer and deeper.  You can really taste the fresh tomatoes, onions and garlic. Continue reading »

Jul 282012

Comparison of Jarden Metal Lids and Tattler Reusable Canning Lids

I’ve never seen a full side-by-side comparison of Jarden Metal Lids and Tattler Reusable Canning lids, so I thought I’d do a little digging and see what I could find.  I know a lot of folks swear by one or the other, or use both, depending on what they’re canning (for instance, they may not use Tattlers on jars they plan to give as gifts).

Most  Tattler reviews I’ve seen give little or no technical or background information, and the metal lids have been around so long no one “reviews” them anymore, although there has been a lot of buzz in recent years about their BPA content.  I sent email questionnaires to both Jarden and Tattler.  Jarden representative Judy L. Harrold, Manager, Consumer Affairs, responded quickly, and we also arranged a phone interview.  Tattler declined to comment, so I pieced together information from their website and other online sources (as noted).  Here are the results.  My questions are in bold, responses  in plain text. Continue reading »

Jun 162012

Rhubarb Sauce for Canning - Rhubarb barbeque (Rhubarb-BQ) sauce and Rhubarb-orange compote. Savory and sweet rhubarb sauce recipes.

When rhubarb is in abundance, it’s a great time to preserve some of the bounty.  This spring I made up two types of rhubarb sauce for canning; a batch of savory rhubarb Victoria sauce (left), which is basically a rhubarb barbeque sauce, and some rhubarb-orange compote (right).  Unique and flavorful, these recipes are great for gift giving or to save a bit of springtime for your own use. Continue reading »

Jan 122012

New to Food Preserving - Start Here - comparison of preservation methods, which method is best, home food preservation resources.

A lot of us are trying to stretch our food budgets by growing our own or purchasing in bulk. Many are also joining CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) programs, which provide them with produce (and sometimes other items) throughout the growing season.  To take full advantage of local food sources, we need to find ways to store food after harvest.  If you’re new to food preserving, this post will give you a brief overview of the different techniques, and direct you to addition resources for home food preservation.  Then you can decide which methods will work best for you. Continue reading »

Oct 262011

Ground cherry lemon jelly is made with ground cherries (husk tomatoes) and lemon juice for a jelly that tastes like a lemon drop. Great on toast with honey.
If you happen to raise ground cherries, you may end up finding yourself swamped with an excess of the little fruits.  This recipe will help you use up a LOT of them in a hurry.  The lemon cuts the sweetness of the ground cherries, and my family prefers a jelly over a jam for ground cherries because their large number of seeds makes a jam almost gritty.

I created this recipe when I was still using standard pectin, so there is quite a bit of sugar.  I think you could successfully cut the sugar in half if you used Pomona’s Pectin or other low sugar pectin products, but I wouldn’t cut it more than that because the large amount of lemon juice.

This jelly tastes like the best old-fashioned lemon drop you ever had.  Serve it on toast with a bit of honey or almond butter and you’ve got a little slice of lemony heaven. Continue reading »