Canning

Butters and Jellies and Jams! Oh my!

butter jellies jamsOk, I cannot stop talking about cooler weather!  It means fall is here, sweaters, scarves, and all things pumpkin!  It also means that I am not avoiding my stove top and oven like the plague, which means when I got my latest order for a gift basket I was jumping for joy!  I had already been canning cucumbers like a mad woman despite the heat and humidity, but now I can have all the windows open on a cooler evening, have a glass of wine, crank up Miles Davis, and bust the ol’ recipe cards out.

I wanted to do something just a little different for this gift basket.  With the combination of seasonal produce and the love I have for the combination of sweet and savory flavors, I decided to play with both ideas!  Nettie’s Bread & Butter Pickles, Jalapeno Jelly, Ginger Peach Jam, and brand new to my recipe collection: Rosemary Pear Butter, were the winners for this little basket.  I must say the Rosemary Pear Butter paired wonderfully with my glass of Côtes du Rhône!  

The basket has been sent off and I eagerly await to get feedback! But like all batches of pickles, butters, jellies, and jams (oh, my) I am left with a little extra!  What does that mean?!  Well, for those that are interested in trying some new treats, but aren’t quite ready to make the commitment to a pint size jar, or perhaps you too are in search for a gift basket for someone… Look no further!  I have put together a trio of sweet and savory gift bags that need homes!

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What’s inside? Three 4 oz. jars! 1 Jalapeno Jelly, 1 Ginger Peach Jam, and 1 Rosemary Pear Butter.

How much? $13

Interested?  Please don’t hesitate to contact me!  (lauraleeimhoff@gmail.com) I will find a way to get them to you!

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Feeling Like Popeye, Soon Enough

20140401-074411.jpgWe all remember Popeye, right? And his trusty can of spinach? Well, after a weekend of celebrating one of my best friends getting married by way of bachelorette party, I think it is fair to say I have been feeling the furthest away from having any super hero qualities. Butter, fried food, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and admittedly, more alcohol, my body has been in dire need of me to press the reset button. So… Out comes the juicer!

When working at Johnson’s Backyard Garden, customers always wanted any knowledge you could give on what to to juice. There was always one juice recipe that I just had to share with everyone. I told them it was like my very own Popeye Drink. I would have people come back time and time again exclaiming, “My goodness! You weren’t kidding!” Yes, it has spinach, but the other power ingredient: dandelion greens. I’m sure some scoff at the idea of drinking a weed, although not recommended to pluck the ones from your backyard, but this little guy is so great for your liver! (Perfect after this past weekend of debauchery.) I’m not the type of person that can brave eating dandelion greens in a salad or sautéed, but juiced with the right ingredients to cut out the bitterness, I find it quite delightful. Check it out:

Laura Lee’s Popeye Drink

1 bunch dandelion greens
1 bunch spinach
1/2 a pineapple
1 to 2 oranges
Ginger (to taste)

Juice. Drink.  Enjoy.

Note: I love ginger. Some peoples digestive tracks don’t handle it to well. I typically put 1-2 inch cube in mine, but you’re welcome to adjust accordingly.