The far garden is coming on and raspberries are toward their end, so canning season
has come to it’s kick off!! I made a batch of jam using store-bought pectin, and although delicious, it was lacking that intense black raspberry taste you can only get the old-fashioned way. Today I went out picking, but came on a mama dear, and knowing the lengths a mama will go through to protect her young I ran away (yep…I’m super brave) and only gathered enough to make a small batch, we had a pie after dinner instead (See bottom for super simple recipe). Beings I was out there it seemed like the perfect opportunity to dig some new ‘taters and have a ham dinner. So here’s your potato update!! There weren’t a lot of potatoes on the plant I dug, but there were some really nice sized potatoes already!! They’re almost done blooming, so when their dying down the other garden should have new potatoes…what a happy
accident!! I’ve always heard of early, mid, and even a late planting, but we always do
it all at once. Maybe not anymore!! I like that our two gardens are dry enough to plant at different times, so things get staggered.
I also decided to can some hot pickled cauliflower. I’ve included my recipe below!!
In other news…I believe whole heartedly that God has acted in my life and given me the direction I’ve been praying for. I’ve been offered the beautiful opportunity to care for and introduce skills to a set of younger siblings of a home school group!! I have such huge ambitions for this!! I’ve really been wrestling with going back to work so that I could afford to offer my children a pre-school experience. My goal in this was not that they needed “taught” by someone else, but that they need social interaction with other children. I’m so grateful to share a lesson (we’re going to do a letter of the alphabet a week) with the children of other Christian families devoted to God and to the education of their children! There are eight children in all, my two youngest included, ages 1-4. This is going to be so fulfilling for me, and I sincerely hope the families of this group are excited about the upcoming 24 week session and benefit as much as I pray they will!! Anyway, most of my time online has been getting ideas for introducing the alphabet, not posting, but I think I’ve found my direction and will do better managing my time now (not making promises, though!)
Crust: Use any two crust pie recipe or purchased brand (I use food processor directions for Better Homes and Gardens Recipe)
About five cups rinsed and drained raspberries or blackberries
One cup sugar
One Heaped Tablespoon corn starch
Mix the corn starch (flour may be substituted)and sugar with the berries until thoroughly blended. Pour into crust lined pie dish and top with either a whole crust making small slits for steam to escape, or make lattice top by laying down spaced strips all in one directions, then gently fold every other strip back and lay a strip going the other direction, starting at an edge. Replace your strips that you folded back and continue with other half, laying down your next strip going the other direction. Continue until you get to the other edge (I’ll do a better tutorial later….today we just wanted us some pie…quickly). Tear narrow strips of foil and cover edges of entire pie. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, then remove foil strips and continue baking for approx. ten minutes or until center is starting to bubble.
Hot Pickled Cauliflower:
14 cups cauliflower florets
2 quarts vinegar, at least 5% acidity
2 cups pickling salt, divided
1 Tbsp. Turmeric
Onion (either pearl or a large Spanish onion, cut into as many chunks as you have jars
per pint jar: 1/8 teaspoon each mustard and celery seeds, 4+ black peppercorns, one clove peeled garlic, 1 small hot pepper (mine were dried)
Soak your cauliflower florets in salt water (One cup salt to one gallon water) overnight in the refrigerator about 12-18 hours. You can add any other vegetables you want to make your 14 cups such as sliced carrots or bell peppers. Rinse well and soak in fresh water for at least a couple of hours, rinse and drain. Prepare your jars, lids and bands according to manufacturer recommendations, and start your canner water so that it’s to boiling when your jars are packed. In a non-corrosive pot bring your vinegar, 1 cup salt, and turmeric to boil, simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to dissolve the salt. Meanwhile, pack your cauliflower (or veg. mixture) into hot canning jars (wide mouth pints work well for this), adding mustard and celery seed, onion, garlic and hot pepper to each jar. Cover with boiling vinegar mixture. Wipe the jar rims, place lid and adjust band, and process ten minutes in boiling water bath. After jars are sealed wait a few weeks for the flavors to meld, then open it up and share a jar over a game of UNO. Well, the last part is optional, but that’s how we best enjoy it!
Note: This is one of those that is completely by taste, except for the vinegar. Some people also add a cup of sugar to the brine. Other people omit the turmeric. I find that cauliflower that grows well here isn’t the bright white type, so it’s prettier for me to color it. It makes it look like it would be bright white except for the spice!