No lamas here, but bama-lama but it went well with Loquat-a-rama. Mainly I wanted to suggest to try some loquats. Secondarily I wanted to share some confusion that I tunneled into with my rabbit-hole search for loquat recipes for canning.
Let's forge on: Have you noticed a lot of trees around with big leaves and with bunches of orange-apricoty looking fruit? If you are driving, you will notice clusters of bright fruit at the end of branches; they contrast quite prettily with the dark, long leaves. If you were walking by, you may have noticed fallen fruit. The fruit is usually smushed on the sidewalk, orange or yellow, has large pits/seeds in the middle and where exposed to the air is turning brown; you may notice bird/animal pecks in these fallen fruit. These are you neighborhood loquat trees. Around my house they are commonly seen in parkway landscaping, or hanging over fences at the backs and sides of yards.
Some of the fruit you see on the parkway trees is quite tasty, some not so much. If you see some hanging over a fence, try one (if you can reach it) as backyard trees are more likely to be planted from named, good-fruited variety. If a tree has come up as a volunteer from dropped seed the fruit can be pretty tasty as the small, young looking tree I recently found on a walk. A larger, older looking tree was not so tasty, though it was edible. Of course with my luck the smaller tree had very nice, sweet fruit with a nice acid balance but there was not much flesh around the large seeds. Its older neighbor had more fruit flesh, but not as lush a flavor. Loquats seem to have different flavor(s) depending on what the variety of the tree is, how ripe it is and who is tasting it. I think a good one tastes like a combination of apricot and tangerine with some mango thrown in. My sister says it tastes like a combination of pineapple, plum, maybe some apricot and some banana. Same fruit we both tasted, but different times and perhaps ripeness!
Anyway, these are all examples the Loquat tree. Loquats (Eriobotrya japonica; AKA Japanese Medlar, Japanese Plum, Chinese Plum, Pipa [in China], nespolo [in Italy], nispero [in Spain] and nespera [in Portugal]).
A recipe for loquat jelly without pectin at the NCHFP (Loquat Jelly without pectin ). This is the only approved recipe I could find. I have tasted canned loquats at fairs years ago. Since there is an NCHFP approved recipe for jelly, am I correct in deducing that loquats are a high-acid fruit? The recipe calls for loquats that are still hard-more pectin, more acid, right? But to make the jelly you are instructed to pick "Select full size loquats that are still hard" - But that is not saying they are a high acid fruit; I just don't know.
So I did a search. . . and on this page “Master List of Typical pH and Acid Content of Fruits and Vegetables for Home Canning and Preserving” at https://pickyourown.org/ph_of_fruits_and_vegetables_list.htm . I found loquats are listed at 5.10 pH, so they are borderline in acidity for sure, but the list says, and I quote, “May be acidified to pH 3.8.” Seems like a mandatory addition of bottled lemon juice or citric acid is necessary if one wants to boiling-water bath preserve them. But there are no approved recipes (NCHFP approved, that is). Sigh.
All that searching and sifting of info go made me tired. So much info but not enough on canning them or jamming them up! My go to: Loquats can be frozen (Freezing Loquats), and if you freeze them you don't need to worry about acidifiying them. Find some good ones and freeze then defrost some and try them in the following recipes. (Make sure you ask for fruit if it is not on your property and try a few first to see if they agree with you.)
Of course you can use them fresh in the following recipes!
More Loquat information:
And if you go here: University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR) and put "Loquat" in the search box, you will find a lot more information about Loquats.
NOTICE TO ALL: Really, I am not recommending this following!!!
I just read an article about a VERY interesting way that was used, once upon a time, to keep milk fresh. It involved a pretty common amphibian taking a bath in some milk. Have I piqued your interest?
So what was this method? Drop a live frog in your milk. Seems like long ago, in some areas in northern Europe, a live frog would be put in the raw milk to keep milk fresher. What is interesting to me is that there is some evidence that this might actually work. Turns out that frogs' slime produces various antibiotics on their skin. When the slime was mixed with the milk (the frog takes a milk bath) those slime-ular antibiotics kept milk spoilage down, giving more shelf-life to the milk.
Now I just want to let you all know that I am NOT recommending making frog milk-baths, but it IS interesting. I mean, if you don't have a fridge, and the weather is warmer and you have a bunch of milk you need to hold a while longer. . . People are pretty observant and creative. Humans figured out how to cheese with bacteria. Kimchee and sauerkraut are products of fermentation also. Using frog slime to preserve milk is another example of humans putting bacteria to work.
Here is a link to the article I read: Refrigerators that Ribbit at NowIKnow.com .
And here's the link to more in depth information (given in the above article) about frogs in milk: "If Your Fridge Dies, Should You Put Frogs In Your Milk?" at Treehugger.com.
And knowing that just about anything is out there on the net, well, I would not be surprised if someone has detailed instructions about how to best use a live frog in your milk to keep it fresh. And I beg to decline to supply a link for instructions on how to do so! :-)
And again, I am NOT recommending this. You have a fridge--use it!
To Start: I hope this finds you safe, well and (reasonably) happy.
Next: Yes, no posts here for a while . . . This is not because I was sick or without computer access. It was because I was lazy. Stuck at home, trying to be safe, I had many things I should have done: decluttering, house cleaning, deep cleaning, fixing up the yard, throwing out stuff, painting interiors, many things. The fact that I needed to do all of those things meant that they were way down on the list of things I wanted to do. WAY down.
So what did want to do (pretty impulsively)? I canned a whole lotta chicken. Several cases of pints. What can I say, I got all of the chicken on sale! For a time I was a pressure-canning-chicken fool. Home canned chicken is very tasty, but as the chicken is so young the meat comes out of the jars very tender and seems to fall apart if blown on. This is good for burritos or chicken and dumplings but not so good for something that needs to be cooked, like a soup or casserole. All that super-tender chicken falls apart into small shreds. Makes for goopy whatever.
Thank goodness that with all the canned chicken available I have figured out how best to treat it. Here are some tips that I hope will help you:
First, about canning the chicken: Unsalted or salted? I am not really impressed with unsalted chicken. Remember the salt is optional. I find the full measure of salt recommended by the NCHFP too much. Half the amount recommended for the jar size works well for me.
Now for some tips on using your bounty, should you be a pressur-canning-chicken fool too:
Canned no skin, boneless, leg meat/thighs:
Drain the meat well and reserve all the juice and fat from the jar. This liquid makes great chicken broth, has good flavor and pleasantly fills the mouth. Fat can be skimmed if you so desire.
Most easy are recipes for a soup, chile or stew (see below for recipe for stew). For these turn the meat out of the jar and piece by piece separate the chunks, gently. Set the meat aside until the end of your recipe. When the recipe is finished, carefully stir in the chunks of chicken and bring to a hard simmer for 5 minutes or so. Try to avoid stirring too much as the chicken will very easily shred. If you want shreds, stir a lot!
Canned breast meat, no skin:
Again, drain the meat well reserving the juice and fat from the jar. Separate the chunks; these will be much firmer than leg meat chunks. Make your recipe then stir the breast chunks in and simmer 5 minutes before serving. You can stir a dish with chicken breast more as it stays in descrete pieces very well.
The canned breast meat shreds very well, has a solid texture, and good flavor. The juice is fairly richly flavored but will be much lower in fat than the dark.
My current favorite dish is to make chicken salad with the home canned breast meat. It makes a most excellent sandwich.
Make sure to reserve (and refrigerate) the jar juice in any case. Make plans to use it in a couple of days. If you cannot use it in a day or two freeze it for future use in a sauce, gravy, stew.
Well, I gotta go now. My Aunt from Chicago just sent me some chocolate cover toffee that is screamin' my name. Remember to check out the recipe below.
Stay safe, be well and be kind to yourself and others.
Chicken stew with Home Canned chicken.
2 -16 oz jars of home canned chicken, drained and chunked, juice reserved, chunks reserved
The reserved chicken juice (measure it and add water to it to make 6 cups)
2 tablespoons butter of oil of your choice
½ small onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, cut into ½ inch by ½ chunks
2 or 3 carrots, peeled and cut into ¼ inch slices
3 potatos (about 1 lb) peeled and diced
3 whole allspice (optional but accents the chicken nicely)
7 or so whole peppercorns
6 tablespoons all purpose flour (if desired)
In a large deep pan heat butter or oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute, stirring constantly, until the onion goes somewhat translucent then add the garlic then cook until the garlic is fragrant. Don't burn either the garlic!
Stir in the celery and carrots, making sure the become coated with oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Continue to saute till the celery becomes a brighter green. Turn the heat to very low. Pour in the reserved chicken/water mix and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, whole all spice, and peppercorns and bring back to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes barely test done (a sharp knife tip will just begin to pierce a larger potato piece easily).
Fish out the peppercorns and whole allspice. If you wish a thick stew, scoop out ½ cup of the juice into a heat-proof bowl. Add ½ cup water to this. Stir in 6 tablespoons all purpose flour, whisking well to smooth lumps. Stir this mixture into your pot simmer for a minute or so. This amount of flour will give you a lightly thickened liquid.
Turn the heat down very low and carefully stir in your chicken chunks. Bring back to simmer and cook for about 5 minutes.
Sample for salt and add to you taste. Serve with a good salad and good bread.
--You can add some canned vegetables if you wish. Well drained canned green beans are good, and you might want to try adding some rinsed and well drained canned white beans as well. Also you might wish to add a cup or so of frozen chopped spinach for some extra color and nutrition; rinse the frozen spinach under cold water and drain well before adding then bring back to the boil for a minute or two.
In light of current events, if you wish to disinfect rather than sanitize counters, doorknobs and such please read and follow the instructions here: CDC current Corona virus cleaning and disinfection advice.
My pantry is currently a mess. I am staying at home as much as possible. I don't want to clean out my pantry BUT I REALLY need to clean out the pantry.
As a matter of fact, I could be piling pasta, cleaning cans, scrubbing shelves, prepping the pantry for a perfect plenitude of correctly counted cans, bags, bottle and tubs. And what am I doing? Finding all sorts of things to distract me from cleaning the pantry. Like writing this post. . .
I will make a deal with myself: an hour of pantry perfecting in return for an hour of web wonderment. . . Let's see if it works. . .
Y'all hang in there, try to stay home, and be good to others in need.
And clean that PANTRY!! (wish me luck!)/span>
Start your spring off tastily--Attend the Tea, Treats and Jam Making Class.
It's at the end of this month, February 28, so it is coming up FAST. Be there, watch some jam making, enjoy some cooking demo treats!