- Author: Lauria Watts
This summer remember that fruits are easy to freeze. Many you don't need to blanch or do much to other than wash, dry and perhaps add sugar to (for the best product). Local small berries, if you grow them, are probably past picking, but they are still available in markets. If you can drive up to the mountains or further north, picking both wild and farmed berries should be going on
Summer berries, especially those you pick yourself, or grow yourself, are so much better than those usually sold in stores. If you go somewhere to pick, you are in control of how ripe those berries are. If you plan well you can pick in the morning and have those berries in the freezer or in a jar that evening. Preserving doesn't get much more immediate than than--unless you get the fruit from your own backyard or from a neighbor.
Small berries such as blackberries or blueberries can be washed, dried, placed in a single layer in a flat pan and individually frozen dry or with a little sugar. Place them in freezer containers or freezer bags and you can pour out whatever you need when you need it.
And one last "for instance": don't forget pineapple. Pineapple on sale can be very sweet and cost-effective to freeze. Freezing pineapple is fast too--no sugar needed, just wash, peel, cut it up and freeze. Of course you can jar it up yourself.
Also, don't forget our upcoming classes:
- Author: L. Watts
There was a plan. The first part of the plan was to check out the freezer(s), to see what I could cook or make from the freezers. Then, the final part of the plan was to make a meat stock.
Visiting the local middle-east ethnic market, I casually strolled about the store taking in the fresh take-out food, meandering by the milk products, cruising the coffees and teas, pouring over the pasta and beans, and then! The meat and produce section!
What did I see? Good price on ten pounds of taters. Prime porterhouse steaks at one third the price elsewhere (I splurged and bought three. . . the freezer, you know?). Marvelous Manila Mangoes, two for a buck. Then, OM-Golly, the pineapples: 99 cents each! They were big pineapples, weighing in at between four and five pounds each. Whoo-boy – Meat stock disappeared from my consciousness.
Memories of pineapple pickles past came to the foremost in my thoughts. I first had those pickles several years ago. The taste I remember fondly: sweet-sour, redolent of cinnamon and just a little cloves, with delicious pineapple flavor. They hooked me right then. A year or so later, I got some pineapple at a good price and made pineapple pickles for the first time. For me now, cheap pineapple equals pickled pineapple. Great from the jar or seared on the grill. Great with some cottage cheese or skewered in a kabob with chicken or pork or veggies. Pineapple upside-down cake. Cue the Foreigner song. “They ta-aste like the first time, they ta-aste like the very first time . . . “ (seriously dating myself here)
Those pineapples were nice looking, maybe not as yellow as I might wish for fresh eating, but they had nice flavor after trimming and cutting, great for pickles. I bought 4, gave one to my sister. The next day I made pineapple pickles. All was good in my canning world.
The day after I made my pineapple pickles I visited the same market again. Beautiful pineapples were on sale: TWO pounds for a dollar!
I like canned pineapple. REALLY cheap pineapple equals – I guess I need to can some straight pineapple or, I know, pineapple jam for Christmas gifts!
The following recipe for Pineapple pickles is delicious; spiced, sweet-tart pineapple. Try them straight from the jar (after some jar time of a couple of weeks), grill them on the bar-b-cue, put them in kabobs, mash them up to put on ice cream, or you can make a pineapple upside-down cake. I am sure you can figure out some other ways to use them!
(Ball Blue Book Guide to Home Preserving, 2012)
Yields: About 4 pints
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
3 sticks cinnamon, broken
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
2 fresh pineapples, peeled, cored and cut into spears (about 5 pounds each)
Combine brown sugar, vinegar and pineapple juice in a large saucepot. Tie spices in a spice bag; add to saucepot. Cover; simmer 20 minutes. Add pineapple to syrup; simmer until hot throughout. Remove pineapple from syrup; keep hot. Heat syrup just to a boil; remove spice bag. Pack hot pineapple into hot jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Ladle hot syrup over pineapple, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath canner.
(many apologies to the group "Foreigner"!)