Friday, August 30

Quick Raspberry Jam

This recipe locks in the summer-fresh-just-picked-from-the-bush raspberry flavor.  And what’s even better, there’s no canning process involved.

I have been using a similar recipe for freezer jam for years, but with strawberries.  This Raspberry Freezer Jam is just as good!
Remember, when choosing berries, fresh from the farm fruit is always best and has the most intense flavor, which in turn produces the best results.

If you are purchasing produce from a grocery store, try to stick with the organic.
If you are concerned about the sugar, Sure-Jell has low sugar and no sugar recipes on their website. But please research the dangers of artificial sweeteners before using!

I use homemade Raspberry Jam as an ingredient in my sauce for my Jamaican Pork Tenderloin, and on Raspberry Sponge Cake.

Tuesday, August 20

Building A Scarecrow

Scarecrow at a festival in New Jersey

A scarecrow is a decoy or mannequin usually in the shape of a human. It is dressed in old clothes and placed in gardens or open fields to discourage birds such as crows or sparrows from feeding on recently sown seed and growing crops.

As its name suggests, it’s supposed to scare away crows from the field or garden.
Mostly they're for decoration, I think.

The first scarecrows in recorded history were made by the Egyptians along the Nile River to protect wheat fields from flocks of quail.  
Egyptian farmers put wooden frames in their fields and covered them with nets.  The farmers hid in the fields and scared the quail into the nets. 

Monday, August 12

Pickle Relish

With an overabundance of cucumbers this year I'm making relish.
This is a hot dog style pickle relish but can be used on anything, it’s that good.  As for hot dogs, we usually don't eat them, unless we find the all-meat, nitrate free ones, which are delicious I have to say.  Did I mention this relish won a 1st Place Blue Ribbon at our County Fair?

About the ingredients:
The results are best if you use fresh from your garden produce or from a local farm market.  Store purchased is bland compared to home grown and fresh, which will affect the flavor of the relish.

And because of that, summer is the best time to make enough pickle relish to last through the winter. I use mostly red bell peppers in this recipe as I find green bell peppers have an overpowering flavor. 
You may want to use half red and half green.  

Use a mixture of red and sweet onions, not only for flavor but also for color.

Thursday, August 8

Natural Tomato Soup

A Healthier Soup Alternative
Tomatoes are ripe on the vine here in Ohio and since I plant my own, I have an abundance!  The smell and taste of a ripe tomato fresh from the garden is one of my favorite summer joys.
But what to do with all those tomatoes can quickly turn into a summer dilemma. 

A few years back,  good friend of my niece Sarah posted a recipe for homemade tomato soup on Facebook.  I changed the recipe after the first year by adding 1 less green bell pepper (over powers the tomatoes) and by adding 1 to 2 extra bay leaves.
I have been making it every summer since. 

It’s a pretty easy process and the soup is delicious, especially in the middle of the winter.

For best results use only fresh produce from your garden or organic produce from a local farm market.  Store purchased produce has no where near the flavor of fresh locally grown, but you probably already know that.

Determining how many tomatoes you need is no easy task.  I have found that I need approximately 12 to 14 pounds of tomatoes to make about 8 pints of soup.  (or one canner load) Or another way to figure it is you need approximately 2 large tomatoes per pint.
I add more tomatoes to mine, making my soup mostly tomatoes with the veggies added for flavor. Adding too many vegetables makes it tastes more like vegetable juice!