Food Preservation

Homemade Hazelnut Butter

February 20, 2014 · 5 comments

Hazelnut butter. It’s a thing. A really delicious thing. Hazelnut butter is not peanut butter. I was kind of hoping it would be so that I could phase store-bought peanut butter out of our lives. But no, hazelnut butter seems to have a slightly more savory aspect to it even though it still shows some […]

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Henry is back in California this week. He was home for a short while after his last trip south, but now he’s helping his team place hives in the almond orchards just as the bloom begins and the bees go on contract. This kids and I are holding down the fort, and so far, like […]

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Maple Syrup Season 2014

January 29, 2014 · 11 comments

We made our own maple syrup from bigleaf maple sap for the first time last winter. You can read more about our experiences and thoughts here and here. Freezing nights and warmer days in the 40s are ideal for maple sap flow. As I understand it, the wider the day/night temperature gradient, the more pressure […]

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What: spiced pear butter Main ingredients and where I got them:  Henry’s mom gave me a box of comice pears harvested off a tree in the yard of an abandoned house across the street from her place. How much: 7-8 cups Recipe:  ripe pears whole or ground spices (star anise, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, […]

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What: quince jelly Main ingredients and where I got them:  The quince was from my visit to the USDA National Clonal Germplasm Repository, and the honey was from our bees. How much: lots, about 22 cups total I think Recipe:  from the Pomona’s Universal Pectin directions 4 cups quince juice 1/4 cup lemon juice 4 […]

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What: spiced quince leather Main ingredients and where I got them:  The quince came from my recent visit to the USDA National Clonal Germplasm Repository. The honey came from our bees. How much: four twelve-inch squares of parchment Recipe:  (almost exactly the same as my recipe for spiced pear leather) quince, rinsed and cut into medium-small chunks […]

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What: kiwi jam Main ingredients and where I got them: I picked the hardy kiwis during my recent visit to the local USDA National Clonal Germplasm Repository. The honey came from our bees. How much: approximately 13 cups Recipe:  from the Pomona’s Universal Pectin package yeild: 4-5 cups 4 cups chopped, mashed hardy kiwis, stems removed (or chopped/strained fruit, see […]

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As much as I love the rhythms and routines of canning and making jam, there’s something about the slow, quiet act of cracking and picking apart nuts that speaks to me. Once again, my parents’ towering English walnut tree let loose a bumper crop of nice nuts, and a few weeks ago, I got a […]

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Harvesting Fennel Seed

October 30, 2013 · 10 comments

Fennel seed is not something that falls within my regular repertoire. I like but don’t exactly love fresh fennel, but though I’m not a huge licorice/anise person, I find the taste of fennel seed to be surprisingly sweet and refreshing. We’ve had this one bronze fennel plant growing on the hill above the house for […]

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What: grape jelly Main ingredients and where I got them: I picked a big crate of concord grapes at my grandma’s house. The honey came from our bees. How much: about 8 half pints Recipe:  To make the juice, I used a steam juicer just like I discussed in this post. After I had the juice, I […]

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