Raspberry Preserves

Raspberry preserves first place

This weekend, I was able to make 24 half-pints (three batches) of raspberry preserves (or jam) out of my spring harvest. After eating plenty of fresh raspberries over the course of two months, I still had enough to freeze for preserves.

Raspberries defrosting for preserves

Raspberries defrosting for preserves

Making preserves is not as difficult as one would think. I used Kraft Sure-Gel pectin and used the recipe on the insert. Raspberry preserves was my first attempt at canning, and I’m happy to say that I won first place for my preserves at my county fair! See recipe!

Drying Peppers

Last week, I picked a basket of pepperoncini – of different varieties (due to cross-pollination). Some of them I’ve been eating fresh, others I’ve frozen. The hottest ones I decided to dry with my dehydrator. I had enough of the long, thin, hot ones to fill two trays of my dehydrator, which was enough for a test to see how they’d dry. Read more!

Drying Herbs in the Oven

This past weekend, I realized I needed to seriously clip my oregano and thyme. Although I use them fresh in much of my cooking, the plants are growing faster than I can use them. So, I gave both plants a major hair cut! The picture above is what I harvested from the oregano and thyme. What did I do with the harvest? Dry it, of course. Learn how!

Quick Kosher Dill Pickles

The heat is on, and I’m picking my Russian pickling cucumbers every day now. Tonight, I had enough to make a batch of quick pickles. Quick pickles are called “quick” because they don’t get a hot water canning bath, and that means the pickles turn out extra crispy. However, they must be kept in the refrigerator because they don’t have a long shelf life (less than 30 days). Trust me, though – they won’t last that long! See recipe!

Pickled Snap Beans

This past week, I picked an abundance of green & yellow snap beans. I cooked some up for my Italian Bean Salad (a summer favorite of mine), but I had over two gallons of beans left. Instead of blanching and freezing them, I decided to pickle them. I’ve never had pickled beans, but I love pickled anything. So, I looked over several recipes for pickled beans, noted what herbs and vinegar flavors I like, and came up with my own recipe. I pickled my beans last night and opened one of the jars tonight for the big taste test – and it’s a keeper! Now, I share the recipe with you. Pickled Snap Beans!