Aug 30, 2009
So,....this weekend I decided that I would try canning for the first time. I've got winter to think about and I'd really like to avoid buying U.S./Mexico produce or food that isn't in season. There will be some exceptions obviously but I'm going to try my best. I've already got a freezer full of fruits and vegetables that I'm hoping will get me through the hard times but canning was something else that I'd been meaning to try....
The Internet and the library have been great friends of mine this week as I tried finding some information about canning. My first attempt was canned peaches. It was so easy! All you need to do is boil the peaches for 30-60 seconds and put them in an ice-water bath. Then, you can take the peelings off (if you wish) and sprinkle some lemon juice on them to prevent browning. While you are doing this boil 2 cups of sugar to 6 cups of water for a light syrup to be added to the peaches. I used organic cane sugar. Put the peaches into a sterilized jar and then add the syrup. Put the lid on and then boil the jar for 20 minutes or so. Once it's done take it out and let it cool for 24 hours and make sure that the lid has sealed and you don't hear a popping sound when you press on it.
Once I realized how easy this was I decided to then make a apple/plum/blueberry/raisin chutney of sorts. I just did this in the crock-pot and then filled the jars for boiling. Another one I tried was a tomato sauce of sorts. I'm not sure how this one will turn out once I use it...but I made it using tomatoes, hot peppers, green peppers, and shredded zucchini. I'm sure I'll be able to find greenhouse tomatoes this winter so I'm not too worried. This one was more of an experiment.
Here are a couple of good sites if you want to learn more about canning or freezing:
Aug 27, 2009
We've been to Birtch farms many times for some apple-picking and have never been disappointed. We also love taking a peek inside their bakery. There's always something yummy that we just need to bring home with us.
Birtch Farms is located on R.R. #7 655514 15th Line in Woodstock, Ontario
Their other events are:
Apple Fest September 19th/20th
Pumpkin Fest October 24th/25th
Aug 26, 2009
After you've got the dough throw on some fresh tomato sauce, veggies, meat and cheese and throw her in the oven! On this one I used some left-over salsa that I had, some leftover chicken (diced) and then onion, broccoli, hot peppers, shredded zucchini and lastly, mozzarella/cheddar cheese.
Aug 23, 2009
that we would instead visit a u-pick vegetable farm. My daughter
was very excited about our little jaunt.
I've heard good things about the Thomas Bros. Farm Market located in Lambeth so I decided that we'd go check it out. Going south on Colonel Talbot there is the market building of the same name but further down past the 401 you can find the u-pick location. The farm is HUGE! You actually need to use your car to drive from the tomatoes, to the cucumbers, to the beans, etc... The beans were great and the zucchinis and cucumbers were really big. They even had hot peppers available as well.
Aug 19, 2009
With the heat we've had and my avoidance of the stove I also ended up making some more no-bake cookies. This time I made a chocolate chip version that includes only raisins, dates, oatmeal, cinnamon, salt, honey, and of course, chocolate chips. They were delicious. I got this recipe in the Fall issue of the Clean Eating Magazine that I subscribe to. The recipes in these magazines always turn out great so I knew I'd have to try this one. I'm so glad I did.
Aug 15, 2009
I got tons of stuff this morning. I went in with $80.00 but only ended up spending $65.00. I'm sure I would have spent a lot more if I'd bought all this stuff at the grocery store and all of this food will last us the week. We then only spent another $30.00 or so at the grocery store for miscellaneous items an d non-local foods like bananas and stuff.
For $65.00 I was able to get a bag of potatoes, some Jersey Mac apples (the first of the season), a head of broccoli, green beans, carrots, onions, white turnip, red/yellow peppers, a watermelon, a dozen eggs, some cheese, celery, tomatoes, nectarines (also first of the season), zuchinni, 2 pints of blueberries, pork tenderloin, bacon, chicken breasts, sausages, raisin bread, whole wheat bread, cooked ham and turkey...I think that pretty well sums it up!
With all this new grub and more tomatoes than I know what to do with what would be better for dinner than a plain old toasted tomato sandwich and a salad. This, my friends, is comfort food!! I remember my mom making me toasted tomato sandwiches for me when I was little. They are just so yummy!My salad tonight...nothing else to say about this one...just lettuce, carrot, broccoli and dried cranberries...Dessert, however,....was fresh and cool. There's nothing better than some ice cream at the end of a hot and humid afternoon. This one again was done with my Vitamix but this time we had peach/raspberry.
Aug 13, 2009
Next on the list were those red grapes sitting there on the shelf looking a little forgotten. Hmmm..how about some grape juice? So, whipped out my Vitamix and blended the grapes and let the juices drip through a cheesecloth and voila! Grape Juice! Of course, the grapes aren't local (probably from Mexico or something) but at least the juice is not from concentrate and doesn't have any added sugars...just pure fruity goodness!
Aug 9, 2009
My next stop was to the Arva Flour Mill (just off Richmond St. north of Medway Rd.). This is a great place to go--they have whole wheat flour, spelt flour and plain old regular all-purpose flour. They also have a large selection of pasta (regular, spelt, rice, and soy) and different grains.
Aug 8, 2009
Here's a picture of the pail we picked. This only took half an hour or so and we ended up leaving with 7 pounds of blueberries, which cost $17 or so. I'm looking forward to some blueberry pancakes, blueberry pie, blueberry muffins, etc.. Oh, the possibilities!!!
Aug 6, 2009
After dinner we went out for a bike ride and a stop to play mini-putt with the little one. When we got back I made some homemade banana/strawberry ice cream. My Vitamix machine can make any flavour of ice cream that you can think of--throw in some frozen fruit with some milk or yogurt and voila--ice cream! Thankfully I've got a freezer full of fruit that I've been storing over the course of the summer.
Aug 5, 2009
One of my favorite bloggers/authors for raw food is Ani Phyo. Check out her site at: http://www.aniphyo.com/ This cookie recipe is one that I make out of her Ani's Raw Food Desserts book. It's made of walnuts, raisins, dried cranberries, and carob powder put through the food processor and molded into cookie form. They taste amazing too.
Another one of her cookie recipes that I like is her raw oatmeal cookie--oatmeal put through the food processor until it looks more like a flour, some dates, raisins, and cinnamon. Again--so yummy and it tastes just like an oatmeal raisin cookie -- without the unhealthy addition of sugar and empty calories. Here's a link to a video of her making this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwigYqeJxnA&feature=channel_page
Aug 3, 2009
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp melted butter (cooled so it doesn't scramble the eggs)
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 cup flour
Mix ingredients and use a medium-sized pan and 1/3 cup of batter for each crepe. On the side I usually heat up some sort of fruit (apples or peaches usually) to fill the crepes.
Aug 2, 2009
We're so happy we went -- although cherry season is officially over we were able to snag their last bucket of frozen cherries; all 10 pounds of it!! And yes, they've all been pre-pitted. Looks like we'll be making some cherry pie soon...and maybe some smoothies, and some ice cream. Good thing cherries are so good for us. Did you know that cherries have been shown to reduce pain and inflammation? They're also really high in antioxidants! Unfortunately, their growing season is really short--lasting only the month of July.
Not only does the Red Barn have cherries, but they also have apricots, plums, and peaches. Although still early in the season the peaches were absolutely wonderful. Really juicy! My freezer is already stocked with some to make sure we can enjoy them for the next couple of months at least.
Something else I'd been meaning to try is some homemade peanut butter. I bought my Vitamix a few months ago and hadn't had the chance to give it a try. All I needed was 3 cups of roasted unsalted peanuts and one minute to blend it all together. Natural or homemade peanut butters are much healthier than the store-bought kinds. The processed versions usually contain a lot of additional trans fats and sugars that are not good for us. Natural peanut butters normally only contain peanuts. I'd rather go the natural route!
Mine turned out a little on the light side. Who knows what gets put in it normally to give it a brown color. Oh well...still tastes good. I did add a little bit of honey to sweeten it up a little.
Andre couldn't wait to try the roasted garlic and immediately put some on a cracker. He thought it was really yummy. We then added some to our mashed potatoes/cauliflower tonight. I'm sure we reek of garlic by now!
Clovermead Apiaries is always a place that we stop at on our way home from the beach. It's located just outside of Aylmer. They have so many different flavors of honey to try. Here is a link to their site: http://www.clovermead.com/ In the past we've bought chocolate honey and strawberry honey. This time we bought some apple honey and maple honey. They taste fantastic!! It's definitely a great place to check out! -- and bring the kids--they have a lot of activities and they'll bring you right out to the honeycombs to show you how the honey is made.
Aug 1, 2009
- 1/4 cup canola oil (or applesauce)
- 3 bananas
- 1tsp vanilla
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- ground flax seeds (1/8 cup or so...)
- some cocoa powder...a few tablespoons
Mix wet ingredients with bananas (I usually put them through the food processor for a smooth consistency). Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Add mixture to a bread loaf pan and bake at 325F for 50 minutes. Voila!
Watch for my next post soon...I've bought some fresh garlic at a farm stand and made a stop at Clovermead for some honey.