Friday, July 29, 2011

Bourbon Raspberry Cherry Hand Pies

In the few times that I have attempted canning, I always end up with too little for one more jar, but too much to ever think of throwing it away. Waste not, want not, right? Not that there's anything wrong with a little extra Bourbon Raspberry Cherry Preserves, there's nothing wrong with that at all. Being the industrial little worker bee that I am, knowing there was pie dough in my fridge, I figured a couple of cute hand pies might just do the trick.

Now I don't profess to be any kind of profession when it comes to pastry of any sort. In fact, while I can make a tasty pie, they usually are the furthest thing from pretty. I don't have the patience to form them correctly, it's something I'm working on. I like to call my pies and things of that sort, "rustic". It's another word for kind of ugly and messy. Either way, these hand pies, they're tasty. You won't mind their "rustic" charm, because they're so yummy.

Bourbon Raspberry Cherry Hand Pies
Makes: 2 large hand pies

The jam is fairly runny, so put these on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Some of the filling will seep out, it's OK, once you transfer them to a baking rack to cool, the filling sets nicely.

  • pie dough (enough or one crust), you can use homemade or pre-made, whatever you'd like
  • flour for dusting work surface
  • 1/3 cup Bourbon Raspberry Cherry Preserves
  • 1 egg yolk beaten with 2 tablespoons water (egg wash)
  • sugar for topping
  1. Flour your work surface, divide your dough into two pieces, then roll each section out until they're about 6-inches around.
  2. Now, divide your 1/3 cup of preserves between both rounds of dough.
  3. Next, take you egg wash and lightly brush the outside edge of the dough. Reserve the rest of the egg wash in the fridge.
  4. Using a bench scraper, gently, but quickly fold the dough over the filling, making a half-moon shape. 
  5. Seal the edges with your fingers, folding it up and crimping, or simply pressing the edges with the tines of a fork. 
  6. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and carefully transfer the pies to the sheet. 
  7. Put the baking sheet in the fridge and allow the hand pies to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  8. While they're chilling, preheat your oven 375 degrees.
  9. After 30 minutes, take them out of the fridge, brush the tops lightly with the egg wash, and sprinkle sugar (granulated, raw, sanding, whatever you have) over the tops.
  10. Place in the preheated oven, and bake for 20 minutes or until the pies are golden brown. 
  11. Remove them from the oven and put them on a baking rack set over a baking sheet (to catch drips) and allow them to cool.
  12. Serve happily with some ice cream!
Local Raspberries and Cherries
Preserving Berries: Freezing

While the recipe uses a preserve I canned, it could have been frozen as well. Basically, once the mixture was boiled, you could have let it cool, and spooned it into freezer bags or freezer save jars or containers. One of my all-time favorite ways to preserve summer berries for winter smoothies and pies, is to simply freeze them.

It's so simple, you'll laugh.
  1. Wash your berries and dry them. You want them dry, no freezer burn here.
  2. Now, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. 
  3. Spread your washed and dried berries over the sheet so they're not touching so much (we don't want them sticking together).
  4. Freeze for about an hour or a little more. 
  5. Once they're frozen simply transfer to freezer bags, label with what it is, the amount (I like to freeze in 1 cup/2 cup amounts), and pop them into the freezer.
Now you can just take out what you need all winter long, because they're not frozen in big chunks  Pin It

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bourbon Raspberry Cherry Preserves

Berries in bourbon, need I really go on? These preserves are the perfect balance of sweet, but with that adult bourbon kick. Spread on it on bread, pour over ice cream, and for the love of all things yummy, use it as a filling in a little hand-pie or pop tart (I'll share that with you later this week).

Pick-Your-Own cherries at Russell Orchards in Ipswich, MA.

The cherries in this recipe were brought to you today by the letter, "R", as in Russell Orchards in Ipswich, Ma. The farm has been around since 1920, and the Russells are the third family to own the 120 acres and really make it a family experience. Their "pick-your-own" fields are absolutely huge, and every weekend you can find families traversing through them, picking fruit and creating memories.

The husband helping pick through the cherries

So our little family of my husband and I (sorry, no pugs in the picking fields), trucked off to Ipswich one Saturday afternoon because my heart was set on cherries. Fruit-picking wasn't something we did much when I was young. I'm finding I absolutely love the quiet and tedious work of foraging through the trees or bushes to find the best morsels available there.

Beautiful sweet cherries

Russell Orchards has some amazing morsels to offer. Beautiful, sweet, cherries dripped from every tree. While the orchards are not certified organic, the folks at Russell Orchards try to use a policy of Integrated Pest Management, meaning they only spray as a last result. Most plants on their property have never seen a chemical, and they're always happy to tell you which ones have been sprayed.

It's important to note this. A lot of local farms can't afford the pricey process to become USDA certified organic. Please don't shun local farms because they can't slap an "organic" label on their bounty. Instead, become educated on what practices your local farms use on their crops, so you can not only support your family's health, but the health of your community as well.

Bourbon Raspberry Cherry Preserves
(Printable Recipe)
Makes: 4-5, 4-ounce jelly jars
Adapted from: Autumn Makes and Does 

There is no added pectin in this recipe. I was able to get a reasonable "set" to the preserves without it, however, it's not a "thick" set. Personally, I was OK with that, you could attempt boiling a little bit longer to get a more firm set. This recipe was adapted from Autumn Makes and Does, who combined a recipe from Christine Ferber of "Mes Confitures" and technique from Mrs. Wheelbarrow. Ferber, while she makes a beautiful jam, does not follow USDA processing guidelines, while Cathy from Mrs. Wheelbarrow does. I followed Autumn's procedure below and so far, so good.

  • 1 2/3 pounds sweet cherries
  • 1 pound raspberries (or as many of each as you have, as long as the fruit equals 2 2/3 pounds)
  • 3 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 ounce bourbon

  1. Wash and pit your cherries, wash your raspberries and put all finished fruit into a non-reactive pot (I use a Le Creuset dutch oven).
  2. Add your sugar and your lemon juice to the dutch oven, stir until all the fruit is coated. Leave the fruit at room temperature for an hour, allowing the fruit to macerate a bit.
  3. Now, place the dutch oven over medium heat. Stir along the way, you want all the sugar to dissolve. Once dissolved, stir the fruit mixture less, never letting it come above a simmer.
  4. Take the pot off the heat, cool it down to room temperature and put it in the fridge overnight.
  5. The next day, strain the cherries from the juice. Set the cherries aside and boil the juice all by itself.
  6. Boil the juice for 5 minutes, then return the cherries to the juice, bring it all back up to a boil for 5 minutes or so.
  7. Take the mixture off the heat and test for the set in any way you usually do, whether it be by temperature, or as I do, putting a teaspoon of the preserves on a plate that has been in the freezer for a bit. If the mixture stays when you push it with your finger, you have a decent set. 
  8. If for some reason you don't like the set, you can return the mixture to the heat for another two minutes and then test again.
  9. Once you're happy with your set, stir in your bourbon (off the heat), and let the jam cool down for five minutes. 
  10. I, like Autumn, processed the preserves in a water bath canner for 10 minutes, but I will note, as she did, it is not in the recommendation of the original recipe. You can freeze it, or it keeps well for a couple of weeks in the fridge as well.
The Lighter Side of Local: Late July

Quickly, because this post has already gone on forever. It's late July in New England, that means my rush to preserve summer berries is on, and in some case has already gotten the better of me at this point. I'm canning and freezing like a madwoman. I'll share some of my favorite ways to hang onto berries in our next post this week.

Our backyard patch is already offering up a lot of cherry and grape tomatoes, herbs, green beans, cucumbers and jalapenos. I'll be pickling some of the cucumbers, and the green beans, well my husband like to eat them right off the stalk. However, if you're already feeling the pinch of a lot of tomatoes, I suggest the following two recipes (one of which will use up some of your herbs as well):

Baked Cherry Tomato Pasta
Angel Hair with Grape Tomatoes, Garlic, and Sausage

Since our garden is starting to give us a lot to use, my purchases at the farmers' market tend to go down. I spent only $10 this week on:
  • Head of lettuce $2
  • Two green bell peppers $3
  • 1.5 pounds of red potatoes $3.50
  • 4 ears of corn $1.50

What's coming out of your gardens or your farmers' markets this week? Let me know what you're making with it all! Pin It

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bacon and Radish Spaghetti

 Sometimes you just look into your fridge, shake your head, and close the door again. If you're like me, queen of often not planning in advance, this happens often. Too often in my case. I sometimes find when I get busy, odds and ends of things start to build up in my produce drawer. Finally, when it comes time where I must make something, I'm completely flummoxed over where to even start.

Luckily, I find that if you have bacon, you have the world at your fingertips. A little bacon, a little vegetable, and a little pasta, or maybe an egg and you're set. I had bacon, I had radishes, and I had a voice in my head saying, "If you never liked radishes, you haven't had them simply cooked in butter, salt, and pepper." OK, so it wasn't a voice. It was the writing of my friend Jane over at Food and Fiction. She, as usual with topics of the culinary variety, was right. I do like radishes in any form, but cook them in that butter and they transform.

A couple of quick housekeeping notes before this lovely recipe (that I'm envisioning making again once the temperature dips below 90 in the house and I want to turn my stove on once more) - You'll notice below I've started to include a printable recipe. Simply click on the link below the name there and you'll be transported (Harry Potter style, yes, I'm a dork) to a printable copy of the recipe. Over time, I'll try to create such links for all of my recipes if you'd like to go back and print them out. I also realize I've been slacking on my commitment to bring you "The Lighter Side of Local" each Sunday or Monday. Life, as I know all of you understand, can be hectic. I promise it will return with a vengeance this week.

Bacon and Radish Spaghetti
(printable recipe)

Serves: 4 smaller portions, or 2 massive bowls of pasta

This is a simple weeknight recipe that is addictive. Read through the entire recipe to start, because for a quick meal, you have to multitask here. The final result, while easy to get to, is impressive.

1/2 pound dried spaghetti
6 slices of your favorite bacon
2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
1 cup sliced and then halved radishes
salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Get your water boiling for the pasta, and cook it according to directions, drain and set aside, keeping it warm. However, while that pasta is cooking, do the following:

In a large skillet, start cooking up your bacon. You want this bacon cooked until it's crispy enough to crumble, so it holds up in the pasta. Once it is that crispy, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, and set aside.

Now, while the bacon and the pasta are cooking (I like to multitask) take a large, deep skillet or saute pan, and melt two tablespoons of your butter in it. Add your sliced radishes to the pan, spreading them out so they touch the butter, and cooking surface.

Once the radishes begin to get a touch translucent, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and your red pepper flakes. Continue cooking them, until tender. (this takes about 8-10 minutes or so).

Finally, crumble your bacon over the radishes and stir to combine. Allow to cook about 2 minutes together, and add your pasta to the deep skillet. Toss everything until well-mixed. Add your final tablespoon of butter and toss with the pasta mixture. Cook together for 2-3 minutes and then serve immediately with lots of freshly-grated Parmesan cheese. Pin It

Friday, July 15, 2011

Charcutepalooza July: The Chicago Hot Dog

 I can still vividly remember days at my grandparents' pool. Picking raspberries off the bushes that surrounded it, splashing around with my cousins, trying to see who could come up with the most inventive leap off the diving board. I can also remember lunch. I remember the crinkle of wax paper bags, soaked with grease, out of which would emerge the Chicago Hot Dog.

My grandma and grandpa with my cousins as babies.

You see my grandparents, Norm and Bernice, they lived in a northwest suburb of Chicago. It's where I was born and lived until the ripe, old, age of four, before New England became my home. Even after we moved, we'd spent summers and holidays back in Illinois, surrounded by my aunts, uncles, and cousins. We'd all (both the Kleins and the Virzis) would end up eventually at Ma and Pa Klein's backyard pool in Arlington Heights. Just down the street from the house they lived in for decades was a place called Luke's. That's where the grease soaked bags would come from. They were filled to the brim with fries and a Chicago Dog.

The homemade hot dog

If you know hot dogs, you know what a Chicago Dog is. It's often referred to as being "dragged through the garden". What you see above, it's not a true Chicago hot dog because I grilled it (my preference). More often, they're steamed or boiled, topped with neon green relish, mustard, fresh tomatoes, sport peppers, chopped onions, a pickle, dash of celery salt, all on a poppy seed bun. It's how I remember the hot dog. Even now, when we go back to the Chicagoland area to visit family, a stop must be made at a hot dog joint (most often Portillo's) for a Chicago dog.

I survived stuffing the hot dogs.

So when hot dogs were among are choices for this month's Charcutepalooza challenge, I knew I had to pay homage to the hot dog of my youth. The hot dog is an emulsified sausage basically. It means that the fat and the meat combine in perfect harmony to fill a casing. In other words, unlike sausage, you're not going to see bits of fat or meat when you break the casing.

They behaved well on the grill

The version of Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman that I possess apparently is an earlier version. The recipe for hot dogs is based on using all beef short rib meat. I'm down with that. I love short ribs. Actual, quality hot dogs should be made of all-beef anyway. No mystery meat here, just beef and seasonings. I will say making an emulsified sausage is work. Grind through the meat not once, but twice, and then combine in a food processor to bring it all together at the end. Then you smoke these babies over, in my case, hickory chips. It's messy, it requires a lot of clean-up, but since it's been a few days since I did this, I'm looking back on it fondly. I even elected to make a batch of refrigerator pickles to go on this special dog.

Heck yeah! Emulsification!

 I don't know why I was shocked when I loaded up that hot dog and took a bite. It tasted not only like a hot dog, but the best hot dog I have ever eaten. Maybe it was the heart and soul that went into making it, but it was fabulous.

My grandparents, younger, at their daughter's wedding.

It brought me back to my grandparents' pool, the all-beef Vienna hot dogs, and summers as they once were. Grandma Klein has since passed on, I miss her every single day. I talk to her all of the time. Not long after Grandma passed away, my Grandpa started showing the signs of Alzheimer's. He has glimmers of recognition of all of us here and there. If you sit with him long enough, he'll show you a picture of Grandma, talking about her with a love not even death could conquer. He's healthy and he's happy. I love him. Food, even the most simple, can be the ultimate thread that weaves itself through our memories.

The Chicago Hot Dog

I have to give a nod to Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, Me. They raised the cows that gave me the beautiful short ribs. I'm not going to kid you. This process takes time and a lot of patience. It's worth it, I believe. I'd probably tackle it once a year in a large batch.

1 all-beef hot dog (extra points if it's homemade)
1 poppy-seed hot dog bun (I couldn't find those around here, but they're fabulous)
freshly-diced tomatoes
pickle relish
sport peppers
dash of celery salt
1 dill pickle spear Pin It

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Domenica Marchetti's Orecchiette with Rapini Saltati

My shelves are filled with cookbooks of all kinds. There are, however, a few that get taken down again and again to be thumbed through or splattered with food while in use in my kitchen. The sign of a well-loved cookbook is butter stains on the pages, I'm sure of it. In the past month, I have added one cookbook which will no doubt suffer the same fate.

Domenica Marchetti's "The Glorious Pasta of Italy" is everything you would want in an Italian cookbook. It covers the from-scratch pastas your grandmother would make, to meals you can make on a weeknight that taste like you spent hours toiling over your stove (but you didn't). Did I mention it's absolutely beautiful as well? It is seriously like flipping through a work of art that will have you drooling over every page. It also helps that I've had the pleasure of meeting Domenica, and she's sweet as pie (or maybe in this case, as pasta). If the love of pasta is in your bones, please consider picking this cookbook up. It will get your heart racing, promise.

So it was a Sunday evening in our home, a quiet one at that. I wanted an impressive meal, but I couldn't handle too much work. I knew I had some broccoli rabe in the fridge from the farmers' market, I also knew I didn't have much help. Domenica to the rescue. There's a whole section of her cookbook, "Pasta on the Run", that's dedicated for night's like these. I chose the "Orecchiette with Rapini Saltati" and got to work.

Orecchiette with Rapini Saltati
Source: Domenica Marchetti's "The Glorious Pasta of Italy"
Serves 4

Things I also love about this book. Domenica understands that a pounds of pasta, that serves four people. One half of my family is Italian, and growing up like that, you know that a pound of pasta serves four, not 6-8.

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 bunches rapini (broccoli rabe), about 3 pounds total weight, tough stalks tossed, and big leaves torn into pieces, all of it roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic, halved length wise
1 teaspoon kosher salt
pinch (I like a big pinch) of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine (please use one you'd actually drink)
1 pound dried orecchiette

Get a large pot of water to boiling on your stove, give it a good amount of salt.

While your water is boiling, take 1/4 a cup of your olive oil and place it in a deep frying pan (choose one with a cover). Now, take as much of your rapini as will fit, cover with some of the garlic halves, cover the pan, turn the heat to medium and let it wilt away. Once they shrink in size, add more greens and garlic, until all are used up.

Next, you want to sprinkle those greens with salt and red pepper flakes. Now, add the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil and, using tongs, toss until everything is well coated. Continue to cook until all your greens are slightly wilted. Now cover the pan, and cook another 5 minutes.

Take the cover off, and simmer the sauce over medium heat until the liquid evaporates and the greens are nice and tender. Pump the heat up to medium-high, add your wine, and simmer for several minutes until you see most of the wine has evaporated, and the liquid thickens up a bit. Turn the heat down and keep this mixture warm while you make your pasta.

Make your pasta according to the directions, but drain over a bowl so you can reserve at least a cup of the cooking liquid.

Add your pasta to the pan with the greens mixture/sauce and toss until everything is well combined. If you find the sauce too thick, use a little of the cooking water to loosen it up.

Serve immediately with plenty of Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Lighter Side of Local

We are getting into that part of the season where so many things are coming into abundance. That means, we're starting to seriously preserve what summer is giving to us. 

What I picked up for $11 at the farmers' market:
  • 1 pint raspberries (a special treat this early in the season here) - $4.50
  • 1 head lettuce - $3
  • 1 pint sugar snap peas - $3 
What I picked up at Russell Orchards in Ipswich, MA:
  • 3 pounds sweet cherries 
 What I preserved last week:
  • de-shelled (using the pods for soup) 1-pound of shelling peas for 1 cup of peas, simply frozen in a ziploc back, using a straw to get all the air out.
  • 1 cup corn from some early-season corn (enough for a side for us) we got for the 4th of July
  • canned 10 4-ounce jars of strawberry jam from the pick-your-own strawberries I got at the end of June at Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury, Ma.
  • freezing about a cup of chopped broccoli (simply spreading out on a parchment paper lined sheet after blanching/drying quickly, and then transferring to a ziploc bag)
 What I'm planning on preserving this week:
  • canning cherry-rhubarb jam
  • canning cherry-rhubarb-raspberry pie filling
  • freezing broccolini I picked up sometime last week
  • pickling some of the green beans and cherry tomatoes from our garden at the house.
So as you see, we're getting busy on putting stuff away for later in this season, early fall, and winter. The frozen veggies should last 3-4 months without any real problem. I'll be chronicling my canning adventures in more detail moving forward. 

Let's get some discussion going here, what are you finding at market? Are you preserving anything for the later months of the year? If so, what are you "putting up"?
  Pin It

Monday, July 4, 2011

Lemon & Strawberry-Grand Marnier Ice Cream Sandwiches

I caved and bought an ice cream maker. This is where this all started. I was dying to make fresh strawberry ice cream. It's been a favorite of mine since I've been a little kid. I argued with myself over the expense, over where the heck I was going to put yet another kitchen appliance. In the end, I blame the strawberries. They won. The lemon won too, and let's not forget about the Grand Marnier.

I promised you these ice cream sandwiches last Sunday, when I took you on a four-course strawberry dinner tour. This was how I capped off the entire dinner. They're fresh, not too sweets, with an adult twist, with a touch of tart. Don't get me wrong, this ice cream is amazing. I should know. I'm the one who probably won't fit into their jeans in about a week because I'm having a bowl of it every night. That being said, these Lemon Sugar Cookies are the stars. I can't take credit. They belong to the amazing couple over at Two Peas & Their Pod.

The cookies, well, they're beautiful. The scent of the dough makes you want to put your face into the bowl and never come back up for air. To me, these are the perfect lemon sugar cookie. These little sugary delights would be perfect wrapped up in a bow with a box of beautiful, but strong, tea. They're the right vessels for these ice cream sandwiches. They hold up to the ice cream well, but are chewy enough to give way with a good bite.

The ice cream can be made with or without Grand Marnier. If you want just the strawberry ice cream, just skip the addition of the liquor at the end. The best part about making your own ice cream? You can make it however the heck you want. You also know exactly what ingredients went into the finished product, and as you know, I'm huge on that. In this case, it's milk and cream from New Hampshire, and strawberries again from Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury, Ma.

Lemon & Strawberry-Grand Marnier Ice Cream Sandwiches
Yield: 18 ice cream sandwiches

Fresh Strawberry- Grand Marnier Ice Cream
Adapted from: Cuisinart

3 cups fresh ripe strawberries, stemmed and sliced
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 1/4 cup whole milk
2 3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (optional)

First, remember to put the freezer bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer the day before you do this. I tend to forget such things.

Take a small bowl, throw the strawberries in there and pour in your lemon juice and a half a cup of the sugar. Now stir gently, until all the strawberries are coated. Set that bowl aside to macerate for at least two hours. I left it in the fridge overnight. Now, when it's ready, strain the berries, reserve the juices and set it aside. You can now mash or puree half the berries. Now, let's look at the dairy products.

Take medium mixing bowl, pour your milk and the rest of your sugar in, and use a hand mixer (or you can use your stand mixer here) and mix until the sugar dissolves. Now stir in the heavy cream, that strawberry juice your reserved, the mashed strawberries, and, finally, the vanilla.

Pour the mixture into the freezer bowl of your ice cream machine and continue using the directions of your particular ice cream maker.

When there's about five minutes left of churning to go, add your Grand Marnier. Adding it earlier, could cause the mixture not to freeze. Transfer your ice cream to a freezer-safe and airtight bowl and store in the freezer until you're ready to enjoy.

Lemon Sugar Cookies
Yield: 3 dozen cookies
Recipe from: Two Peas and Their Pod

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of 2 large lemons
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar for rolling cookies

Preheat your oven 350 degrees.

Line two baking sheets with whatever you have on hand to do so - parchment paper (don't use wax, it burns in the oven) or silicone baking mats.

Now, whisk together your flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in some kind of mixing bowl.

After that's done, cream your butter and sugar together. I prefer doing this with my stand mixer, but you can do with a hand-mixer or with a whole lot of arm power. When it's done, it should be smooth and creamy.

Add lemon zest, egg, vanilla extract, and lemon juice to your creamed butter and sugar. Stir until everything is well incorporated. Then, gradually add in the flour mixture. Stir until you have your cookie dough.

Now, take rounded tablespoons-full of your dough, give them a roll so they're pretty little balls, and roll those babies in sugar. Place them on your baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart.

Bake 8-10 minutes until your cookies are golden around the edges and well set. Let them sit on the baking sheet, out of the oven, for 5 minutes, and then transfer them to a cooling rack.

To assemble Lemon & Strawberry-Grand Marnier Ice Cream Sandwiches

Take your ice cream out of the freezer and allow to sit about 5-8 minutes until it softens just a touch. Now take two cookies, and take a heaping scoop of your ice cream and place on top of one of the cookies. Top with another cookie and press down gently, making sure not to break the cookie, but to get the sandwich to a point where you can actually eat it. You can serve immediately or you can wrap each in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for later enjoyment.

The Lighter Side of Local

Things are starting to come in, in abundance, at local markets. I'm starting to pick up more than I can (almost) handle every week, but good golly, I try.

What I got this week for $12
2 heads of lettuce - $4
1 bunch broccolini - $3
1.25 shelling peas - $5

Preserving: Freezing Strawberries

Your preserving tip of the week is for strawberries. You can can whole berries in syrup or water, but frankly, they freeze better.

Wash and dry your berries. Take a baking sheet that will fit into your freezer, line with wax paper or parchment paper, place individual berries on your sheet so they're not touching each other. Put into the freezer for an hour or two until the berries are firm. Take the berries out, transfer to freezer bags or freezer-safe containers. Now, you can pick out, individually, how many you need for whatever you might make over the next few months. You can bake with these berries, make jam, you can make smoothies with them, it's probably the best way to hang on to them out of season. Pin It