Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Red Onion Relish- simmered in red wine and delicious!

This has been a family favourite for years!  And now I can pick my onions right from the garden.  I have used this relish to flavour gravies, added it to soups, garnished dishes, stuffed it into beets... Absolutely versatile and crazy delicious.  A great addition to the charcuterie tray, right next to the brie.

I have tripled this recipe mainly because I love it and a bottle of wine provided three cups.  Beware, it will take much longer to thicken, at a low simmer.

Makes approximately 3 - 250 ml jars

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Grand maman's Ketchup aux Fruits - continuing the French Canadian tradition

This ketchup evokes wonderful memories of traditional Christmas dinners and my mom's ketchup aux fruits.  It's a tradition worth continuing and I am happy to keep making it every fall.

You'll need all the fall favourites: tomatoes, peaches, pears etc.  It's easy to make and always a popular Christmas hostess gift.  


To make approximately 14 500ml jars.

Maple Bourbon Jelly

 A happy preserve made with Maple bourbon- very special.

Using the apple pectin stock made with local apples in the canner steamer (instructions also included for the stove top method), we moved on to make our own jellies.  

The maple bourbon we added to the jelly smelled, and tasted, devine.  I am looking forward to sharing this jelly with friends and family!

To make approximately five 250 ml jars. 

Heat and Sweet Habanero Jelly

 My 2020 garden blessed me with great amounts of hot peppers.  This jelly is delicious and different.  It is based on a recipe from Cathy Barrow, the author of Mrs Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry.  This is fast becoming a go to preserving book for traditional, and not so traditional, delicious preserves.  There are a few different ingredients in this jelly: honey, dried apricots and dried cranberries.  They mellow the heat of the habaneros and the cranberries add a ruby colour.

This is the version with dried apricots and dried cranberries.  We also made a version without the cranberries.

There’s a lot of mincing/dicing. I like to use the dicing attachment for my KitchenAid mixer, but you can also use your food processor to blitz everything until it’s minced up tiny but NOT liquified. Use gloves when handling the peppers or you risk burning eyes, lips, fingers from the oils in the peppers.

These make perfect hostess gifts- you can also use 125 ml jars for gifting.

Makes about six 250 ml jars

Grape Jelly

My excuse (does anyone need an excuse?) for making this jelly is that the grapes were on sale.  Can't help but pickup a couple of boxes for grape jelly making.  Delicious!

Jelly making is so easy with a steamer juicer - no more picking off stems - and a steamer canner - no more huge pots of boiling water. I love my toys and my jellies!

Makes approximately six 500ml jars

Apple Pectin from scratch - a blank canvas- get creative!

Barb and Don are fortunate owners of a small apple orchard.  What to do with all those apples?  Well, how about pectin, for making jelly?  Take about ten pounds of not so ripe apples, wash and clean them then stash them on the top of a steam juice.  Couldn't be simpler!  In a few hours, you have eight cups of beautiful, clear apple pectin stock, ready to make jelly.  Our inspiration came from Saving the Season by Kevin West.

This recipe makes about five 250ml jars

Siempre Tequila Marguerita Jelly

I love Siempre Tequila- full disclosure- my son is co-founder and co-owner of Siempre Tequila. He and his partner put a lot of love and time into nurturing their award winning top shelf brand.

Using the apple pectin stock made with local apples in the canner steamer (instructions included for the stove top method), we moved on to make our own jellies.  

The tequila and lime we added to the jelly smelled, and tasted, wonderful.  I added the salt to mimic the salty rim of the margarita glass- taste your jelly before canning to determine if, and how much, salt you would like to add, or omit.  I am looking forward to sharing this jelly with friends and family!

Fun note- we used real limes for the juice and the zest. If you throw in the lime shells, they will add more pectin to the mix and become deliciously candied.  Fish them out of the jelly before putting into jars and enjoy the "candy."

Those are lime rinds floating around in the jelly

To make approximately five 250 ml jars.

2021 plan: sold out- 10

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Salsa Verde with tomatillos

In 2020, my garden blessed me with a bounty of tomatillos.  Beautiful, big ones!  **You can substitute green tomatoes for the tomatillos.

When you pull the husk back on the tomatillos, they look like small, green tomatoes and are covered by a sticky substance. Just husk and wash, they are ready for chopping and cooking. 

This salsa is terrific as a dipping sauce, and can also be used in chile verde or green posole.

To make approximately three 500ml jars 


4 lbs             tomatillos, husked, washed, and finely chopped 

1 cup            finely chopped onion (about 1 medium onion) 

3 to 4            jalapeño peppers, minced (seeds removed for a milder salsa) 

8 cloves        garlic, minced 

1 tbsp           ground cumin 

2 tsp            sea salt 

½ cup          bottled lime juice 

¼ cup          minced fresh cilantro (I add it just before serving)


The KitchenAid dicer makes quick work of dicing the vegetables.  Combine the tomatillos, onion, jalapeños, and garlic in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add the cumin, sea salt, lime juice, and cilantro. 

If you prefer a smoother salsa, you can use an immersion blender to break down some of the salsa at this time. Cook for an additional 10 minutes. 

Taste the salsa and add more salt, cumin, or lime juice if necessary. Ladle the hot salsa into the prepared jars, leaving ½ inch of headspace. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. When the processing time is up, remove the canning pot from the heat and remove the lid. Let the jars sit in the pot for an additional 5 minutes. This helps to prevent the salsa from reacting to the rapid temperature change and bubbling out of the jars.

Roasted Salsa Verde (with green tomatoes)

 This salsa is traditionally made with tomatillos but it can also be made with green tomatoes.  We are now in September and I am staring at a bounty of green tomatoes- perfect!

It is equally delicious served with tortilla chips, topping tacos or simmering chicken enchiladas... The roasting adds another level of flavour.

This recipe is based on one from the Ball Book of Canning.

Makes approximately four 500ml jars.

Jalapeno (mostly) Bread and Butter Pickles

 My 2020 garden is bursting with hot peppers!  What to do with the bounty?  Everyone loves bread & butter pickles - why not make some with jalapeños, mostly, with a few other peppers thrown in: poblano, serrano, etc.  Looking forward to topping tacos and burgers or on the side of roasts...  on a charcuterie plate.

I let them sit in the jar for a few weeks before trying them, to allow the heat to mellow and the flavours to meld.  Would you like them milder?  Place them at the back of the fridge for another month and then taste...

If you are new to pickling with hot peppers, it is highly recommended that you wear plastic gloves when cutting and seeding the peppers.  Don't touch your eyes or your lips or they will burn. I know because I tend to forget the gloves :-)

To make approximately three 500ml jars