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eastside flea november 14th

26 Sep

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It’s happening…I’m finally taking the plunge and selling at the Eastside Flea this November!  Come see me on Saturday, November 14th from 10am-4pm and take a gander at my local preserves and handmade cards at this holiday market!

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I’ll be selling a variety of holiday designs, each card is hand cut, hand embossed, hand stamped and hand coloured.  They are shall we say…handsy?!?!

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And of course a few preserves, I’ve got organic garlic pickles and organic red pepper jelly on the roster with a few others that will be added to the mix.

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Along with the holiday cards, I’ll be featuring a few birthday and blank cards that are just as adorbs and vintagey as the rest of the lot.  I’m really excited to participate in this market and hope to see you all there!

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perfect pesto…

26 Sep

pesto5

Man I love this green goop!  So mega easy to whip up in a food processor and makes anything super tasty.  It’s my lazy go to when I’m making rice, pasta, chicken or veggie dish.

As long as you have some good quality basil, garlic and olive oil, you can make this batch lickity split and freeze the rest for a later date.

Here’s the recipe!

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lemon carnage scraps…5 more uses

30 Dec

lemon scraps theurbanpocketknife

 

After making  a batch of lemon curd, I decided to take the rest of my 4lbs of meyer lemons and put it to good use.  After all I had so much zest, juice and rinds left over!  I’m not a huge fan of marmalade because I think it’s too bitter so I found five other ways to make use of ALL the lemons, that’s right, nothing went in the garbage!

lemon scraps theurbanpocketknife

Look how gorgeous!  First I zested all but four of the lemons….I didn’t zest them super perfect but I had a whack load of zest, my hands smelled so lovely after.  I then juiced the zested ones, made some lemon curd and saved the rest.

lemon scraps theurbanpocketknife

The left over juice I combined about a cup and half of sugar to 2 1/2 cups of lemon juice to make a syrup  I figure I can use this to make refreshing fizzy drinks and use it to flavour icings, cakes and the like.  I cooked it down quite a bit to concentrate the flavours.

lemon scraps theurbanpocketknife

A long time ago I read that you could preserve whole lemons in just kosher salt, it’s a Moroccan thing.  Cut the lemons length wise about 3/4 down in a cross (like 4 wedges but all attached).   Cover open edges in about 1tbsp of kosher salt, smush ’em in the jar and cover the top with more salt.  The goal is to get them submerged all the time so some swishing is necessary on a daily basis.  When it’s good and preserved, you take the rind only and chop it up into rice and anything you want a nice lemony zing.  Can’t wait to try this!

lemon scraps theurbanpocketknife

Lemon zest in sugar and salt, this was probably the easiest!  Take the zest and mix it thoroughly with your sugar and salt, I just eyeballed it.  It’s a good idea to let the sugar dry out, so spread it out on a cookie sheet and let it dry until it doesn’t clump anymore before you store it.  The salt takes much less time to dry out.  Use it in baking, cooking, whatevs…it adds a nice bright flavour to whatever you’re making!

lemon scraps theurbanpocketknife

Lemon scraps dunked in a vat of white vinegar.  I’m not sure if this is going to just turn into a mega tasty lemon vinegar or if I’ll just end up using it as a natural cleaner.  Either way, I’ll give it a taste in a month or so and see what the flavour is like, otherwise it’s destined to be my Mr. Clean.

I’m a little bit in love that I got so many uses out of these lemons!

 

 

cinnamon applesauce, apple chutney and spiced apple butter…

17 Dec

preserving apples theurbnanpocketknife

 

What do you do with 30 lbs of organic apples?  Put them in jars obvi.  Seems like I can’t curb the excessive canning hobby so three recipes came out of this box, spiced apple butter, cinnamon applesauce and apple chutney.

apple butter theurbanpocketknife

If you’ve got to process a ton of apples, this old-timey slicer/peeler/corer is completely essential!  After a fun lesson on how to tell the difference between apple varieties, one of my fav friends took on the task of filling my 4.5 qt crockpot full of apples.  We used a mixture of mutsus, galas and spartans, avoid hard apples as they won’t cook down as nice.  I love when people help me with my madness!  Turn the crockpot to low and basically leave it for 12-16 hours.  After your house is filled with apple goodness, use an immersion blender to make it very smooth.  I had some impromptu guests stop by for tea and was glad my house smelled so delicious!

Add about 2 cups of sugar, juice of one lemon, zest of one lemon, 1-2 tsp all-spice, 1-2 tsp of cinnamon and reduce the whole shabang until the apple butter reaches about halfway in the crockpot.  As you can tell, everything is loosey goosey, taste and adjust spices and sugar to your liking.  Follow the hot water bath method as usual, process for 10 minutes.

What the heck do you use apple butter for?  It’s this uber concentrated caramelized apple flavour packed full of spices and zesty lemon.  Put it on toast.  Stir it in yogurt.  Throw it into muffins.  Use it instead of icing in cakes.

organic cinnamon applesauce theurbanpocketknife

My go to “I’m too lazy” food, open a jar of cinnamon applesauce and voila, instant snack satisfaction!  I like applesauce that is a bit chunky so has a nice texture, plus I’m not an infant so I don’t need a puree.  My rule of thumb is to use a mix of soft and hard apple varieties, the softer ones will cook down into mush and the harder ones will provide chunky bits.  The most important tip is to use apples that are awesome, juicy, flavourful and sweet, forget using just granny smiths and then adding sugar to make it less tangy.  I used a mix of mutsus, galas, spartans and fujis.  10lbs made about 8 pint jars for me.

Throw all your peeled, cored, and chopped/sliced apples into a big pot and add a cup of water.  Heat on high and cook until soft.  Use an immersion blender to break it down as far as you like, ultra smooth to chunky.  Add 2 tsp of cinnamon (or to taste) and can using the hot water bath method.  No added sugar needed if you picked the right apples.  Process for 15 minutes.

apple chutney theurbanpocketknife

When this apple chutney is in my cupboard, I can’t eat pork or lamb chops without it!  It’s a mixture of spicy, sweet, and tangy and it is quite potent so a little goes a long way.  It’s pretty amazing on a cheese platter as well and goes great with Indian food.

Throw all the ingredients in a big pot and cook it down until it’s the consistency you like.  Use the hot water bath method and process for 15 minutes.

Ingredients:
4 cups chopped/peeled hard apples
1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup chopped sweet peppers
3/4 lb golden raisins
1 cup minced garlic
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups white vinegar
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp kosher salt

Done with apples for yet another year…now it’s time to dig into those canned summer peaches to chase away the cold and drizzle.

 

case ‘o bananas, it’s banana butter time…

21 Jan

organic banana butter

Once upon a time there was a box of slightly unperfect organic bananas that a grocery outlet was just GIVING AWAY.  Ok, so really they were giving it away to their staff, but seriously what does one do with a whole case of bananas?

Plan of attack was to cut a bunch for freezing and to make banana butter, whatever the hell that is.

organic banana butter

I gotta say, out of all the fruit I have preserved, bananas are probably one of the easiest for prep.  Look at these babies!  Most of them were unscathed underneath their slightly browned peel.

organic banana butter

So long banana peels, off to the compost heap you go.

organic banana butter

Like any fruit butter, banana butter is just uber cooked down mashed bananas so you end up with a thick crazy concentrated version of the puree.  I added a touch of sugar and a whack of lime juice to brighten up the flavour a bit.  In they all went into my crock pot for a good 12 hours.  It did darken to a slight pinkish colour from oxidation but this stuff is mega pow in your mouth.  The consistency does not allow for canning but I jarred it up and threw it in my freezer.

I gotta say, if you use this in any recipe, it will be EXTRA banana-y, I’ve made a whoopie pie filling and cupcakes with it and the flavour is way more intense then using fresh bananas.

Banana Mission Done.

organic apple chips

3 Jan

organic apple chips urbanpocketknife

Since apple are practically the only fruit you can get now that is local, we stock up on them at this time until we’re blue in the face!  Dried apples that are leathery are just plain gross, I hate it when you get them in dried trail mixes.  The only way to go is to slice ’em up and put them in the dehydrator until there is absolutely no moisture left…no spongy apple nuggets here!

You can choose any apple your heart desires, tart ones make a nice tangy chip and sweet ones make it taste like candy!

Some people dose the sliced apples with lemon juice to preserve the colour and avoid oxidation, I don’t really mind that they turn slightly yellow so I don’t bother.  Fun fact!  Ambrosias oxidize the least out of all apple varieties so they’re perfect for apple chipping AND salads.

Cut the apples to about 1/8-1/4 inch, lay em on the trays and dry!  This is one of our fav snacks in the winter!

organic apple chips urbanpocketknife

minced organic red russian garlic for the year!

28 Dec

minced garlic urbanpocketknife

Ah yes..it’s the annual minced garlic festival in the kitchen.  Last year Klippers gave me a whole whack of red russian garlic seconds to take home and process.  Each bulb had only one or two cloves that were still good and I had to peel them all by hand.  I also didn’t have a food processor last time so I minced it all by hand…seriously I’m retarded.

This year I smartened up and got myself a mini food processor!  My friend and farmhand of the farm brought me seconds again this year and they were already sorted!  A huge bag of red russian garlic cloves that I just had to peel.

minced garlic urbanpocketknife

Here it goes!  Lots of pulsing and scraping but way faster then mincing by hand!  I drench the minced garlic in olive oil to prevent it from oxidizing.  My mom used to do this with whole cloves and would just fish it out of the fridge whenever she needed it.  I used minced way more so I decided to save myself some time in the future.

I store them in mason jars, keep one in the fridge and freeze the rest.  It’s so handy and way better then the store bought ones that add citric acid.  Plus red russian garlic is potent stuff, one clove equals 4 of the regular kind.