Monday, August 29, 2011


Even now as I type, I can hear the satisfying "tink" noises of my salsa jars sealing. Yesterday I learned my Grandpa Kuzniar's secret salsa recipe, and now I have done something with it. We canned several jars yesterday and then canned several more today.

Here is a picture of the bubbling salsa "soup" prior to canning.
Yummy! It is very spicy and positively perfect to be dipped into with salty tortilla chips.

Must keep cooking...

Friday, August 26, 2011


Oy! It has been one busy month here on our less than an acre plot. The garden has been producing SO much food for us. Of course, it can't be eaten all at once, so that's where the "busy" part comes in. I've been canning lots of tomatoes, and have been freezing lots of broccoli, cauliflower, and beans.  Not to mention the amount of dry beans I've had to thresh out of their!  It is amazing just how much there is to do even on such a small plot of land!

As it happens, our neighbors have a pear tree that they are not picking from. Naturally, we asked if we could keep the pears for ourselves when they were ripe and they said "yes". Yesterday we picked about ten pounds of pears from the tree, and we plan to get a ladder and get the remaining, higher up pears on Sunday. From there I'll preserve them in a honey syrup.

Although "putting up" food for winter is a lot of work, it is definitely worth it. You can save so much money by just preserving your own fruits and vegetables! Of course, it does help if you grew the edibles yourself instead of buying them from the grocery store or from the farmer's market.

I'll try to write a "more fun" post soon...'til then, happy summer!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Homemade ginger ale and candied ginger

Upset stomach? Sweet tooth? Ginger fanatic? If you have or are any of those, then the following recipe is right for you!

Homemade ginger ale:
2 cups sucanat plus 1/4-1/2 cup reserved (I used my remaining white sugar, but using sucanat is better)
2 cups water
1 large piece of ginger (mine weighed about 6 oz before peeling) peeled and thinly sliced
Soda water or sparkling water
Combine sucanat and water in a saucepan over medium heat until sucanat has dissolved. Add sliced ginger and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn temperature down to medium low and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how gingery you would like your syrup. Once the consistency of the syrup has become thick and the ginger slices are tender, take the syrup off the heat and strain into a bowl to cool. 

The now-cooked ginger slices can be tossed in the remaining 1/4-1/2 cup of sucanat and then set aside to dry. Once dry, you have a tasty candied ginger treat to enjoy!
Once syrup has cooled, you may add 1-2 Tbsp to a glass and top with club soda or sparkling water. Stir and enjoy!