Thursday, December 15, 2011

learning to give

It's a busy time for our almost 6 year old. There are parties and concerts and cookies and visits to a jolly elf. Today was a chock a block day for our boy. We had notices home yesterday about all the goings on and what would be required so we sent our lad off today with money in hand, dressed in pajamas, clutching a carry bag and his hot chocolate mug. For today was Santa's workshop at his school. I didn't really understand the concept until today - a few weeks ago we were asked to donate things that could be used as gifts, with the proviso that you wouldn't mind getting it back yourself as a gift. And if you had extra, please to donate wrapping paper, tape, ribbon, etc. It is a fundraiser for the school's sister school, for books and teachers, etc. The children go to Santa's workshop, where items are laid out in tables - gifts for Mom, gifts for Dad and gifts for brothers and sisters, old and young. The children each buy an item for mom and dad and any siblings for the price of $2 per item. The process starts with the K classes and they are helped with the wrapping of the gifts by their school buddies (Grade 6/7 students who are with them all year for concerts and special events). Afterwards they got to exchange handmade cards with their buddies and have hot chocolate and treats with them (hence the need for the mug). The pajamas were just as it was deemed to be Pajama Day at school.

After swimming, we picked up our boy and his presents for us, all wrapped.

My man's was a huge bag and barely 15 seconds after our boy was with his Dad he told him, "I got you a pirate ship". Getting into the car, holding a birdhouse shaped package, our boy told me "I got you a house for small animals, Mummy." Once we arrived home, our boy wanted us to open our gifts. We tried to talk him out of it, to save them for Christmas but it was fruitless. So my husband went first. Based on the size of the bag and the "pirate ship" description we both thought it was going to be some kind of toy pirate ship. But it wasn't. It was a model of the HMS Endeavour, complete with stand, rigging, anchor, etc. Wow.

My present, not surprisingly, is a birdhouse. Rustic but perfect for our garden.

He did well, our boy. And he loved choosing gifts for us and having us open them. Now, if we can just get him to wait until Christmas.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

a bit sticky

Have you seen the cover of the December issue of Bon Appetit? I have that cookie fest issue and after having baked a few dozen of our favourite cookies the other day, I was left with 4 medium egg whites. And a requirement to bake gluten-free (preferably) cookies for a Kindergarden Christmas party. So I thought I would whip up some of these peppermint meringues.

The mixing was easy. It was the piping that was my downfall. I even bought a piping bag and tip so it would be easier. I should have stayed with the Ziploc bag method. But I did learn a few things in this experiment. I learned that I need a BIG piping bag, not the tiny one I was trying to work with. And meringue in its uncooked state is sticky.

the first ones worked well

the second sheet was a bit messy and I had bits all over the place
I could say I was distracted by the construction of a warship and helicopter nearby but that isn't really the case.

But all is not for naught. I did end up with 3 trays of blobbish pink meringue dots. The early ones (when the piping bag thing was going well) are stripey.

The end ones are uniformly pink and may have to be drizzled with chocolate to tone down the Barbie effect.

It remains to be seen how well Kindergardeners like them. And how well meringue washes out of wool sweaters. (note - Kindergardeners loved these cookies. )

Sunday, December 4, 2011

'tis the season

The boy bounced out of bed this morning and wanted immediately to put up his "transformer" tree. So once I had opened my eyes and become vertical, I made my way to the (very cold) garage and rummaged around on the top shelf until I found said tree. Into the house it came and the boy did a Tigger bouncing impression until I untied the string and shook out the branches. So far, it is devoid of decorations except for a large, red, felt star atop it as I haven't found the rest of the tree decorations. I did find wreaths and stockings and door hangers - all of which are now dotted around the house. And the two advent calenders are up and the new one is a big hit, containing as it does, small pockets for daily treats.

At 10 AM, the boy bounced again, this time to announce it was time to go and see Santa. So we got dressed and organized and off we went to my work Kid's Christmas party. As our boy's been going since he was a baby, he knows the drill. His shoes were off almost before he made it into the party room and he was inside the bouncy castle. Once he'd bounced around there for a bit, it was time to zoom off to decorate his gingerbread man. I managed to get him in the face painting line where he was adorned with a truck and a tree prior to his eating his gingerbread. And then it was back to the bouncy castle. Occasionally he would run back to me and have a sip of apple juice or a nibble but then would race off again. Then it was time for Santa - the kids all lined up and sang Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and in came Santa. Our boy was terribly excited and waited fairly patiently for his turn with his list and Santa's gift in hand. He told me a couple of days ago that he wanted to bring Santa a present and he decided that Santa's present was 4 chocolate chip cookies ( bar cookies I made the other night from here). Santa received the cookies with delight - saying chocolate chip are his favorite - and our boy and Santa had a chat about listening to mummy and daddy and having a good Christmas and then it was present time. Our boy was the lucky recipient of a Bumblebee transformer and he and a new pal spent quite a bit of time playing with both the car versions and the robot versions before it was time to come home.

So I guess it is time for me to kick start myself into the season. Cookie baking, present wrapping, cards and parties. I do love it all, I just have to pace myself. And on that note, to all a good night!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

i've been delayed

I have been baking and cooking and crafting - I promise. But as our household has been somewhat poorly over the last couple of weeks - first the boy's bout with fever and cold which I tried to avoid but ended up with strep throat this week - so days of fever, headache and aching throat. It got me out of an hour in a cold, drenching rain on the soccer pitch but not much else in between my rounds of napping on the sofa under the duvet. I have plans - but for now they are on hold. I wanted to bake these cookies and these cookies as well. The guys are eating store bought chocolate wafers which they probably like just as much.

I've nearly finished the boy's advent calendar, (here in an earlier stage)

just needs some hanger tabs and it will be done - can I finish before Thursday? And occassionally I pick up my knitting needles to knit the boy a sweater - I finished one last week (in between illnesses) and it kept him snuggly during a stormy day this week.

So now I will retire to my "feeling poorly" spot on the sofa, pick out my felt pieces for the calendar and watch Lego car races.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

catching up

Sorry to have been away from here for so long. I've been cooking and crafting and general mum/work/life stuff.
 a sunny day on the soccer field
But not writing here. And I've missed it. And I have so much to catch up on.

Did you all have a wonderful Hallowe'en? Ours was fairly low key.  A couple of weeks prior to Hallowe'en our town had a pumpkin fest.

I entered the fares and wares competition with a couple of things - pickles and chutney and won a 2nd place ribbon for my peach chutney. The boy had fun looking at all the amazing carved pumpkins in that competition and eating chocolate ghouls.

My man isn't really into celebrating things like Hallowe'en but with a Kindergardener in the house we still had to do some decorating.I managed to make a paper skeleton with help from here. The boy got a pair of spooky glasses from his Auntie and wore them after swimming to scare people at the swimming pool.

And we carved a couple of pumpkins. Our boy visited a very muddy and wet pumpkin patch with his class and then carved a pumpkin at school which made a trio of jack'o'lanterns outside our front door. And our boy decided to go trick or treating as a tiger shark this year - so I got out his great white shark costume from last year, fixed a new tail on it, painted stripes on the back and head and changed the red gills for white gills and hey presto - a tiger shark costume.

And I made a batch of pear muffins from a recipe from tea and cookies. They are yummy and a lovely, portable snack for little goblin hands.

Pear Muffins (adapted from Tea and Cookies)
2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/4 cup spelt four
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup pear apple sauce
4 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/2 c plain yogurt
3/4 cup agave
1 apple, peeled, cored, and cut into a small dice
1/2 c dried cranberries
1/2 c chocolate chips
Preheat over to 375°. Mix all the dry ingredients together (baking powder and soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, spelt flour and oats). Stir to blend and make a well in the middle.

Lightly beat the egg whites until they are foamy and hold a bit of their shape.

Add the yogurt, pear puree, and agave to the bowl with the flour mixture and sir to combine. Add the egg whites and gently fold into the batter. Add the diced pear, dried cranberries and chocolate chips. Mix briefly to incorporate.
Spoon the batter into greased muffin tins. Top each muffin with a few slices of pear. Bake for 25-30 minutes. The tops of the muffins will brown slightly, but the insides will remain moist.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

veggie drawer chowder

We spent a few days away on the Oregon coast

for some sun, drenching rain, fog, mist and much digging on the beach.

After a few days away, our first day at home showed where our interests lie. My husband scooted off to work for a few hours, my son dug out his Lego box and started building new trucks and I went to my kitchen. I whipped up a batch of strawberry hazelnut crumb bars

and then, as it was chilly and damp I thought I would make some soup. I was inspired by a curried fish chowder I'd had while away. I unearthed the remainders of the vegetables from the fridge drawer and went to work. It turned out well so here is the recipe.

Veggie Drawer Chowder
3 organic carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
1 rib of celery, peeled and chopped
2 leeks, halved and chopped
3 slices of deli ham, thinly sliced (optional)
a handful of small purple potatoes, chopped
~ 1 c frozen corn
2 c vegetable broth
~ 1 c cream
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp garam masala
salt and pepper
dash of cayenne

In a stockpot or saucepan, melt a large knob of butter and add the carrots, onion, celery, leeks and ham if using. Saute the vegetables until they reduce down and are slightly tender. Add the potatoes and corn and stir well, cooking for about 5 minutes. Add the broth and cream and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the seasonings and taste, adjusting to taste. Thin the chowder with milk if it is too thick. Serve hot.

Monday, October 10, 2011

happy thanksgiving

Today is officially Canadian Thanksgiving. But to accomodate work schedules, etc we had our dinner yesterday. I chose to do Nigella's ginger glazed ham (from the Christmas book) as I've made it several times and it is a favorite with our family. To go along side I created a potato dish that was completely inspired by a menu item (which I didn't have) at a dinner with friends in Seattle on Friday night - potato, mushroom, leek and goat cheese gratin. Also I roasted some lovely market organic carrots,

vegetables waiting to be roasted

made spinach gunge and roasted a butternut squash. The original intention for the squash was just some cubes for the salad course - to go with market greens, thin pear slices, chopped pistachios and a tuscan style balsamic vinegrette.

salad ingredients
And I did that and it was lovely. But then I was scrolling through some blogs yesterday afternoon and came across this over at Sprouted Kitchen which sounded intriguing so I modified it a bit, using this recipe as inspiration as well and created a roasted squash with breadcrumbs dish that was delicious. For dessert there was plainjane apple pie

this week's plainjane apple pie (it browned too well!)
and a pumpkin pie I bought at the market.

Potato, Mushroom, Leek, Goat Cheese Gratin
6 small organic potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into 1/4" slices
3 small organic leeks, halved, washed and sliced into 1/4" slices
2 big handfuls of organic cremini mushrooms, sliced
a knob of butter
1 garlic clove, minced
3 stems oregano, leaves stripped off and chopped
1 cup mild goat cheese, grated
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Melt the butter in a saute pan until melted, add the mushrooms. Saute the mushrooms until brown, add the garlic and a third of the oregano and stir. Set aside.
Into a greased baking dish, layer 2 of the potatoes to cover the bottom of the dish. Layer evenly with half of the mushrooms and then half the leeks. Season with salt and pepper and half of the remaining oregano. Cover with a sprinkling of goat cheese. Repeat. Add the last layer of potato, season with salt and pepper. Pour cream over the potatoes (~ 1 c of cream) and sprinkle the last of the goat cheese over the top. Bake for an hour or more until the top is golden brown and the potatoes are fork tender.

Butternut Squash Gratin (inspired by Sprouted Kitchen and 101cookbooks)
Roast a butternut squash in a 350 deg F oven for about 45 minutes until soft and starting to char slightly.
Remove from the oven and let cool. Cut in half and remove the skin, seeds and stingy bits. Dice the remaining flesh into small cubes. To the bowl of a food processor add ~ 1 1/2 c of coarse breadcrumbs, 1 clove minced garlic, 4 sprigs of oregano leaves, a pinch of cayenne. Pulse this until combined. In a saucepan add  about 2 tbsp of butter and heat until slightly nutty brown. Add the breadcrumbs and toast, mixing well.
To a greased baking dish, add half of the diced squash and cover with about half of the breadcrumbs, adding a handful of grated parmesan to the crumbs before adding. Cover with the remaining squash and then the remaining breadcrumbs. Bake in a 350 deg F oven for 15-20 minutes until hot and golden brown.

butternut squash gratin waiting to be baked

Thursday, October 6, 2011

variation on a theme

After writing about summer squash casserole, I came up with a variation for cauliflower that I bought in abundance last week. We harvested lots of purple potatoes from the garden last weekend and I thought the colour combination of white cauliflower with purple potatoes would be interesting. I made a pesto-ish sauce using arugula from the garden as well. I was quite pleased with the results.

Cauliflower Potato Gratin (inspired by 101cookbooks)
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
8 small purple potatoes, sliced thinly
1/2 c arugula
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c butter
2 c whole wheat bread crumbs
3/4 c gruyere cheese, grated

Make the arugula pesto by adding the arugula to a food processor and whizzing until broken up into tiny pieces. Add the garlic and salt and whiz to blend. Slowly drizzle the olive oil in until incorporated and a pesto consistency is reached. Set aside. In a saucepan, melt the butter until browned and bubbly. Add the breadcrumbs and toast in the butter until brown.

Add the cauliflower and the potato to a greased 9x13 baking dish. Pour the pesto over the top and mix well

until all the potato and cauliflower have a pesto coating. Add half the breadcrumbs and mix. Add the cheese and mix. Pour the rest of the breadcrumbs over the top. Bake for 40-50 minutes until the vegetables are cooked.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

inspired by moussaka

My local fruit stand featured eggplant this summer. So once a week or so, I would pick up a couple of eggplant, and some red peppers and make a dish I came up with based on a moussaka recipe I have. It isn't quite as time consuming as moussaka and doesn't have tomatoes in it (which works for my man) and is delicious. We have eaten it quite a few times.

Eggplant Pepper Casserole
2 eggplants, sliced or diced
2 pepper, sliced or diced
5-6 small to medium new potatoes, sliced or diced
1/2 medium onion, sliced (optional)
1 lb mild italian sausage (optional)

2 tbsp olive oil
25 g butter
60 g flour
400 ml milk
1 egg
60 g feta cheese, crumbled
60 g grated parmesan cheese

Slice or dice the eggplant, peppers and potatoes

(alternatively the potatoes can be sliced, boiled and layered at the bottom of the casserole, with the other vegetables and sausage layered over top), add onion if using, and roast, in a pan, in a hot oven ( 375 deg F) for about 20 minutes. Break up the sausage meat and add to the vegetables and cook another 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and milk and whisk to form a sauce. Once the sauce is free of lumps, season with salt and pepper and let heat until the sauce bubbles. Turn down the heat and let cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for a couple of minutes. Beat in the egg and add the cheese and stir until blended.

Pour the sauce over the vegetable and meat mixture, in as even a layer as you can manage. Bake this for 40 or so minutes until golden brown. Serve.

Monday, October 3, 2011

another market competition

Today was Sunday, the first Sunday of the month which means the market was having another cooking competition. Todays was best pie. I decided to make an apple pie from here. I wanted to submit something that featured market fare and since I buy organic apples at the market this seemed a great start. I loved that it was just apples ( and some dough, butter and a touch of sugar). I didn't think it would win because it was so plain and I was right. The good news is that the winner, another apple pie, was made by someone new to the competition which would be encouraging to them and as I came a close second, I still got some bootle which is good for me. I do the competitions because I'm competitive, I love the market and want to support it and I love the challenge of finding recipes that will showcase market fare. The market organizer told me that my pie had several staunch supporters so I'll pass the recipe along. It's simple but charming all on its own.

Apple Pie (from Heirloom Apple Pie in Organic Gardening Magazine)

1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 c wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
12 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp cider vinegar
5-6 tbsp cold water

Mix the flours, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and process until the butter is in small pieces through the flour. In a small bowl combine the egg yolk, vinegar and 4 tbsp of water. Add to the dough and process briefly. Add more water, by tbsp until the dough just holds together. Combine into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Makes enough for 2 pies.

half of the dough from above
5 small gala apples, cored, peeled and sliced into 1/8 " slices
1 1/2 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 deg F. Roll out the dough into a 12" diameter circle. Place on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Layer on the apples leaving a 1" rim on the outside. Once the apples are placed, fold the pastry over the edges, pleating the dough to fit. Brush the melted butter over the dough and apples, then sprinkle the sugar over the apples. Bake for 40-50 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the apples are tender.

Note: I baked the pie for quite a bit longer than the specified 40 minutes - after 40 minutes at the top of my oven, the pastry was still pale. So I cooked it for another 5 minutes, and another, and another. In the end I must have baked it for another 30 minutes and it was still pale. So I popped it under the broiler for a couple of minutes to brown.
Here is a shot of my winnings today - a bunch of swiss chard (not pictured), radishes, 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper, 1 jar salsa, 1 pair of earrings, 1 small ceramic planter, 1 vanilla cupcake with sprinkles, 3 chocolate cookies, apples. a small chocolate truffle, a tube of candy and a bag of quinoa pilaf mix.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

more pickles

When I received 6 pickling cucumbers and banana peppers in a market basket at the beginning of September I thought I would make pickes with both. Because of the number of cucumbers, I decided to try bread and butter pickles and found this recipe. For the banana peppers, I tried this recipe.

Bread and Butter Pickles (adapted from here)
~ 1 lb pickling cucumbers
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp pickling salt
1 c apple cider vinegar
1 c sugar
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1/2 tsp tumeric

Slice the cucumbers and onions very thin and layer in a bowl with the salt. Nearly cover with ice cold water and set aside in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.

Drain, rinse well and drain again. Prepare canning jars.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. As soon as it boils, add the cucumber mix and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and spoon into the prepared jars allowing for 3/4-1" headspace. Pour the liquid over evenly distributing the seeds. Cap and process in a water bath for 10 minutes. Makes 1 + pints.

Sweet Banana Pepper Pickles (from here)
1/2 lb banana peppers, seede and sliced into rings
2 c. white vinegar
2/3 c white sugar
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp celery seeds

Prepare jars. Bring brine ingredients to a boil. Place the peppers in the jars. Pour the hot pickling juice into the jars up to 1/2" of the top. Clean the jar top and cap. Process for 15 minutes in a canning water bath.

sweet banana pepper pickles (and applesauce)

peach crumb bars

I had just finished canning a huge box of peaches a couple of weekends ago and I came across this recipe.

So I had to run out to the fruit stand and buy more peaches. But it was a couple of days between getting the peaches and making the bars and when I looked in the fruit bowl, a couple of the peaches had been eaten. What to do? Well, a couple of the remaining peaches were huge and I found some strawberries lingering from the last box we got from the fruit stand so I mixed the 2 together for this recipe.

Peach Strawberry Hazelnut Crumb Bars (adapted from Cooking Canuck)
3 large peaches, pitted and diced
a couple of handfuls of strawberries, hulled and quartered
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 c sugar
4 tsp tapioca starch (I didn't have any corn starch)

1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
3 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 c butter, cut into pieces
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 c chopped hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 375 deg F. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray.

Cut the peaches into a chunky dice. Add the quartered strawberries, lemon juice, sugar and starch. Mix together and set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Pulse until blended. Add the butter and pulse until blended and crumbly. Add the egg and hazelnuts and pulse until blended. Pour half into the baking dish and press together into a crust. Pour the fruit over the base and even out. Pour the rest of the crumb mixture over the top and spread as evenly as possible. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until light brown. Place on a rack to cool, refrigerate until firm and cut into bars.

Monday, September 26, 2011

by default

I'm a bit embarrased by the market riches that adorned my counter a few weeks ago.

I've written before about our farmer's market cooking competitions - this year I've participated in all of them. I did a rhubarb crumb cake for Best Cake (didn't win), Zucchini Loaf for Best Sweet Loaf (won), Banana Oatmeal Macaroons for Best Cookie (won) and a couple of weeks ago I took Summer Squash Casserole for the Best Casserole contest. I won by default as there were no other entrants. But the dish was well received. The leftovers were being guarded by the market organizer for her afternoon snack. I did get my dish towel back that I'd wrapped the casserole in to keep it warm as I dropped it off early in order to get my eggs (they sell out early in good weather - come the rain and eggs are available into the afternoon).

I'd been trying to come up with a recipe to submit for this contest and finally settled on this one after made it from the squash in my last winning market basket a few weeks prior. I found the recipe on Heidi's 101cookbooks and it is delicious. And I loved that it featured things that I routinely get from the market (cheese, parsley) and from my garden (zucchini, oregano) and my own pantry (bread). I was given a huge zucchini from a co-worker a few days before the contest and that sealed the deal.

The boy was covered in a mystery rash that morning and I was going to take him to the clinic once it opened but by the time we headed that way, the rash was getting better and the boy was vociferous in his desire to not see the doctor.

In my winning basket I received tomatoes, beets, zucchini (ironic!), eggplant, banana peppers, garlic, cherry tomatoes, a large hydrangea, strawberry preserves, pineapple salsa, a gorgeous orchid fridge magnet, two huge cinnamon buns, some coconut snack bites and a bunch of pickling cucumbers.

Summer Squash Casserole (adapted from 101cookbooks)
zest of one lemon
1 1/2 pounds summer squash or zucchini, cut into 1/6th-inch slices
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups fresh whole bread crumbs
1/2 pound waxy potatoes, sliced transparently thin
3/4 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese, grated on a box grater

Preheat oven to 400F degrees and place a rack in the middle. Rub a 9x9 pan with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with lemon zest, and set aside.

Place the zucchini slices into a colander placed over a sink, toss with the sea salt and set aside for 10-15 minutes (to drain a bit). Make the sauce by pureeing the oregano, parsley, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, red pepper flakes, and olive oil in a food processor.

Make the breadcrumbs by melting the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes until the butter is wonderfully fragrant, and has turned brown. Wait two minutes, then stir the breadcrumbs into the browned butter.

Transfer the squash to a large mixing bowl. Add the potatoes and the oregano sauce. Toss until everything is well coated. Add the cheese and half of the bread crumbs and toss again.

Transfer the squash to the lemon-zested pan, top with the remaining crumbs, and bake for somewhere between 40 and 50 minutes.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

canning weekend

So last time, I mentioned that its been a bit busy around here. And last weekend, I added more onto my plate in the interests of preserving summer. I bought a huge box of peaches, big, beautiful Okanagan peaches.

And I had plans to can the whole box. And I did. Over two days I made canned peach slices,

 peach sauce, peach jam and peach chutney. And if that wasn't enough, while the canner was boiling away, I made some tomato jam and more dill pickles. The dill pickles was a last minute addition. The ones I made about last month have been sampled and 3 quarts have been consumed already and another 2 quarts have been given away. So I panicked a bit about my dwindling stocks and with the end of summer looming, I bought 15 lbs of organic cukes and added that to my canning weekend. On Friday night, waiting for my husband to come home, I put up 5 lbs of the cukes into dill pickle spears.

The following morning I started the tomato jam before soccer

and then after soccer came the peach chutney

and canning peach slices and I started peaches in the slow cooker for sauce.

Sunday I canned the peach sauce, made peach jam and pickled 10 lbs of cukes into dill pickles. Phew! But I get an enormous sense of satisfaction from my cupboard filled with jars full of summer goodness.

Peach Sauce
8 large peaches, washed, pitted and sliced
1/4 c water

Put the peaches and water in a slow cooker and cook on low until the peaches are soft enough to go through a food mill. Process the peaches until relatively smooth. Add 1 lemon's worth of juice to the peach sauce. Pack into sterilized jars, cap and process in a canning bath for 10 minutes.

Peach Chutney (from Canadian Living)
2 tsp vegetable oil

2 c chopped onions
1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes

1/4 tsp pepper
8 c sliced peaches
2-1/2 c granulated sugar
1 c golden raisins

1 c cider vinegar

In a large dutch oven, saute the onions in the oil and add the mustard seeds, ginger, cinnamon, salt, cloves, pepper flakes and pepper. Once the onions are softened, add the peaches, sugar, raisins and vinegar. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for about 1 hours, until the mixture mounds on a spoon. Pour into sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/2" headspace  and seal. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.

  Peach Jam (adapted from Tea and Cookies)

5 lbs diced peaches
1 lb 3 1/2 oz sugar
juice of 2 1/2 lemons

Place the peaches, sugar and lemon juice in a dutch oven. Stir to a simmer over heat until a jam state is reached, skimming off any scum that forms on the service. Pour into sterilized jars and process in a canning bath for 10 minutes.