Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

morwen's Profile

Title Last Reply

Canning time!

After you've filled the jars with your favorite orange marmalade recipe, just top them off with a teaspoon of your favorite single malt scotch! Then seal and process as usual. I let these age a good 6 months to a year before opening them.

Nov 16, 2011
morwen in Home Cooking

Canning time!

2011 pantry so far:
Apple Sauce (qt) 8, (pt) 2
Apple Craic (pt) 16
French Apple Pie Filling (qt) 6
Apple Pie Filling (qt) 6
Spiced Crab Apples (pt) 4, (½ pt) 3
Dried Apples (gal) 3
Asparagus Soup (qt) 7
Pickled Asparagus (pt) 4
Autumn Olive Jam (½ pt) 5, (4 oz) 2
Frozen Blueberries (qt) 4
Dried Blueberries (cup) 2
Blueberry Jam w/Coriander & Lime (4 oz) 1
Cabbage Roll, plain (1/2 doz) 4
Cabbage Roll, cranberry walnut (1/2 doz) 3
Cherry Vanilla Pie Filling (qt) 3, (pt) 1
Black Forest Cherry Preserve (½ pt) 5, (4 oz) 3
Smokey Chipotle Cherries (½ pt) 6
Dried Cherries (cup) 4
Corn, Frozen Kernels (2 serving bag) 5
Dill Pickles (pt) 6
Sweet Gherkins (½ pt)1
Cornichons (½ pt) 2
Seedless Black Currant Jam (½ pt) 2, (4 oz) 3
Red Current Jelly (4 oz) 7
Red Current & Raspberry Jelly (½ pt) 4, (4 oz) 6
Edamame, frozen (qt) 4
Dried Fig Jam w/Port Wine (½ pt)1
Grape Juice (qt) 7
Romano Beans (qt) 6
Blue Lake Green Beans (qt)34
Dried Green Beans (cups) 16
Sweet Basil Beans (pt) 5
Dilled Baby Green Beans (½ pt) 10
Herbs (frozen)
Wild Garlic Paste (snack bag) 2
Wild Garlic Dust (spice jar) 2
Sage Paste (snack bag) 4
Chive Paste (snack bag) 3
Fines Herb Paste (snack bag) 2
Genovese Pesto (snack bag) 11
Lime Pesto (snack bag) 6
Lemon Pesto (snack bag) 6
Sage Poultry Blend Paste (snack bag) 3
Tuscan Blend Paste (snack bag) 3
Boursin-style Cheese Spread (6 oz) 3
Salted Quebec Herbs (pt) 1
Venison (qt) 4
Venison Stock (qt) 4
Mandarin Oranges (½ pt) 9
Single Malt Marmalade (½ pt) 3, (4 oz) 1
Orange-Cran Marmalade (½ pt) 5, (4 oz)1
Dried Orange Wheels (cup) 3
Clementine Dust (spice jar) 1
Pear Sauce (qt) 1
Pear Butter (pt) 1
Poached Pears in Wine (qt)1
Salted Caramel Pear Butter (½ pt) 3, (4 oz) 2
Peach Halves in Earl Grey Tea Syrup (qt) 9
Peach Jam with Lime Basil (½ pt) 4, (4 oz) 4
Spicy Peach Maple Jam w/Cherry Peppers (½ pt) 5, (4 oz) 4
Peach Butter (½ pt) 15, (4 oz) 6
Peach Sauce (pt) 6, (qt) 2
Dried Peaches (cup) 5
Hot Honeyed Cherry Peppers (pt) 4
Zavory Pepper Jelly (4 oz) 4
Roasted Poblano Pepper Strips, frozen (snack bag) 5
Cranberry Pepper Jelly ( ½ pt) 5, (4 oz) 7
Hot Pepper & Honey Jelly (4 oz) 8
Chili Rellanos con Quesa (sm each) 16, (lg each) 12
Dried Marconi Peppers (cups) 5
Dried Zavory Peppers (½ cup) 1
Sweet & Spicy Zavory Mini Bell Peppers (pt) 2
Roasted Red Pepper Spread (½ pt) 2
Roasted Red Pepper Strips, frozen (snack bag) 7
Diced Bell Pepper, frozen (gal) 1
Red Pepper Spread, frozen (4 oz) 2
Stuffed Peppers frozen (each) 22
Stuffed Peppers frozen, side (qt bag)1
Stuffed Peppers frozen, app (qt bag) 1
Dried Plums (cup) 4
Rhubarb Lime Jam (½ pt) 3
Rhubarb Rosemary Jam (½ pt) 1, (4 oz) 3
Pickled Shallot Scapes (½ pt) 1
Shallot Scape Pesto, frozen (snack bag) 4
Vegetable Soup (qt) 4
Leek & Potato Soup (qt) 7
Squash (frozen)
Butternut, roasted cubed (qt bag) 2
Butternut, roasted pureed (qt bag) 1
Acorn, roasted cubed ( ½ qt bag) 1
Strawberries, Whole Preserves w/Vanilla Syrup (pt) 6
Strawberry Jam (4 oz) 12
Strawberry Jam, Balsamic & Black Pepper (4 oz) 8
Strawberry Jam with Basil (4 oz) 6, (½ pt) 3
Strawberry Vanilla Syrup (½ pt) 4
Dried Strawberries (cup) 4
Tomato Lime Salsa (½ pt) 9
Tomato Paste (4 oz) 17
Diced Herbed Tomatoes (pt) 15
Marinara Sauce (pt) 10, (½ pt) 1
Tomato Sauce (pt) 7, (½ pt) 7
Roasted Tomatoes, frozen (snack bag) 16
Ketchup (½ pt) 9, (pt) 9
Plain Dried Tomatoes (cup)2
Maple Syrup Vinegar Marinated Dried Tomatoes (cup) 2
Dried Currant Tomatoes (½ cup) 1
Spicy Currant Tomato Preserves (4 oz) 2
Red Wine
Red Wine with Tuscan Herbs
White Wine with Chive Blossoms
Plum Sherry

Acorn, Butternut, Spaghetti Squash
Sweet Potatoes

Nov 15, 2011
morwen in Home Cooking

Saffron Crocus

Awesome! I'm definitely going to add these to our garden.

Nov 15, 2011
morwen in Gardening

Jam won't set up!

Obviously the judges at our county fair for the past three years disagree with you:

Nov 15, 2011
morwen in Home Cooking

Freezing vs canning

You can still raw pack tomatoes without added liquid and process them in a boiling water bath. Ball has a tested recipe.

Put 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice in your pint jars. Add peeled and diced raw tomatoes and pack firmly to within 1/2 headspace. Press down firmly on the tomatoes so juice fills the air spaces and tops the tomatoes. Adjust headspace if necessary, wipe rims, adjust lids and process in a boiling water bath for 85 minutes at sea level (adjust time for your altitude).

85 minutes in a boiling water bath seems like a lot of time but that's how long it takes to raise the temperature to 212F in the center of the jar. The worst of the beasties are killed at 165F. You could process the jars in a pressure canner but by the time you get the pot up to pressure, process for the recommended shorter time, and then wait for the pressure to release you're near 85 minutes anyway. You don't have to babysit the BWB like you do the pressure canner so you can go get something else accomplished while the stuff's processing.

Sep 14, 2011
morwen in Home Cooking

Glass jars - fess up!

Because the sealing compound on a canning lid is compromised after it's first use. When reused it may (or may not) lose its seal some weeks or months down the line. But of course you would throw out the contents if you found a jar with a broken seal.

Sep 14, 2011
morwen in Not About Food

what are you canning this year?

We've found those larvae you described in our raised beds. No idea what they are but we removed and squashed them as we found them. Until we can positively identify what they are (and hopefully they weren't a good bug) they're on the search and destroy list.

Squash bugs are a shield-shaped brownish grey adult beetle type thing. They first appear as brown-orange egg clusters on the backs of the leaves, hatch to a light blue shield shaped immature bug and turn into the above adult. They suck the life out of (mostly) winter squash and pumpkins practically overnight leaving you with a withered plant loaded with immature fruit.

Aug 15, 2011
morwen in Home Cooking

what are you canning this year?

So far:
Whole Strawberry Preserves w/Vanilla Syrup
Strawberry Jam
Strawberry Jam, Balsamic & Black Pepper
Strawberry Jam with Basil
Strawberry Vanilla Syrup
Dried Strawberries

Cherry Vanilla Pie Filling
Black Forest Cherry Preserve
Smokey Chipotle Cherries
Dried Cherries

Asparagus Soup
Pickled Asparagus

Frozen Blueberries
Dried Blueberries

Red Current Jelly
Red Current & Raspberry Jelly

Seedless Black Currant Jam

Peach Halves in Earl Grey Tea Syrup
Peach Jam with Lime Basil
Spicy Peach Maple Jam w/ Cherry Peppers
Peach Butter
Dried Peaches

Cabbage Roll, plain (frozen)
Cabbage Roll, cranberry walnut (frozen)

Dried Plums

Leek & Potato Soup

Dill Pickles

Tomato Lime Salsa
Tomato Paste

Wild Garlic Paste (frozen)
Wild Garlic Dust
Sage Paste (frozen)
Chive Paste (frozen)
Fines Herb Paste (frozen)
Genovese Basil Pesto (frozen)
Lime Basil Pesto (frozen)
Lemon Basil Pesto (frozen)
Sage Poultry Blend Paste (frozen)
Tuscan Blend Paste (frozen)
Boursin-style Cheese Spread (frozen)
Canadian Salt Herbs (Herbes de Salee)

Pickled Shallot Scapes
Shallot Scape Pesto (frozen)

Summer Squash Casseroles (frozen)
Zucchini Cake Batter (frozen)

Sweet Corn (frozen)

Our tomatoes, green beans and limas, sweet and hot peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, etc. are just coming in after a late start so there's going to be a whole lot of veg preserving going on from here on out. We lost the winter squash to the squash bugs. Again. :-(

Aug 11, 2011
morwen in Home Cooking

New to canning

You're welcome and yes by all means use it, especially if you link to here: to credit it.

Aug 09, 2011
morwen in Home Cooking

what are you canning this year?

Aug 09, 2011
morwen in Home Cooking

fun, interesting, seasonal jams for a bake sale

I think all you'd have to do to make a chipotle cherry jam is to drop a rehydrated pepper in with the jam while cooking it. Depending on your penchant for hot you may or may not want to seed it first. If you leave it whole you can remove it at the end of the cook time. Or if you prefer, you could dice it before adding and then just leave the pepper dice in the jam.

I tasted one of my cherries and the touch of liquid smoke was a good addition since my peppers weren't very smokey-tasting themselves. If yours have a good smokey flavor, I'd forego it. If not, you might want to add some smoke. Depending of course on how you feel about that particular condiment. ;-)

Can't say I've ever noticed odd looks or texture with the low/no sugar pectin. The judges at the county fair don't have a problem with it (12 blues, 3 whites, and a red last year). The fresher, fruitier taste, ease of use, and most of all, a whole lot less sugar would trump looks for me anyway.

Jul 11, 2011
morwen in Home Cooking

Canning bible?

The NCHFP does recommend using Clear Jel for thickening products intended to be home canned.

"ClearJel® is a corn starch that has been modified to give it special and unique characteristics when used in food products. It can be used for canned fruit pie fillings because it does not break down in the acid food mixtures and does not thicken enough during heat processing to interfere with the intended effect of the
heat on killing bacteria during canning. It is preferred for thickening canned pie fillings as well as other foods over other corn starches because it has less or no aftertaste, the thickened juices are smooth and clear, and foods thickened with ClearJel® may be frozen."

Jul 07, 2011
morwen in Home Cooking

fresh figs: preserves?

No, I didn't get the chance to try it. If you do or any variation thereof, let us know the results.

Jul 02, 2011
morwen in Home Cooking

Is it hard to grow celery?

I think celery growing requires a knack and I don't have it. Instead I grow cutting celery ( and celeriac ( I also found celeriac to be much easier to store for a much longer period of time than celery.

Jun 29, 2011
morwen in Gardening

Seed collecting and saving from existing plants

Check your original seed packet or the tag that came with the transplant if you still have it. If the plant is a hybrid don't bother saving the seeds. Plants grown from the saved seeds of hybrids revert back to one of the original parents and usually not in a good way. Save seeds from open pollinated and heritage/heirloom types.

Jun 29, 2011
morwen in Gardening

fun, interesting, seasonal jams for a bake sale

Before you get disappointed TJ, that's not a jam recipe but a cherries preserved in syrup recipe.

Jun 22, 2011
morwen in Home Cooking

Do apricot trees need lots of maintenance?

I'm not a fan of fruit salad trees. They're fine for several seasons but then the dominant variety will eventually take over. Better off going for dwarfs and patio dwarfs of single varieties if space is an issue.

Jun 21, 2011
morwen in Gardening

The 2011 Garden

Finally! We had nearly 2 weeks without continual rain and finally got things going. We've had off and on showers but are getting to the point now where we're going to have to water a little. The late spring crops were a disaster. We got some peas and the cabbages are ready to pick. Lettuce is ok but will soon be bitter, no spinach, need to replant chard. Carrots look good but the rest of the root crops, not so much. We're cutting our losses and seeing to the summer veg. We'll just have to put an emphasis on more fall crops this year. I don't think the larder is going to be bursting like it was last winter.

I swear by Sluggo, toodie jane. I just saw a new formulation that's supposed to keep down flea beetles, earwigs, and sow bugs along with the slugs. Haven't tried it yet but will as soon as the current canister is gone.

Jun 21, 2011
morwen in Gardening

Mayonnaise with an Immersion Blender

I've found a tablespoon or two of hot water whipped in will fix the break as well.

Jun 14, 2011
morwen in Home Cooking

Do you REEEEALLLLY enjoy gardening?? - OR - My eternal gratitude goes out to America's farmers!

Spinach-bolted. Broccoli-bolted. Everybody here is behind, we've only been able to get into the fields and gardens this past week or so. Lots of hay lost here and farmers selling off cattle to compensate. On the bright side, a wet spring followed by a relatively dry summer means extra good summer tree fruits here. Last year's were superb. I'm hoping this year's are as good.

Jun 08, 2011
morwen in Gardening

Shocked Tomatoes?

It might be fusarium wilt. The older leaves turn yellow and droop downward. It's a common tomato fungus that affects the plant's vascular system. There are tomatoes that are bred to be resistant to it. If you have the label or seed packet, look to see if there's an "F" listed on it. It may be alone or with other initials. It indicates whether your variety is fusarium resistant.

Jun 06, 2011
morwen in Gardening

Do you REEEEALLLLY enjoy gardening?? - OR - My eternal gratitude goes out to America's farmers!

Definitely try to get an original printing of Square Foot Gardening. Much better than the "revised" edition. No snake oil.

Jun 01, 2011
morwen in Gardening

The 2011 Garden

It stopped raining here finally! Well sort of. Scattered showers are in the forecast but we've had 4 days straight without any. Picked cherries at a local orchard over the weekend and the orchardist said that between late April and the end of May we'd had only 3 days entirely without rain. Now temps are in the unseasonable 90's and we're breaking records for heat. Everyone's rushing to catch up. Everywhere you can hear rototillers, lawn mowers, weed whackers, tractors. Everyone's comparing notes over coffee at the local diner: how much land got plowed, what kind if shape is the soil in, what did you get planted, what did you lose, what's rotted, who lost a hay field to the wet and how many head of cattle need to be sold off to compensate. Early blight has shown up and a lot of nightshade crops have been lost to it already. The local nursery started another round of seedlings a month ago just in case this happened and it looks like it was a smart move. Lettuce is doing ok but spinach is bolting already. Broccoli formed heads and then bolted overnight before we could harvest it. And, as usual, flea beetles took down the eggplants. The peas and fava beans are coming in nicely though. That's a plus! The cabbages are heading up and hopefully the cauliflower and brussels sprouts will make it. It's still to early to tell what's going on with the carrots, beets, turnips, etc., but the radishes are being harvested and seemed to actually benefit from the wet.

Jun 01, 2011
morwen in Gardening

Maters are almost ready!

I'm angsting over getting stuff in the ground. It's wet, wet, wet! Had 2 days with no rain this past week and planted half the tomatoes because I figured they were going to either die in the flats or die in the ground, might as well stick them in the ground. Was pleased to see the ground was a lot damp but looking pretty good. Of course that night it poured. Next day it poured. Then it poured again. Today was sunny enough to pick the first of the early cherries. maybe we'll get lucky tomorrow and it won't rain. And if we're really lucky it won't rain Monday and I can get the rest of the tomatoes in, and maybe the squash and cucumbers. We're so far behind, I'm just this side of despair for the garden. The guy at the orchard said we've only had 3 days out of the past month that were totally without rain for 24 hours.

May 29, 2011
morwen in Gardening

Strawberries Not Sweet!

Have you been having a lot of rain? That often has the effect of diluting the flavor. The berries are starting to really come in now for us and they look great, but the flavor isn't as intense because of all the rain we've had.

We just started picking early cherries today as well and they're in the same boat with the addition of a lot of splits from entirely too much rain.

May 29, 2011
morwen in Gardening

The 2011 Garden

We did nail a round zucchini - some Italian heirloom whose name escapes me at the moment. Michael was determined and diligent. I've got beautiful transplants on the porch waiting to go in the ground if it ever stops raining.

Seriously, it's been raining for a month now and the only thing saving our butts is we live on top of a mountain. As of yesterday it stopped raining for 2 days and I was able to get most of the tomatoes in. I figured I was faced with they're gonna die in the flat or die in the wet ground. Might as well put them in the ground. So I did. It started raining again at 11 pm last night and is still raining.

May 27, 2011
morwen in Gardening

Blossom end rot

I buy one giant box a year to add to baked goods etc. By tomato planting time there's more than enough left to plant the tomatoes. Then the cycle starts all over. But, if during the year I see marked down must be sold now dry milk, I buy it up. Because for the garden, age doesn't matter and extra goes to the community garden.

May 27, 2011
morwen in Gardening

Blossom end rot

We're back yard gardeners. We use the milk. We plant 4 different varieties and around a 150 tomato plants. Is that small?

May 27, 2011
morwen in Gardening

Blossom end rot

I just throw a double handful into the hole when I'm transplanting. Ok, I have really small hands. My husband who has really large hands throws a double handful into the hole when he's transplanting.

May 27, 2011
morwen in Gardening

New to canning

Would that be "The Manual of Acronyms for Dummies" ? Nah, don't need it. I live with a veteran.

May 26, 2011
morwen in Home Cooking