Visit my 2013 Gardening Blog

Today, imagine 50 to 60 degree days, the grass is turning greener, the undergrowth in the woods or your yard coming up green and lush covering the ground, daffodils showing their sunny yellow blooms, and the local Wal-Mart and Farmers Co-op getting their gardening centers ready.  This is what it is like here where I live and it has caused me to have gardening fever.  So…

The 2013 gardening Blog is located at

http://arkansasfarmerette2013.wordpress.com

Come garden and preserve with me this year.

The 2013 Planting Calendar is posted. You’ll find the link to it at the top of the page above the large picture.

Hope to see and hear from you all this year.  Here’s hoping this summer’s not a scorcher again.
REMEMBER to “Follow” this years blog; it is separate from last years.

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PUMPKIN BUTTER

It’s pumpkin time! And… It’s time to ‘can’ pumpkin or put it in the freezer for later use.
I recently purchased a pumpkin.  Tight on $’s I passed up the small ‘pie pumpkins’ and opted for a large pumpkin.  Since the large ones were all the same price I dug around for a not too large one that was heavy; heavy pumpkins have thick insides.   Pie pumpkins are darker and have a slight sweetness to them that the regular, Halloween, pumpkins don’t. 
The pumpkin I selected yielded 11 cups of puree. 

Here’s the easy way to cook a pumpkin or pie pumpkin.

Trim or cut the stem, as best you can, off the pumpkin.  Cut the pumpkin in half, around the middle. Remove the seeds and strings, discard.  Trim the edge of the pumpkin so it will lay flat, face down, on a cookie sheet.  Doing this gives you a good seal so the pumpkin will steam inside while bakeing.  Bake in 350 F oven for 1 hour.  Remove and allow to cool in cookie sheet.  Turn the pumpkin halves over and scrape out the pumpkin; placing it in a large cake pan.  Using your pastry cutter chop and chop the pumpkin till it is smooth.  (I imagen if you have a large food processor you could puree the pumpkin in it.)

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Pumpkin Butter
(adapted from www. skinnytaste.com/2010/10/pumpkin-butter.html)

7 c. fresh pumpkin puree
4 tsp. vanilla
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, pureed
2 c. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. pumpkin spice
1/2 tsp. salt

Combine pumpkin puree, vanilla, apple puree, spices, and brown sugar in a large stainless steel saucepan; stir well.
Bring mixture to boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours till thickened.  Stir frequently; careful not to scorch.  Adjust spice to taste.
Prepare your jars, wash and rinse well. Heat lids in a pan with just enough water to cover them. Place pumpkin butter in pint jars, clean rims and place lids on and tighten rings.  Sit on towel to cool in a draft free place.  Listen for the “POP”.

Makes 4 pints with a bit left over.

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From last years gardening Blog
arkansasfarmerette.wordpress.com/2011/10/29/pumpkin-pickles/

I just couldn’t resist making this. I do love to Can…and experiment.  Once I got started I realized that the recipe was similar to Pickled Peaches.  This was somewhat easy to make; the slightly hard part was cutting the pumpkin.  Suggest you cube it and then slice off the peeling.  I’ve not opened a jar and tasted this yet.  I always like to let things made with vinegar and spices sit for a few weeks before I open them.  I do look forward to trying this before all the pumpkins disappear from the stores incase I wanna more.

Adapted from: The complete book of Small-Batch Preserving by Elle Tapp and Margaret Howard, 2009

Pumpkin Pickles
3 pints

1/2  large pumpkin
2 c. sugar
2 c.  cider vinegar
8 whole cloves
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 pieces candied or crystalized ginger

Remove seeds and cut the pumpkin into 2-inch cubes; removing outer skin.
Place sugar and vinegar in a enamel or stainless steel pot.  Put cloves in a bag (cheese cloth or metal tea strainer) and add to liquid.  Bring to a boil and lower heat to a low boil for 5 minutes.
Add the pumpkin, bring back to a boil.  Reduced heat, cover, boil gently for 25 minutes or till pumpkin is tender.  Stir frequently.  Discard spice bag.
Place pumpkin in jars and fill each jar with the remaining liquid.
Hot water bath for 20 minutes for pint or 25 minutes for quart.

Dried Apricot Jam


I love morning walks in our woods when Fall is sneeking in.  The nights turn cool bringing the morning dew.  This morning fog was settleing in and then it disappeared only to come back again 20 minutes later.  The crows were all abuzz about something and I happened upon the deer who snorted at each other saying I was near.  Peaceful.

Yesterday I posted about my canning withdrawls so you’ll understad I had to make something.  I have a recipe for Apricot Grand Manier Conserve that I’ve been wanting to make.  The recipe calls for dried apricots, 1 tart apple, orange juice or Grand Manier, sugar and lemon juice. I bought one 12 oz. pkg. of dried apricots and one Granny Smith apple at the store yesterday, but I forgot the orange juice.  So I decided to look up a recipe for Dried Apricot Jam, use it as an example and make my own recipe.
  First I cut the apricots in small pieces (sissors are easiest) and soaked them overnight; quite a sticky endevor.  Be sure to cut them into small pieces; doing the same with the apple.  The recipe I was using as a referral didn’t mention where to sit the apricots overnight so I opted to place them in the refrigerator before I went to bed; they had sat on the kitchen  counter for 5 hours.  The today I put them in a large pot to boil.  While they were heating up I preped the apple and added it to the pot.  I noticed that my jam was a bit junky and that the dried apricots were not going to add any creamyness.  I decided to whirl up about 2 cups in my food processor.  This gave it the creamyness I wanted.  Neither the Conserve or Jam recipe I was refering to listed pectin as an ingredient, but thought that it could use a bit so I added three tablespoons; stirring after each tablespoon.  The jam became immediately thicker and I had high hopes it would jell.  I guessed on my amount of sugar and 2 cups made the jam sweeeet.  I cooked the jam for about another 15 minutes to get the stickyness I wanted.  I was using my wooden spoon to stir with and I noticed that eventually between stirs the jam was jelling on my spoon.  I immediately placed the jam in the jars.

If the jam I licked off the spoon tastes like that in the jars I can’t wait to try it in the morning.
I WILL be making this again.

Dried Apricot Jam
Makes 3 pints

1 (12 oz.pkg.) dried apricots
3 pints water
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, chopped small
1/4 c. lemon juice
3 Tbsp. Low Sugar Pectin
2 c. sugar

1.  Cut apricots up small.
2.  Put apricots and water in large bowl or tupperware-ish container and cover.  Let soak overnight in refrigerator.
3.  Next day place apricots with the water in a enamel or stainless steel pot.  Add chopped apples.  Simmer for 15 minutes on low heat.
     Meanwhile remove 2 to 3 cups of apricots and apples and slightly puree in a food processor; return to pot.
4.  Bring to a boil, after 15 minutes add Pectin.  Stir well to combine.
5.  Add sugar and stir well again.  Bring to a slow (low) boil and allow to cook like this till jam is sticky; about another 10 to 15 minutes. Stir often.
6.  Meanwhile, prepare jars, lids and hot water bath.
7.  Fill jars and place lids and rings on.
8.  Place in hot water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove and wait for lids to seal. POP!

Links to Canning Recipes

I guess I am having canning withdrawls I’ve been looking at websites with canning recipes.
The garden is burnt up from the HOT weather and drought we’ve had; at least I thought so. I went up into the garden this morning and discovered that 3 of the cantalope plants are full of blooms and there are 2 little green cantalopes on the vine.  Small wonders.  I’m guessing it’s been the little bit of rains we’ve been getting this past week or so.  I used my shovel and dug down to see how far down the ground was wet and it was about an inch.

Anyway, Judy at  http://grandparentsplus2.wordpress.com/   wrote me and wanted a refrigerator pickle recipe.  I’ve been remiss in getting to that; life getting in the way and all.  I found this one today at Nina Corbett’s blog Put Up or Shut Up.  Perhaps I’ll give it a try next year.

Dan George’s Kick-Ass Westport River Barrel Cukes
http://www.putsup.com/2009/08/pickles.html

One more link to get you dreaming about canning also.
You can’t make just one of these. :O)
Food In Jars recipe index
http://www.foodinjars.com/recipe-index/
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I over heard this at Mc Donalds the other morning.

1st Elderly Man: I have “sometimers”.
2nd Elderly Man: I have “whatever-timers”.
3rd Elderly Man:  I have CRS.
2nd Elderly Man:  What’s that?
3rd Elderly Man:  Can’t remember sh_t.
2nd Elderly Man: Ha! I’ll have to remember that; if I can.

Printable Canning Inventory List

Just sharin’.

Free PDF download

http://frugalliving.about.com/od/canningfoods/ss/Printable-Canning-Inventory-List.htm

Lemon-Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread

Lemon-Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread
Just sharin’ 
A friend of mine gave me the lastest issue of Southern Living.  The first thing that caught my eye was on page 10, the Lemon-Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread recipe.  So yummy sounding and what a great way to use up some zucchini. 
Note:  I shred my zucchini with my cheese grater and place in freezer containers (2 cups each) for later use.

  The recipe is available on-line at  http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/poppy-seed-zucchini-bread-50400000122595/

Relish Recipes and a Sour Pickle

While the only two thriving plants I have left in the garden continue to beat the 100 degree weather we’re having, I’m in the mood for sharing canning recipes.  Oh, that’s the tomatoes and cantalopes, btw. :O)
I love old recipes they have that authoritive feel of “this is how we orginally made this”.

These recipes are from a cookbook I have called “The Household Search Light Recipe Book” by The Household Magazine, Topeka, Kansas, 1939.

NOTES:
Some of these recipes do not mention what to do with the end result.  I would place the ‘end result’ in sterilized jars, put lids on and place in a boiling water bath for 10 to 15 minutes. (See previous Post for Boiling Water Bath instructions.) 

Also as I type these I can’t help but wonder if the mustard listed in most of these recipes is ‘powdered/ground mustard seed’ and not the condinment ‘prepared mustard’.  Did they have that back in 1939?  I would be more inclined to use powdered/ground mustard seed.

A peck is 1/4 of a bushel. In dry measure it is 8 quarts.
1 US Bushel = 9.30917797 Gallons
Sour Pickles
     Select 50 tiny cucumbers.  Wash.  Cover with cold water.  Handle as little as possible to avoid bruises.  Let stand 2 hours.  Drain.  Cover with boiling water to which 3/4 cup salt has been added.  Cover and let stand 2 days.  Drain.  Discard all cucumbers that are not solid and in good condition.  Pack in sterilized jars.  Cover with the following pickling liquid, which should be hot but not boiling:  To sufficient vinegar to cover the pickles add 3 chopped green peppers, 1/4 cup salt, 6 whole allspice, 6 peppercorns, 1 1/2 sticks cinnamon, 1 blade mace (1 tsp. mace), 1 bay leaf, 1 small onion, minced, and 1 1/2 tablespoons mustard seed.  Pickles will be ready for use after 8 weeks. – The Household Searchlight.
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Mustard Pickles

2 cups cubed cucumbers
4 cups small green halved tomatoes
2 cups small cucumbers
2 cups small onions
4 cups coarsely chopped large green tomatoes
6 green peppers, cut in strips
1/2 cup salt
3 cups sugar
1/2 pound mustard
1 cup flour
2 heads cauliflower, broken in flowerets
3 quarts vinegar
2 Tablespoons Turmeric
1/2 cup vinegar

Heat 3 quarts vinegar to boiling.  Add vegetables, except cucumbers, and scald thoroughly.  Remove vegetables.  Combine sugar, turmeric, mustard, salt and flour.  Blend to a smooth paste with 1/2 cup vinegar.

 Add to boiling vinegar, stirring constantly.  Cook until thick and smooth.  Add all vegetables, including cucumbers.  Stir until well blended.  Heat thoroughly.  –  Florence Taft Eaton, Concord, Mass.
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Pickled Carrots

Small carrots
Salt
2 cups sugar
2 cups vinegar
2 cups water
1 Tablespoon whole mixed spices

Scrape and wash carrots.  Boil until tender in water to which 1/2 tsp. salt has been added per quart.  Pack in sterilized jars.  Fill jars to within 1/4 inch of top with sirup made by boiling together vinegar, water, sugar, and spices.  –  Mrs. Harry R. Baer, Mayersdale, Pa.
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This sounds interesting to make, but I’m not sure what dish you would eat it with.  And what would you sew the tops on the peppers with?. – AR Farmerette

(Pickled) Stuffed Green Peppers

Green Peppers
1 quart chopped onions
2 tablespoons mustard
2 cups vinegar
1 small head cabbage
6 pimientos, chopped
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon allspice

Select large firm peppers.  Cut off tops.  Remove seeds.  Shred cabbage.  Combine with pimientos, onions, vinegar, mustard, sugar, pepper and allspice.  Heat to boiling.  Stuff peppers firmly with this mixture.  Sew tops on peppers.  Pack in jars.  Cover with vinegar which has been diluted in the proportion of 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water.  –  Mrs. C.S. Campbell, Hopkinsville, Ky.
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Rochester Relish

1/2 peck ripe tomatoes
12 Sweet Peppers – 1/2 green and 1/2 red
6 cups brown sugar
1 Teaspoon mustard
1 Tablespoon broken stick cinnamon
1 Tablespoon allspice
1/2 peck green tomatoes
12 small onions
2 or 3 stalks celery
2 quarts vinegar
1 Tablespoon cloves
1/4 Teaspoon mace
1 cup salt

Chop tomatoes, peppers, onions, and celery, coarsely.  Add salt and allow to stand overnight.  Drain.  Heat vinegar to boiling.  Add sugar, mustard. and spices. (Do not put spices in a bag.)  Add chopped vegetables to boiling vinegar.  Stir until well blended.  Simmer briskly 1/2 hour.  –  Florence Taft Eaton, Concord, Mass.
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Fanwood Chow-Chow

1 peck Ripe tomatoes
2 cups chopped onions
2 Tablespoons salt
1 Tablespoon celery seed
2 apples, chopped
1/4 Teaspoon red pepper
1 Teaspoon whole cloves
2 cups vinegar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 Tablespoon broken stick cinnamon
1 Tablespoon mustard

Scald, peel, and slice tomatoes.  Chop onions.  Sprinkle with salt.  Allow to stand 2 hours.  Drain.  Add apples and boil slowly for 2 hours.  Add vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, red pepper, celery seed, cinnamon, and cloves.  More salt may be added if desired.  Simmer about 1/2 hour.  –  Florence Taft Eaton, Concord, Mass.
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