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  • FoodSaver V3240 Vertical Vacuum Sealer, White
    FoodSaver V3240 Vertical Vacuum Sealer, White
    FoodSaver
    I just started using a FoodSaver vacuum sealer to seal foods and I can't believe I waited so long to get one. (Check out my first project: Sweet & Sour Green Bean Freezer Pickles!)
    For example: In the past I would take the time to pick beautiful berries, then would bring them home and stick them in a zippered baggie in the freezer. My berries would have ice crystals and taste freezer burnt after just a few short months. 
    Then I had a light-bulb moment: "Air is the enemy" of freshness. 
    When vacuum-sealed my berries last 3 to 4 times longer! I have similar results with other fruits, veggies and even meats & cheeses.
    The FoodSaver has been a fantastic discovery. ~ Brook
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    • Mehu-Liisa 10 Liter Stainless Steel Steam Juicer - Made in Finland
      Mehu-Liisa 10 Liter Stainless Steel Steam Juicer - Made in Finland
      Mehu-Liisa Products

      Some day I will replace my ancient graniteware Steam Juice Extractor with this gorgeous Mehu-Liisa brand Steam Juicer. My old Steam Juicer leaks steam, meaning I have to refill the water often, and it doesn't have anywhere close to the capacity of this one from Mehu-Liisa.
      If you want to experience the magic of a Steam Juicer, check out this 10 quart Mehu-Liisa. It will last you a lifetime and save you countless hours in the kitchen, whether your juicing fruit for  Plum Jelly or Apricot Nectar, not to mention it minimizes the mess of juicing large amounts of veggies!  ~ Brook

    • Ball Quilted Jelly Canning Jar 4 Oz (Pack of 12)
      Ball Quilted Jelly Canning Jar 4 Oz (Pack of 12)
      Ball
      What's the one jar size I always keep a couple extra cases of? 
      The Ball 4 ounce jar.
      It's basically 1/2 cup, and just the right size for gift-giving and for experimenting with small batches. Perfect for things like my famous Pear Honey.
      People can't help but say "That is so darn cute!" when they seem them. 
      ~ Brook

    • Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker
      Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker
      Presto
      Looking for an affordable, easy-to-use pressure canner, backed up by great customer service? Look no further than the Presto 23 quart Pressure Canner/Cooker. It's the one I recommend to all my students. ~ Brook

     

    Dilly Pickled Onion Slices on Punk Domestics

    • Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen (Orange) Instant Read Thermometer, Perfect for Barbecue, Home and Professional Cooking
      Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen (Orange) Instant Read Thermometer, Perfect for Barbecue, Home and Professional Cooking
      ThermoWorks
      Do you have a great instant-read thermometer, or are you still buying the 20 dollar ones that only last a year or two? This was one of my best kitchen purchases.
      Can't imagine cooking jam (or meat or candy) without it! 
      Take your jams to 220º and you'll have a perfect gel set every time. Also available in other colors, but why wouldn't you want orange? It's only the BEST COLOR EVER. ~ Brook

     

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    • The Home Preserving Bible (Living Free Guides)
      The Home Preserving Bible (Living Free Guides)
      by Carole Cancler
      If you're looking for a book that covers every preserving topic imaginable, this is the book for you. It doesn't have a flashy cover or glossy pictures, but it's full of great info. One of my very favorite resources. ~ Brook

    • OXO Good Grips Corn Stripper
      OXO Good Grips Corn Stripper
      OXO

      Last August my friend Kelli asked me if I wanted some fresh corn from her grandpa's garden. I said "Sure....I'd love to make a few jars of Sweet Corn Relish!"
      She showed up 6 hours later with 158 ears. Wasn't sure if I loved her or hated her for it.
      After a long hot day spent cutting kernels off all those cobs with a small paring knife, I decided I'd never be without a Corn Stripper again. ~ Brook

     

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    I have attempted to share safe preserving methods however you alone are responsible for your health & safety in your own kitchen or location. Be aware of current safety recommendations. Please see "Full Disclaimer" page for suggested preserving resources.

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    Tuesday
    Jun142011

    Roasted Rhubarb Ketchup

    If you love rhubarb and you like to eat ketchup with your food, this is one of those things you simply must make!

    It's a fun project, full of good smells like earthy vegetables roasting and sweet-spicy sauce simmering. Make this when you have the time and the inclination. You will be rewarded with the prettiest jars of condiments to show off on your shelf. 

    This recipe is based on the Roasted Rhubarb Ketchup recipe in The River Cottage Preserves Handbook, but I changed the spices a bit. Their book is chock full of inspiring recipes. Highly recommended!

    Makes ~2-3 half-pints
    • 2 lbs fresh rhubarb 
    • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped 
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 4 TBS cider vinegar
    • 2 TBS lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
    • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp celery seed

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    2. Remove any green leaves -- they're toxic -- or root ends from rhubarb, then chop into large chunks.

    3. Place rhubarb, red onion and garlic into a roasting pan, place in oven and roast for approximately one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. You will know it's completely cooked when the vegetables becomes mushy.

    Note: While you are waiting for the rhubarb to roast you should prepare your canning jars!

    4. Place food mill or sieve over a heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Scoop contents of roasting pan (liquids and solids) into a food mill (or a food sieve) and puree until most of the mixture is in the sauce pan. Some pulp will remain in the food mill (or food sieve). Compost or discard of the pulp.

    5. Add remaining ingredients to sauce pan and cook for 15-20 minutes covered over LOW heat, stirring often to be sure it isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan. The reason for covering the mixture is to prevent burns & stains from the simmering ketchup, which has a tendency to splatter.

    6. Remove from heat and ladle into jars. Look for any air bubbles in the jars and if you see any, use a chopstick or plastic knife to pop them before wiping rims clean with a dry paper towel. 

    7.  At this point you can either  cover jars with tight-fitting lids (and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months, or in the freezer for up to 6 months) or you can process by following these steps:

    8. Place a sealing lid on the jar, screw on a band until finger-tight then wipe jar rims spotlessly clean with a dry paper towel.

    9. Ladle into jars, and process in a Boiling Water Bath, 20 minutes for half-pint jars, and 15 minutes for 4 oz. jars. (If needed, add extra hot water to be sure jars are completley submerged before covering Boiling Water Bath Canner with the lid.)

    10. Remove jars with a jar-lifter and place on a towel on the counter in a draft-free place. Let rest for 24 hours, then check for proper seal before storing.

    11. If jars lids seal, store them in a cool, dark place for up to one year.

    Note: Check lids for a proper seal by pressing the middle of the lid with a finger or thumb. If the lid stays down, it is sealed and will easily keep for up to one year in a cool dark place. If the lid springs up when you release your finger, the lid is unsealed. Place unsealed jars in your refrigerator and use within one month.

    Step-by-step photos

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