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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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    « All Quinces, great and small | Main | Pumpkin Ketchup, easy as pie. »
    Monday
    Nov072011

    Simple steps to making Bosc Pear-Cranberry-Orange Sauce

     

    A twist on tradition for your Thanksgiving table.

     

     

    Start with fresh pears.

    I used Bosc pears for this recipe, because they hold their shape beautifully when cooked, and because they taste wonderful. What better reasons do I need?

    For the batch of Bosc Pear-Cranberry-Orange Sauce in the photo, I mashed the mixture toward the end of cooking; I'll show you what I mean later on in this blog post. If you prefer a chunkier sauce, you can skip the mashing step, and the chunks of Bosc pears will still be visible in the end result.

    This recipe calls for equal parts fresh (or frozen) cranberries and chopped pears. I used 3 cups of each, which is one 12 ounce bag of cranberries and 3 medium-size pears. It's okay if you have more pears than cranberries, or vice versa. As you will see, this recipe is all about options.

    Here's the simple part: mix together pears, cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and cinnamon in a heavy-bottomed pan.

    You can choose to peel the pears, or not, but you definitely need to core them first! Leaving the peels on will result in a slightly grainy texture, which some people like. I leave the peels on for their nutritional value, and because I hate to throw anything away.

    Bring to a boil, stirring often so that the sugar will dissolve, then reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for ten minutes.

    It will probably look a lot like this:

    Have you ever cooked cranberries? They crackle and pop like crazy when their skins burst. It's an entertaining sound, sort of like popcorn popping. Kids love it, and so does everyone else who's never heard if before. I've heard it many times, yet I still get a kick out of it!

    If you want the sauce to look like the first photo, go ahead and mash the entire mixture with a potato masher or a heavy spoon.

     Continue to simmer the mixture for a few more minutes, mashing and stirring occasionally. If you want it chunkier, skip the mashing and keep on simmerin'. It should be thickening nicely by now and it will continue to thicken after it cools, so the Bosc Pear-Cranberry-Orange Sauce is finished cooking when it still has a bit of liquid left. 

    That's all there is to it!

    Like I said, it's a simple recipe. It's also adaptable. Feel free to add a few raisins or currants or a bit of orange or lemon zest, or even candied orange peel or crystallized ginger root . You can also add ground spices other than cinnamon, like nutmeg, ginger, allspice or a teeny bit of ground cloves.

    You can store it in the refrigerator, for up to 3 months, in the freezer for 6 months, or you can ladle it into canning jars, then seal & process using the boiling water bath method.

    For more information about Bosc and other varieties of pears, visit USA Pears, where you'll find plenty of other ways to enjoy beautiful and rustic Bosc pears!


     Can't find Bosc Pears where you live? 

    Check out The Fruit Company.

    Like magic, fresh fruit will arrive at your door in a gorgeous box, swaddled in pretty pastel tissue paper & wood shavings.

    Highly recommended!

    ~~~~~~~~~~

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    Reader Comments (4)

    This sounds great! And what makes it even better, I have a Bosc Pear tree! This is going on my Thanksgiving table.

    November 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

    You have a Bosc Pear tree?
    Can I move in next door?
    I need a neighbor like you ;)

    Thanks for your comment.

    Happy Thanksgiving Karen!

    B

    November 13, 2011 | Registered CommenterBrook Hurst Stephens

    I was so excited to find your blog! I love preserving fruits and veggies and you have some great recipes! I will be trying to bosc pear and cranberry sauce this weekend...to make as gifts for the holidays! Thank you for sharing...wish we were neighbors! :-)

    November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCynthia Smith

    Hi Cynthia,

    Sorry I am late getting back to you. Somehow your comment slipped through the cracks. (I haven't been notified of some comments and missed them...ahhhh...the mysteries of managing a website when you have very few tech skills.)

    I hope you tried the sauce. It is fantastic! Did you make it for Thanksgiving? Or for holiday gifts? Or both??? :)

    Thank you for reading my blog

    ~ B

    December 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterBrook Hurst Stephens

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