Cherries and Kale

Thought I’d post a few pictures of some recipes that I’ve just tried out for the first time. I decided to try and make some cherry pie filling this year having been inspired by some of the ladies at the Ravelry Canning forum: It’s not very hard to do and there are tutorials out there but here is the link to the recipe I used from the Utah State University Cooperative Extension, scroll down to see the cherry pie filling recipe: Cherry Pie Filling.

cherry pie filling 2
Cherry pie filling.

The thing I found interesting about the pie filling is that I’d put the filling in the jars and left the one inch headspace but the filling still boiled out but the jars still sealed. This has happened to me before most notably in my pressure canner with soup, etc. The thing that gives me pause to wonder is that instructions will have you very carefully wipe down the rim of the jars so there won’t be any food that prevents the jars from sealing. I guess my question is how can the food overflow out of the jars but the lids still seal? Another of life’s mysteries I guess.

I planted some kale and swiss chard this summer. I’ve never planted it before and was worried about how well the plants would do during our hot humid summers. Well no worries there as this has been a really cool summer and the stuff is thriving. So I went to the web and looked for a recipe that involved smoked turkey legs and kale and found this one at Culinate’s website: Collard Greens and Smoked Turkey Soup

smoked turkey and kale soup in bowl
Collard greens and smoked turkey soup.

The soup is pretty tasty given that it uses smoked turkey and the recipe uses an incredible amount of kale/swiss chard. The greens wilt down so although it seems like a ton of greens the mass does reduce.

The raspberries are coming along and slowly ripening a few each day. I went down this morning to pick a handful to put aside for jam and my two grandson’s who were visiting came down to the garden to see me. I told them to go and get the bowl of raspberries as I was weeding at the time. I was thinking they could take the bowl up to the house for me. I’d forgotten how much they love berries so turned around and there they were chopping away, lol. It’s funny how in my head I think of raspberries as something to collect and preserve so I don’t tend to think of eating them fresh. It takes a couple of little kids to show me the way. Kids will immediately go to a bush and start eating, same thing if they are in a strawberry patch, they know the good stuff.

For the last couple of years we’ve been away on holiday when the strawberries have ripened so I’ve missed out on making fresh strawberry jam. This year I was determined not to miss the season and I ended up making jars and jars of the stuff. I learned of Pomona’s Universal Pectin, which is a citrus based pectin and is activated by using calcium water. The great thing about using this pectin is that it is adjustable to your needs so you can make as big a batch of jam at one time and you can adjust the sugar to your taste. The old certo recipe calls for seven cups of sugar but using the Pomona’s pectin I only used one cup of sugar. At first you think the box of pectin is expensive but then you realize you can get 4-5 batches out of one box so the pectin works out cheaper in the end, it stores better as well. The jam is awesome and has that fresh fruit flavour of freezer jam but you store it on the shelf. The only drawback to using Pomona’s is that you have to put the jam into a water bath canner so that’s an extra step. The other drawback would be that since there is so little sugar once opened the jam should be stored in the refrigerator and used within three weeks but many others have said it lasts longer than that. The thing is the jam is so good it tends to be eaten right away anyhow.

pomona's strawberry jamStrawberry jam.


5 responses to “Cherries and Kale

  1. Mmm, this all looks delicious! I can’t eat enough berries right now!

  2. You have been busy. No canning happening here – yet but I want to get on with putting plenty of veg seeds in ready for planting in spring. Just have to fight my way through the weeds to find the garden beds first.

  3. Wait until you have a good rain and then rip them out it’ll be much easier. I tore some out Sunday after it’d rained and couldn’t believe how easy it was.

  4. It’s wet enough to remove the weeds it’s time I lack…sigh. Still I might convince DS that he should help his poor old mother…

  5. I seem to recall he liked gardening so maybe he will 🙂

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