Wall of Ball Jars
Photo from my sister’s blog. I wish I had this! Biggest hope for Christmas gifts: BLUE BALL JARS.
Setting out granola supplies for a seed- and nut-filled crunchy breakfast! Sunflower, pumpkin, flax, pecans, coconut. We can’t get by without a huge jar of granola in this kitchen, ready to go at all times.
Dug these little guys up and roasted ‘em with other root vegetables (you know how we love our root veggies! Check out our story/drawing collaboration all about it.)
Deep purple on the outside, bright orange inside. Crazy looking, and they taste just like… carrots.
End of the season.
Green tomatoes to be ripened in newspaper, and thai eggplant and baby bells to go in pasta sauce!
Alex makes labels, preparing for the Chicago Food Swap! (swapping 12 containers of pecan-cranberry granola…)
WE’RE SO EXCITED!!
Having just found out about the existence of food swaps, I was disappointed that August’s Chicago Food Swap was already full. But I signed up on the waiting list anyhow, and last night I found out that we got a spot!
If you’re not familiar with the concept, a food swap is a good ol’ fashioned concept- an event where people get together and trade homemade and homegrown foods. I’m not entirely sure what the nuts and bolts of the operation will be like, but we’ll find out this Sunday.
I feel a little crazy saying this, but we got our third batch of pick-out peaches at the farmer’s market today. We’re planning on bringing several jars of our soon-to-be-famous peach salsa, as well as a couple batches of my “Katerini Blend” granola (honey/pecan/cranberry).
To make things even more exciting, Marisa McLellan, of Food in Jars (and Alex’s personal hero) will be at the swap, and she’s doing a book signing!
We’ll post again soon about the swap!
Our first canning adventure of the season is complete. We picked up a 25 lb. box of pick-out peaches for $20 at the Mick Klug stand at the farmers market on Tuesday, and it’s been a sticky canning frenzy ever since.
Pick-out peaches are the “seconds,” meaning fruit that doesn’t look so good, and so wouldn’t sell normally. What it meant to us was a little more labor; basically cutting out a bruise here or there. There were probably only 3 or 4 peaches in the whole lot that were unusable. Also, the peaches were the clingstone variety, meaning it was not the easiest thing to get the pits out. All in all, it was more work preparing the fruit, but definitely worth $20 for that much peachy deliciousness!
We did 3 recipes with this batch of fruit:
Peach-Cilantro Salsa (5 jars)
Peach Jam with Lemon-Thyme and Almonds (my first jam! 7 jars)
Spiced Peaches (6 jars)
Haven’t tasted everything yet, but the jam sure was tasty! Taking a jar of salsa with us camping this weekend, we’ll have to post a review later.
Next week: blueberries?
Saturday, July 14: NATIONAL CAN-IT-FORWARD DAY!
I just found out that this day existed this morning, and I couldn’t be more excited! We down down our last six (ONLY SIX!) jars from last year’s canning frenzy here at the Urban Mudroom. One quart of spicy pickles, 2 of applesauce, 1 of brandied figs, and couple jars of peaches. Now that the fresh peaches are flooding the farmers markets, it almost seems ridiculous that we didn’t finish off these jars while it was still cold, gray, and fruitless here in Chicago!
Speaking of peaches, and farmers markets, this week looks to be the start of canning season for us. We’re ordering a flat of peach “seconds” (peaches that aren’t quite fit to sell to fancy people) from a stand at the Lincoln Square farmers market. Not sure how tasty the fruit will be, but we’ll take a gamble for the $20/flat pricetag, and the hope that we’ll be able to can up some delicious treats no matter how bruisy the peaches. Possible recipes for peaches include Peach-Cilantro Salsa, and Peach Jam with Almonds and Lemon Thyme. (Recipes from the excellent cookbook, pictured above)
We’re also planning to pick up a flat of blueberries, because blueberry jam is absolutely my fave. We’ve never made blueberry jam, and we’re not sure about which recipe to use yet, so if anyone has any ideas, send em along!
Off to tackle the garden on this beautiful day. Then the city-wide search for more jars!