The preserving journey continues. This first year of food preserving has been more of an experimental one than a bountiful one. We've been making small batches of everything and trying a variety of recipes and methods of preserving to figure out what we really like (a lot of things sound fancy and fun, but when it comes down to it, just end up sitting around and not eaten), that way in future years, I can make big batches of just our favorites. I also have a truck load of refined and semi-refined sugar products I'm trying to use up, so I hope to be substituting mostly honey or rapadura/sucanat in the future. Above is a freezer strawberry-rhubarb butter. Freezer jams are awesome! They're perfect for people who don't want to/know how to can, or for a few jars that just are not worth heating up the water bath for. Any jam/jelly/butter recipe can just be stuck in the freezer instead of canning. I had just enough strawberry and rhubarb left over from making strawberry rhubarb crisp (substitution suggestions: rapadura, arrowroot powder, whole wheat/buckwheat/almond flour, celtic salt) to make a 1/2 pint worth of butter. It's delicious, it was fast, and I can thaw it in the fridge when I'm ready for it.
Radish is in abundance at the farmer's market right now, and it's cheap. I got enough to make some quick pickled radishes (also no canner necessary), which are. . .okay. They taste alright and would be good in a salad or on a burger, but they smell AWFUL, which I guess radish pickles are known for. Like dirty socks. I also made rosy radish relish (pictured below), which is SO DELICIOUS on brats, hotdogs, burgers etc. and will definitely be a repeat condiment in future years.
And lactofermenting in the cabinet right now: cherry chutney! (please excuse the other weird junk in my cabinet, we're going through one of those crises where we don't want to eat most of this packaged crap, but we can't bring ourselves to just throw it out. Has anyone ever gone through that before? What did you do? Donate? Trash? Just eat it?). I'm think this chutney will be really good on some homemade ice cream. Here is the recipe (adapted from Nourishing Traditions):
Makes 1 quart (I cut it in half and it fit well in a pint jar)
4 cups ripe cherries, pitted and quartered
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
12 teaspoon whole cloves
grated rind and juice of 1 orange
1/8 cup Rapadura
1/4 cup whey (raw is even better)
1/2 cup filtered water
Mix cherries, spices and orange rind. Pour into wide mouth mason jar and press down. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the cherries, adding water if necessary to fully submerge them. There should be at least 1 inch left between the chutney and the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for two days (if you don't want to invest in a Pickl-it or air lock, which I don't, you can check the jar every so often for a buildup of pressure, quickly break the seal by gently unscrewing the mason jar ring, and then quickly re-tighten. This let's gas escape without letting oxygen get in, which is desirable because lactofermentation is an anaerobic process), then transfer to the fridge. Eat within two months.
Anybody have any good preserving recipes you've been using recently?