Sunday, 18 June 2017

Seasonal Ontario Food's Top Ten - Canning & Preserving

There are only 64 recipes under the heading "Canning and Preserving". And yet they have had more page views than the rest of the blog put together. In fact, I think my most popular recipe from this section might have more page views just by itself than the rest of the blog put together. All that means, I suppose, is that people look for canning and preserving recipes more often than they do other recipes. That, and that one recipe was linked at a much more popular site than mine.

And there we are; the highlight of ten years of blogging. Now, having spent a week celebrating, I need a break. I'll probably post a few things - certainly a garden update - but mostly I am going to take the rest of the month off. (I thought these would be quick posts to put together, but no. It would have been much faster just to cook something.)

I would still love to hear from people - what have you made? What worked, what didn't work, what would you like to see in the future?

Savory Canning & Preserving:

Dill Pickles by the Jar - We love these. I always think I've made too many because they sit in the basement all winter, but then we start eating sandwiches and burgers as the weather warms up, and give a few jars away as gifts, and nope! Could have made more.

Canning Salsa - Most viewed post of the blog, and a pretty good salsa if I say so myself. There's a Tomatillo version as well.

Ontario Chutney - This is probably my least viewed recipe of this category. Too bad! It's a lovely little chutney, worth trying.

Canned (Bottled) Tomato Sauce - We make a lot of this every year. Like, 60 to 72 litres. And we use it, too. It's a plainish but not too plain tomato sauce, and it's a workhorse in the kitchen.

Jalapeno Pepper Jelly - We taken to making this with ever-hotter peppers. From Jalapenos we moved on to Cayenne, and from Cayenne to Aji Rojo. And there we will stop, I think. We love this stuff with cheese and so does just about everyone else.

Middle Eastern Pickled Turnips (Torshi Lift) -Neon pink turnip pickles! Shawarma, falafels, shish-kebab etc would just not be the same without them. Easy to make; easy to eat.

Beet & Red Cabbage Salad Bottled as a Relish - This traditional recipe from the north of England/south of Scotland was brought to Ontario in the 19th century and for a long time was pretty ubiquitous. Now it is less known, but it's delicious and worth reviving.

Pickled Baby Corn - This popular Mennonite pickle is very easy to make - once you have the baby corn; that's the hard part.

Bread & Butter Pickles - Another very popular and traditional pickle, with good reason. As usual I ditched half the sugar and called it improved.

Green Tomato Chow Chow -  Classic relish. I've tried (and posted) cucumber relishes, but honestly I think this is much better. So do a lot of people, judging by the page views.

Michael's Grandmother's Pickled Onions - Michael's grandmother made mighty fine pickled onions. I only make them about once every 3rd or 4th  year because they are a lot of work; but they really are good.

Sweet Canning & Preserving:

Raspberry Currant Jam - Currants supply pectin, body, and rich contrasting flavour to other fruits in jam, and I've posted quite a few variations on that theme. This is the most viewed, and I think maybe the best version too.

Canned (Bottled) Cherries -  Sour cherries are available for such a short period of time. I haven't been able to get any for a few years, but I would really like to make this again. Maybe this will be the year.

Crabapple Jelly; Possibly Applesauce - This and the similar  Quince Jelly & Quince Jam (Paste) - aim to make both jelly and sauce/paste from the same batch of fruit, because I am frugal. Works pretty well! Although I note the applesauce was fairly mild; next time I would throw in some better apples or other fruit to bulk it out.

Making Carrot Marmalade - A Tutorial - Haven't made this in a few  years as Mr. Ferdzy is not a fan of marmalade in any iteration. If you like it though, this is excellent.

What to Do with Failed Jam? - Lots of home canners end up with some batches of jam that just didn't work, including me. Don't throw it away! There's things to do with it, like this Jam Tea Loaf.

Slightly Lemony Blueberry Jam - Never had a failure with this one! The lemon adds both flavour and pectin; very nice!

Maple-Vanilla Canned (Bottled) Peaches - These are really delicious. Serve them with cream, custard, yogurt; or eat them the way we do - dump them in a bowl and eat!

Saft (Berry Cordial) - We have only made this once, because it uses a lot of fruit. I hope once our little home orchard is producing more we can make it regularly, because it is such a treat.

Haskap Jam - and also  Strawberry Haskap Jam - are relatively newly posted, but getting some attention on Pinterest. I think a lot of people are in on the haskap fad, and given how good the jam they make is, why not?

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