60 lbs of Strawberries in the freezer!

Strawberry season was very successful thanks to my wonderful husband!
Strawberry season was very successful thanks to my wonderful husband!

I have to thank my husband for picking and preparing  60lbs of strawberries for freezing!!!!!!! There should be Strawberry Balsamic jelly and Strawberry jam very soon! But cucumbers are starting to come in and making pickles may move to the top of the canning list!

See you at the Markets!

This week the Friday and Saturday Farmers Markets go outside!

Summer Markets begin!
Summer Markets begin!

The weekend rain has been welcome and needed, but I am glad that the predictions for the first days of the summer markets will be sunny and in the 70’s.

Remember:

Weare Farmers Market:

order ahead and pick up at the Summer Market (June 5th, 2015 – Oct 16th, 2015):

The Gazebo in Center Park, next to Weare Middle School intersection East Rd and N Stark Hwy across from the Weare Center Store

3-6:00 PM Fridays

Contoocook Farmers Market-(At the train depot in Contoocook,NH)

2015 Summer markets-order ahead:

Saturdays 9 am to Noon

June 6th, 2015 – October 31st, 2015

Hope to see everyone there!

When you “the farmers market shopper” don’t buy our eggs……….

When eggs are not bought at the Saturday market we make egg salad!
When eggs are not bought at the Saturday market we make egg salad!

We make egg salad.

Now I love egg salad, but I would prefer to have customers buy the eggs. We get enough eggs, due to an egg  not being perfect or cracked. So don’t forget to buy eggs at the next market and come early so you get all the eggs you want!

Don’t get me wrong I love eggs and I cook with them all the time. But once you are use to fresh eggs, having a box  of uncooked eggs in the fridge for more than a week  just feels wrong. So make the red hens happy and don’t forget  your box of incredible, edible eggs!

One of our red hens
One of our red hens

Jams, Jellies, Preserves ,Marmalades & Fruit Syrups are not just for breakfast !

This time of year all of us are looking for a different method of marinating meat for grilling.  These suggestions come from my own experience  so I am not always going to give you a complete recipe. This is a teaser to help you move out of your cooking comfort zone.

lemony blueberry lavender marmalade
lemony blueberry lavender marmalade

1. This Marinade will make your lamb taste fabulous! Marinate covered in the fridge for 2-3hrs before grilling.

-Use a Jelly with mint  or rosemary(1/2 cup) ,  mix with a red wine vinegar & red wine(1/4c each),add some Dijon mustard and fresh chopped rosemary(2 Tbsp each) .

2. Use this Sesame Plum Sauce for glazing chicken or pork. Serve it warm and use as a dipping sauce for meatballs,

dipping sauce
dipping sauce

won tons or spring rolls. -Use red plum jam,damson plum preserves,Spiced Plum syrup or sweet Red Plum Sauce(1Cup), mix with Soy sauce ,lime juice, Chile paste(2 Tbsp each), Minced fresh ginger(1 tsp) and sesame oil(1/2 tsp). Mix in a small saucepan,heat gently over low heat(to prevent burning) just till the sauce bubbles.

Meat loaf my Dad would love!
Meat loaf my Dad would love!

3. Meatloaf can be boring, but if you add 1/2 c of  Sweet tomato chutney to the mix, you can make your meatloaf moist and fabulous. I have always used the Fanny Farmer Cookbook (twelfth edition) recipe for meatloaf but I use rolled oats instead of bread crumbs and I don’t use Worcestershire  sauce. I usually double the recipe and put one cook meatloaf in the freezer for later!

4. Make sweet potato fries and serve with Sweet tomato chutney.

5. For a tasty dessert, especially before the local fruit comes into season. You can make a plain cheesecake(ricotta or cream cheese based) and before you put it in the oven ,swirl warmed jam , jelly  or fruit syrup through the cheese cake in the pan. You can warm  jam or marmalade and spread it on the top of the cooked cheesecake.

recipe from the 1999 edition of Family circle favorite recipes
recipe from the 1999 edition of Family circle favorite recipes

6. Take a plain cake and add warmed jam or preserves to a butter cream or whipped cream filling. Spread the mixture between the layers or spread the warmed jam between the layers.  Take a “Cake Pan”cake (mix cake right in the pan) baked,but still warm and use a toothpick and to put holes all over the cake. Take the warmed jelly ,jam or fruit syrup and pour it over the cake.

Lemony Blueberry Lavender Marmalade is on the way!

lemons & lavender
lemons & lavender
Lemony Blueberry Lavender Marmalade before I added the sugar
Lemony Blueberry Lavender Marmalade before I added the sugar
lemony blueberry lavender marmalade
lemony blueberry lavender marmalade before it goes into the canner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I  write this post there is a pot of marmalade (within my line of sight) that should be ready to can soon. I am on batch #2 of 2 and each batch should  produce 8-10 (8oz) jars. I use this marmalade to top my favorite Ricotta Pie or in the center of a muffin. Come to the market and try this delicious marmalade .

The Kitchen is HOT!!!!!

Ready to can!
Ready to can!

I am canning Blueberry syrup, starting Lemony Blueberry Lavender Marmalade and thawing frozen tomatoes to make the winter version of Lemony Tomato Basil Soup!

*********Reminder : We will not be at the Contoocook Winter Market on April 25, 2015**********

Reminder : We will not be at the Contoocook Winter Market on April 25, 2015

how I feel this morning......
We are sad that we have to miss a market!

Due to a scheduling glitch we will not be at the Winter market on April 25th at the Hopkinton town hall. If you need preserves,meat,eggs or chicken the following week you need to talk to us at this weeks market ,call or email us to arrange pick up at the farm or on the 24th at the Friday Weare winter market at the old town hall from 4-6pm.

I need your help with my experiement….

Cocktail Tomatoes from Backyard Farms  in Maine
Cocktail Tomatoes from Backyard Farms in Maine

I am conducting an experiment to utilize the frozen local tomatoes in my freezer during the bleak mid winter.
If you liked the Bruchetta in a jar please taste:
– Winter Salsa- Bruchetta style
– Winter Bruchetta in a jar
These products are slightly different as they are not made from summer local tomatoes and have some different ingredients.
Please let us know what you think!

At the Weare & Contoocook Farmers Markets 4oz jars are available for many of the jellies,jams & marmalades. Come on down to the farmers markets and taste what we have to offer!

What to do with a pork shoulder for New Years Eve or anytime-updated

posolePosole is the answer! It is a pork stew with hominy and can be hot or not. My husband and I first had Posole in Albuquerque New Mexico while visiting my best friend at Christmas time  close to 20 years ago. It can be soupy or more like a stew. You can use turkey,beef or lamb when making Posole and it can be made with red chili or green chili/Tomatillo.

It is best to braise the meat a day before and then put together the rest of the soup or stew. I have found a variety of recipes and they are all different. The condiments we serve with the Posole are cilantro,sour cream,red onion and lime wedges ,but you can add anything you want. Since it was New Years Eve we had Pomegranate-Ginger champagne cocktails using Fre Brut (alcohol removed Champagne) producing a slightly sweet and tart drink that went well with the Posole. Try it sometime I think you’ll like it!

 

Making Two Marmalades

Sol Zest Mandarin Jewel Marmalade day 1
Sol Zest Mandarin Jewel
Marmalade day 1

This Morning I will process two marmalades using Clementine Cuties (from California and is made with Pomona pectin) & Sol zest Mandarin Jewels  . It is difficult to stay with local ingredients when you are making a citrus based marmalade, but I try to buy from orchards in Florida that picked only when the fruit is really ripe. The Jewels are the cross between the Temple Orange and the  Dancy Tangerine, thin-skinned, easy to peel, and virtually seedless. The taste difference between the two marmalades is that the Sol Zest has more of the bitter taste found in European marmalades .

grinding cranberries for cranberry orange relish
grinding cranberries for cranberry orange relish

I have all the ingredients ready to make cranberry orange relish which involves grinding the cranberries and the oranges are put through the food processor. Once the two ingredients are processed you need to squeeze out the excess liquid which give the relish it’s crunchy fresh texture.

Since the beginning of the canning season (middle of August) I have used 1,243 jars ,mostly 8 ounce and I still have 500 new jars on my shelves in the basement. This time of the canning season  I am not canning everyday or all day. This gives me time to do things like cleaning……….wrapping gifts …..cook ahead for the holidays, finish my holiday cards , wasting time playing Yahtzee on the computer and writing this blog. Back to Yahtzee!