It is time to step it up a notch. Since Ball is the the mothership of all things canning I thought this would be a good book to start with.
I have been thinking and researching for some time (way too long, really) different canning recipe books. There are many to choose from on the world wide web. Too many sometimes for me. I often get overwhelmed with choices and will find myself just putting the research up only to return to it again. No real results.
Until yesterday while browsing through the grocery, casually walking by the canning section to get to the trash bags. Stuffed sloppily behind the boxes of canning supplies was the “Ball Blue Book, guide to preserving”. For once, without hesitation, I picked up the book and put it in the basket. This is a start. While it is not fancy with lots of pretty pictures it is a back to the basics book full of recipes. Pages and pages of nothing but recipes. While I use this one currently as my guide (and will remain my visual + I can’t wait to make the beet relish, missed the Strawberry Vanilla spread but did make the killer jam…) It is nice to have more recipes at my finger tips. Just adding to the loot of cook books. A new collection.
As a side note, stumbled upon this blog a few weeks ago. The book looks good. Since it is recommended by the author of said book linked above it has been put on the new list.
A few recipes picked out of the Ball Book that will get started this week. Like the one using mint. Lemon Mint Vinegar. Our friend Samantha gifted us with some spearmint (and basil) over the weekend that will serve a good purpose for the vinegar!!
This early in the season we end up with a scrumptious load of greens. The challenge, keeping the greens from wilting too fast. We try to make several meals out of our box and this time of year makes it a welcomed scramble!
Firstly, we cut the bottoms of all the greens and place in a cup of water. Our fridge looks like a bouquet of green! Then, I begin to plan each piece of vegetables future. Of course, the lettuce will become a large dinner salad topped with radishes, strawberries and other such garden sundries that appear in the box. The kale becomes the kale salad, etc.
Sometimes though we end up with an abundance of the same green. We then have to become creative as to not eat the same thing over and over again. Although what we make is by no means boring to the palate, it is simply fun to find new and different ways to please it! And this week we ended up with quickly wilting swiss chard and an extra bunch of kale.
So we decided to do pesto! Traditionally pesto is made with basil but did you know that you can use any green, really. Same base ingredients of garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Add in the greens and presto, you’ve got a rich, powerful, mouthwatering pesto. I love the flair that swiss chard brings to the sauce and the kale adds (beyond its nutrients) a thicker texture. We use the pesto with cheese and crackers. Tonight, we will ornate our orzo pasta with avocados, onions, black olives and now, the pesto. Very versatile. Very Good! I have no measurement, nor a recipe I follow. I go by look and taste! So have fun with it!
Also, here are a few other recipes we have tried this week. Take the time to try them out. You won’t be disappointed!
Can’t believe the turnip gratin! Simply Amazing!! And the Carrot Cake was the best birthday cake EVER!
Happy Eats my friends!