Sunday, October 11, 2009

Dulce de Leche Update

I tried making this in the pressure worked great!

I didn't realize my pressure cooker was looking so shabby. It is 30 yrs. old. Hubby welded a new handle on it a few yrs ago.
Put your can of sweetened condensed milk in the cooker and cover with water. I used
Western Family brand this time. It was just as good as Eagle Brand.
Put the lid on and bring to pressure. After you put the cap on then turn the heat down
to medium. Time it for 30 min. Let the pressure cooker cool off before opening it. DON"T put water on it to cool it off. Your can could explode!

This is much quicker than boiling it for 3 hrs. Dan says it's safer to do this method because the pressure outside the can is the same as inside the can.
I made this delicious gluten free apple cake and put the warm caramel on top of it like a frosting.

Heidi said she put hers on apple pie. The marriage of apples and carmel is a match made in heaven.
Use your favorite cake recipe....add some chopped apples...bake. Mine took 40 min.

Monday, October 5, 2009

All About Grapes and then some....

The grape harvest was great this year! Purple Concords....delectable Himrods...and what's the black ones?....oh yeah...blackberries. What? Blackberries aren't grapes.
This is my winning combination for the most DELICIOUS juice ever!
My garden may have looked awful this year despite my good intentions to weed it but the fruits of the vine were fantastic as always. I love fruit. Easy to care for. No Weeding. Just pluck and eat.
Here's some pics of the grapes growing.
First the concords.

They're like jewels hanging from above.

The Himrod vines are 30 yrs old and stretch out 40 ft long and 10 feet up
forming a gorgeous wall hiding undesirables from the front yard...i.e. cars, junk, etc.
Talk about useful landscaping.

I didn't get a picture of the blackberries but I have 6 THORNLESS blackberry
plants that produce a mountain of berries every year. They grow in a fountain
shape and the runners are 10 to 15 feet long which drape over a fence.
I'm really turned on to the idea of an edible yard.
There are so many plants that look good in a landscaping
and are so darn delicious to eat! But I digress.
To make delicious juice you have to extract the juice from the grapes and berries.
I happen to have this terrific steam juicer. It has three layers. The bottom holds the
water, the middle collects the juice, and the top is where you dump the grapes.
There's a spigot which you open up to put the collected juice into the jar.
Voila! Super easy! This doesn't work for apples though. gross.

Then all you do is put a cap on the jar and water bath the jars. I canned 45 quarts of juice.
Now something very yummy to do with this grape/berry combo is
to make syrup for pancakes/waffles. I like to put my syrup
on greek yogurt.

If you've never had greek yogurt you must give it a go!
I'm addicted to it! It has the texture of sour cream.

I also canned 85 quarts of pears and 95 quarts of peaches again this year.
The pears from the LDS farm and the peaches from Harry and David orchards.
I used OREGOLD this year. My favorite peach now and forever. At least for now.
Here's the munchkins enjoying the peaches.

To my edible forest (I live in the forest hence the name) I've added
a Taro plant and Elderberries and a lemon tree. I made some elderberry juice and syrup also handpicked
from the mountains. I thought...geesh....why not grow my own?
I also grow raspberries and strawberries.
I have plans for more fruit too!
I want everyone to start thinking of where they live. What kind of
landscaping do you have? How can I make this landscaping edible?
Tomatoes in the flowers? Squash in the front yard? Columnar apple trees
standing like soldiers by the front door? Many fruits these days are geared
for growing in pots. And geared for small plots. Get creative!