Friday, July 29, 2011

Blueberry Freezer Jam

The recipe I used was from the Pumona's Universal Pectin, which I bought at my local health food store.

For those who have not made jam or jelly before, freezer jam is different from shelf-stable varieties in that you do NOT cook the fruit. Which also means you retain the fruit flavor better.

Pumona's contains 1 packet of low Methoxyl citrus pectin and 1 packet monocalcium phosphate.

I bought 5 - 2 lb containers of blueberries. So 10 lbs of blueberries.

This made approximately 16 cups of smashed fruit.

The recipe from Pumona's called for these measurements:
4c mashed fruit
1/4c lemon or lime (optional)
1/2-1c honey or 3/4-2c sugar
3/4 water
3t Pectin powder
4-12t calcium water

Here is how my attempt measured out:

16 cups smashed blueberries
1c lime or lemon juice (optional)
6c sugar
3c water
12t Pectin powder
24-36t calcium water

1) Make calcium water (directions in box of pectin)
2) Wash and rinse the jars and lids. I sterilize my jars in boiling water for 10 minutes, and then place them in a hot oven to keep them hot and dry until ready to use. The lids remain in boiling water until use.
3) Wash fruit, pick out the bad fruit, and mash the good fruit. Depending on the fruit, you may or may not need to use a food processor.
4) Mix in lemon or lime juice (optional).
5) Measure the fruit and lime/lemon juice.
6) Measure sugar or other sweetener (many alternatives to sugar mentioned in packet) and stir into fruit.
7) Boil the water. A food processor is needed. Place water and Pectin powder in the blender and blend so that all the powder dissolves, around 1-2 minutes.
8) Add this mixture, while still hot, to the fruit and sugar. Mix in very well.
9) For original recipe size (not my large batch), add 4t calcium water to fruit/pectin mixture. Stir well, and if you don't start to see jell form, add more calcium water, 1t at a time.
10)Pull jars out of the oven and fill them, leaving 1/2" head space. Put on lids and store in freezer right away. Keep in the refrigerator only when you are going to be using the jam. It lasts about a week in the refrigerator.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Garlic chicken

This is a recipe my mom passed along to me.  If you have a sickly person in the house, you can go even heavier on the garlic.  I like a ton of garlic.  My mom even made this with four HEADS of garlic instead of four cloves, and it turned out okay. It is a great comfort food. 

Garlic Chicken

1 Tbsp. Oil/butter/palm oil shortening

2 lbs of chicken breasts
1 C. chopped onion
4 whole garlic cloves or elephant garlic, minced
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 tsp worchestershire sauce or worchestershire sauce substitute (for my son, I left off this ingredient)
1 1/2 C chicken broth (I use Kitchen Basics)
1 1/2 C plain milk substitute (this is in place of evap milk) - almond milk or plain non-coconut-tasting milk works great.

Optional ingredient - cashews.  Yummy, and they give it a good crunch.

There are two methods for cooking this: 

Longer Method 

Chop up chicken, onions, and garlic.   Throw everything in a slow cooker or roaster for several hours.

Shorter Method, though more work  

Melt shortening in a large skillet.  Add chicken breasts.  Brown. Add onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and worchestershire sauce.  Add broth and milk. Serve over cooked rice.

Put in a casserole dish (a deep one).  Cook covered, for 1 - 1 1/2 hours in a 300 degree oven. Remove from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes.  Serve over cooked rice.