Kumquats, relish, rose petals and more

The past few days have been spent with large chunks of time in the kitchen.  We picked more tomatoes from our neighbor, many of which are still sitting on our counter.  I’d love to make a fire roasted salsa, if anyone has a favorite recipe.  We’ve also been enjoying them with olive oil, balsamic and fresh mozzarella.  (David and I have amassed a fun selection of oils and vinegars during our travels.)

Looking at our harvest, I figured it was time to get a little creative.

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The banana peppers became pickled banana peppers.  The jalepenos may become peach jalepeno jam later today, or tomorrow.  And the cayennes are getting tossed into all sorts of things.

Since making roasted tomatoes and swapping them, I’ve been wanting to have some for us.

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Our Jaune Flamme has the perfect size roasting tomatoes, so we were in luck!  I roasted the orange tomatoes, along with a handful of San Marzanos, packed them in olive oil and then froze them.  The frozen jar is now in our freezer, where it should keep for a year (but why would we keep them around that long?)

Thanks to the food swap, we had a pound of kumquats kicking around.  We also had oranges, which I juiced.  David and I marinated the sliced kumquats in some of the orange juice overnight.  We then drank the extra fresh squeezed orange juice.
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The sliced kumquats were then cooked into a Spicy-Sticky Kumquat chutney.  We can’t wait to use it on pork or chicken! I cut the recipe in half, and this is one that I’ll be making again.

As the kumquats had to marinate overnight, I figured it was the perfect time to make Rose Petal Jam, which also had to macerate in sugar overnight.

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Our roses are mostly yellowish orange, and not that fragrant.  I tried to find freshly opened ones, and was able to pick  a bowl full of petals.  The recipe confused me a little- I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to pack the petals down, and when to measure.  I could have emailed her to ask, but I figured I’d go with it.  If you use the recipe, I cut the pectin to 5 tbl and had about 2-4 cups petals, and it gelled perfectly and tastes devine!

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The petals and kumquats both had to cook for about the same time, which made for convenient canning.

While they were cooking, I seeded and chopped a large cucumber that we had laying around.  I grabbed a red pepper, a couple small green peppers and an onion and chopped those to make a sweet relish (used sweet pickle relish from Blue Book).

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I followed the recipe pretty closely, and was surprised to find it was quite liquidy.  I had about 2 cups of liquid left, and made 5 half pints instead of the 8 it said.  We’re excited to find a reason to use the relish.  I was reminded that my grandma used to make and love piccalilli, and that may happen later this summer. I’ve found a lot of good relish recipes so far, including one that uses summer squash.

Our cucumber plants were picked clean, and it’ll be at least a week before we get more.

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I decided to make whole dill pickles with this lot.  A friend gave me a recipe (which we have yet to use), and suggested soaking them overnight in pickling lime.  We’ve yet to pick that up from the store, but it would be nice to have crisp pickles.

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This is our third batch of dill pickles and each has been different.  This batch made two large jars and one small.

Today I also harvested enough long beans to make pickled long beans.

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The long beans are just taking off, and the bunch I picked fit perfectly into a pint jar.  This will be a fun treat, especially since the brine had star anise in it!

All in all, here’s the pickling and canning that we’ve been doing since last Thursday.  David’s been a great sport and helped out during the canning itself, when I call him into the kitchen to pour and stuff jars.

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Did I mention that we did all of the canning without a funnel?  I was so excited to get canning tools earlier this year, that I took out the funnel to use it for something, and then it disappeared!  We’ll get one soon, but finding canning supplies in our part of Los Angeles has been a little bit of an effort.  We now know which stores carry quart jars, widemouth jars, half pint jars and lids.  We have yet to find the 4oz jelly jars, but I know they’re out there!

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One last picture of one of our cat’s helping with laundry.  Roxy won’t make any of the outside garden pictures because she’s too scared to go outside.

backyard farming pic
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3 thoughts on “Kumquats, relish, rose petals and more

  1. If you had emailed, I would have totally tried to help 🙂 Thanks for the shout out, and I’m so happy to read it worked for you and tasted great. Measuring the petals is weird indeed. We measured not packed down, which means the size of the petals would matter a whole lot. Taking note for next time I write up a recipe!

    If you need a new funnel, this one here is totally genius because it keeps the jar rims clean:
    http://www.crateandbarrel.com/canning-funnel/s599131?a=1552&gclid=CKP_s7PKv7gCFQSk4AodAEkAGQ

    • Thanks for the offer of help and the funnel suggestion!! I’m the type to adapt recipes myself and try to figure things out. Our jam is a beautiful pink color that we’re enjoying pairing with a goat milk gouda. We just deadheaded our roses, and should get another bloom soon. I am excited to see how many jars we can squirrel away.

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