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I know what you’re thinking – “That Liz, any excuse to say the word ‘nips’!” but it isn’t like that, I swear. A little while back, I started buying goldfish crackers. This increased when the President’s Choice version came out not too long ago, which are shaped like penguins and just a little bit cheaper than the original.  I started buying these partly to try and break my Crispers habit, because while Crispers are certainly delicious, they are also full of all kinds of crap.  Surprisingly, goldfish/penguin crackers mostly are not.  I mean, they have some things in them that I wouldn’t use in my food at home, but not nearly as bad as the barrage of un-pronounceable things that many other crackers have in them.  And so a cheese-y cracker addiction began.  Sometimes I would opt for Cheese Nips (I swear, I’m not trying to advertise for any of these brands) if they were on sale.  But always, as I bought these, there was a voice in my head nagging me. It was saying “Stop buying these – save your money.  You know you can make these at home”.  This voice usually comes up in the cookie aisle, when I’m tempted to buy some crappy grocery store cookies and I talk myself out of it with images of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

Not too long ago, I never would have dreamed of making crackers.  Even though I’ve seen roommates make them before with ease.  But those are usually healthy crackers, and I just want a salty snack.  All the homemade crackers I pictured in my head were covered in seeds and made with spelt and all that – completely delicious for many purposes, but generally not the kind of crackers I buy anyways.   But then, almost a year ago now, there was THIS.  I remember reading that post and having my mind blown.  It looked so easy.  So few ingredients! And yet, I didn’t have a goldfish-shaped cookie cutter.  So I put off making them.  And oh yeah, I didn’t really have a good food processor either.  Always excuses, and I kept buying the cheesey store crackers.

Today, I came home from the grocery store to do my homework.  And I did homework, for a little while.  And then I remembered that every day last week I brought penguin-cheese crackers with me to school in my lunch, and I didn’t have any more for this week.  I remembered that I just bought 2 blocks of cheese on sale (300g block for 2 bucks! Pretty good deal!).  Without hesitation, I got up, and started grating cheese.  I knew if I started, it would come together in no time, and it did.  The only part of this recipe that takes any time is the actual baking, and that’s not really active time.  So make these for yourself, because holy crap, they are sooo easy and more delicious than any store version, and cheaper, and they only have SIX ingredients. Two of them are flour, and none of them are weird.  And really, truly, you don’t need a goldfish cookie cutter to make them.

Cheese Crackers a la Goldfish (adapted from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from The Lee Bros.)

– 1 1/2 cups grated old cheddar cheese (really pack it in those cups, the more cheese the better. If you want to weigh it, its supposed to be 6 ounces of grated cheese)

-4 TBSP of butter (I cut mine into little cubes, and softened a bit in the microwave)

-1/2 cup whole wheat flour

-1/4 cup regular flour

-1/4 tsp. onion powder (optional – you can barely taste it, but I think it adds character)

-1/4 tsp. salt (you can put less – these are not as salty as the store-bought kind, but they are still salty.  I’m a salt fiend, so if you want less, go for it)

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and let blend until it forms a ball of dough. This should take about 2 minutes.  THIS was the craziest thing ever! When I turned on my food processor, it just looked like bread crumbs, and I thought there was no way it would come together into a ball of dough.  Did I miss something? Am I supposed to add some water? I checked the recipe again and read through the comments.  Nope, no water. I resisted the urge to add some right away and decided to (gasp!) follow the directions. It was nuts, I’ve never seen this before.  A mix of totally dry and crumbly bits started to get more clumpy, and more clumpy, until suddenly it was one big ball of dough and my food processor was working hard to push it around in circles.  Crazy! So, have faith in this dough.

Roll it out (on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin) until it is 1/8 inch thick.  I never know how thick my dough is, so just try and get it fairly thin, yet thick enough that you are still actually able to pick it up off your rolling surface. Since I don’t have any cookie cutters, I just cut my crackers into squares, placed them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, pricked them a few times with a fork (to let the steam escape) and misted them with water.  In my insanely-fast-super-hot oven, these only took about 5-6 minutes per batch, but the recipe said 12-15.  So keep an eye on them.  Take them out when they are starting to be golden at the edges, but before they burn (duh).  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Keep in an airtight container at room temperature.  Sometimes things like this go soggy when they are in containers, I will let you know if that happens.

I ate about a million of them while I baked, and still ended up with about 80 1-inch square crackers, so pretty good.  They cost me about $1 worth of cheese to make, and the rest of the ingredients I always have and so I count that cost as pretty much negligible. So all in all, a great deal. Even if “I love homemade-cheesey-square-crackers cuz they’re so delicious!” doesn’t quite flow off the tongue in the same way. Enjoy!

Forgive the Gil Scott-Heron reference (on second thought, don’t excuse it), but when I first ate the result of the recipe I’m going to share with you, I proclaimed to my classmates “OH MAN, this is a lunch revolution!!!”.  Presumably they found me both charming and decidedly nuts.

Before I go any further, I have to give credit where credit is due.  I did not think this up on my own.  I didn’t actually think it up at all; instead, someone mentioned a packed-lunch standby of hers to me in passing, and I flipped right out. Then, I proceeded to yell excitedly about it to anyone who would listen, and most people humoured me but didn’t care that much, except for Carly, who said repeatedly: “that is SO smart. that is so SMART. that is SO SMART” (add something else onto the list of why I love Carly: she is equally enthusiastic as myself about revelations in the realm of packed lunches, in spite of the fact that she currently does not have to pack a lunch to go anywhere).  Anyways, the point is, thank you very much to Ruth for introducing me to this idea so casually over some afternoon wine in Kitchener.

Without further ado, I bring you your new lunch: homemade frozen burritos.  If you didn’t just say to yourself “holy shit!”, then you probably don’t care that much about this. But me, I freaked. Homemade frozen burritos! In the store they have frozen burritos that you buy and microwave and eat! But they are generally not that good! And sometimes they are really expensive! I love burritos! Burritos are one of the two things I’m always in the mood for! The other is roti, which is a similar concept! Why haven’t I thought of making burritos and freezing them?!

Ruth explained to me, in brief, her method: she makes a bunch of burritos, but instead of layering in the filling like you would normally, she mixes everything together in a big slop – beans, cheese, veggies, etc. just all together.  I guess this will make it freeze/thaw/cook better and more evenly.  Makes sense to me! Then, she said, she individually wraps them in little parchment paper bags, and freezes them. Then, when its time to pack a lunch, she just grabs one, brings it with her, and microwaves it for 2 minutes or so when its chow-time. BLAM-O!

And so, the week before I went back to school for second semester, I spent an hour making myself a batch of burritos to freeze.  It really only took an hour start to finish I would say, which I think is well worth it given that I got 6 lunches out of it.  In my burritos:

-one can of my favourite refried beans

-homemade salsa     -cubed, roasted sweet potato     -chopped and sauteed onion, carrot, and garlic

-frozen corn from my CSA that I froze in August      -grated cheddar cheese     -cilantro and green onions

-a chipotle pepper, also from my CSA, which was surprisingly HOT

-a bit of sour cream, and seasonings of salt, pepper, cumin

I mixed all that together, and then assembled.  I used 10-inch whole wheat tortillas, and heated them for about 15 seconds to make them more pliable, then scooped in the filling and rolled them up.  I made little parchment paper bags by stapling sheets of the paper together (note to self and to you: do not put the paper bags in the microwave later on, staples are made of metal and that is bad in the microwave) and then put them into freezer bags.  I did a sort of bad thing and put them straight into the freezer when they were still warm, which means that they got some condensation from the steam that may ultimately mean a bit of freezer burn, but oh well.

On Tuesday I had my first day where I packed a lunch, and I excitedly brought one of my burritos.  The best thing is that since they’re frozen rock-hard, I don’t need to bring an ice pack or anything like that, because it stays cold until my lunch time.  The other best thing is not having to wake up and go “Dang, I have nothing to bring for lunch!”.  The other best thing is that they are delicious.  I microwaved that baby for 2.5 minutes total, flipped it over once to get it cooking evenly, and it was so good.  Keep in mind, like most frozen burritos, by the time the microwave was done it is more fork-and-knife material then handheld, but that’s okay.  It was so satisfying.  A filling, homemade, healthy, and cheap lunch. Score! Happy New Year to lunch!

Witch’s Brew

Normally I would start out with a lot of apologies and explanations for why I haven’t posted in so long.  But you know, bygones. It’s a new year, and does it really matter? I’m here now. I will try and post a bunch in the next few days, because I made a lot of homemade gifts this Christmas season, and now that they’ve all been received by their recipients I can post about them without ruining any surprises.  In the meantime, though, I’m here to tell you about making beer. BEER.

When I was really young, my dad used to homebrew beer.  I only have vague recollections of his equipment, and of course I was too young to sample it.  When my little brother was born, he stopped brewing, but since my brother is now away at university, he’s started up again, and this time he’s delving even deeper into the art and science of brewing beer.  He tells me that back in the day he brewed from malt extract, rather than from the malted barley itself.  I gather that using malt extract would be like making lemonade from a frozen can of lemonade concentrate, whereas working from the barley itself is more like squeezing all those lemons yourself and making simple syrup, etc. When you brew from the barley rather than the extract, you also have way more freedom in terms of how you want your beer to end up tasting – just like cooking things from scratch affords you more control with your food.  So this Christmas, when I was at my dad’s house, we spent a day brewing beer.  He had asked me in advance what kind of beer I’d like to make, and I decided on a coffee porter.

Mixing up the barley mash.

The basic procedure, as far as I can remember, goes like this. You start with your big sack of malted roasted barley.  My dad gets his from a guy in Windsor, Ontario.  Depending on what you are making, you may have a mix of barley that is more darkly roasted with lighter roasted, etc. In this case, my dad got a bag of barley that was kind of pre-mixed for making porter.  So you heat some water, you mix it with the barley, you really smash it around and mix it, there’s a bunch of stuff with adding water and taking temperatures that I don’t remember really.  Eventually you start draining the liquid out into a big pot.  My dad crafted his equipment himself, and so he used this big yellow water cooler for mashing the barley, and he put a false bottom in it that strains out the big barley pieces as it drains through the nozzle thing. Very technical terms I’ve got here, eh?

I keep forgetting what this mixing wand tool thing is called. I prefer to call it the Mash Tongue.

So you drain it out, and you do it slowly through a hose and try to avoid getting any big chunks of barley in your pot.  This whole process takes longer than it sounds – around an hour or so just to mash and drain it usually.  Then you heat that brew up.  My dad has a big propane burner that he sets up in the garage (where he does all his brewing so that his house doesn’t smell like hops all the time).  You let it come to a boil, and you boil it for an hour.  In the last 15 minutes you add your hops.  For porter, we had two different kinds of hops to add.  One was added at the 15 minute mark, and one was added a little closer to the end – the hops added at the end will not get cooked as much and will thus offer more hoppy flavour to the finished product (i love hops).

Homebrew station setup.

After boiling it, you drain it out of the pot into the receptacle that it will ferment in (in this case a sterilized bucket).  You have to drain it nice and slowly again, and you want a lot of air to get in there, because air is good to feed the yeast.  Then you add the yeast, which my dad had already been brewing up since the day before, in a fruit jar on the counter. It was extra oozy!

Draining out the barley mash into the pot for boiling.

Basically then you let it ferment for 10 days or so.  If you know anything about yeast, then you know that it has to be warm for yeast to do its work, so you ferment in a warm place.  Then you start to chill it and age it.  Then you drink it! In this case, since we were making coffee porter and not just regular porter, you add a cup of espresso after it ferments.

Relaxing in lawn chairs and watching a pot boil.

I haven’t tasted this beer yet, but my dad is going to try and bottle some and send it to me somehow.  He tasted it when it was done fermenting, and said that even when it was warm that it tasted great.  I will let you know how it turns out! Brewing beer was fun, though really cold when you’re spending a number of hours in a garage in the winter.  I kept putting my face over the boiling pot of beer to warm up, and I’m pretty sure my face was all burnt in the days after, because I was rosy cheeked for a few days.  There are a lot worse things, lemme tell you.

Into the bucket for fermenting!

ADDENDUM – courtesy of my Dad, some of the more scientific stuff that I forgot:

The grain blend that the guy in Windsor sell and grinds was my recipe for Porter. He weighs it out and grinds it cause his grinder rocks!

The yellow cooler itself is called the “Mash Tun”, the process of steeping the grains to change the starch to sugar being called “mashing”.  The wooden tool is called the “Mixing Wand Tool Thing”

and

There were some hops added right when it started to boil, these are the ones that will contribute bitterness but no flavor. Boiling for a long time means that you extract the bittering compounds but boil off the flavor compounds. Adding hops near the end has an opposite effect, not much bitterness and hopefully you keep the flavor.

I can tell you that I think it tastes great. It’s just about fully carbonated. I think I’ll be bottling soon.

This is a food blog.  It is not a blog about the news or about politics.  But today, I can’t talk about summer berry cakes or peach salsa or yellow dahl or homemade ricotta cheese.  Today, I can only talk about Jack Layton.  I won’t say too much, because there are many people who will or have already said things better than I probably could (including Jack himself).  I will say, though, that I have never felt the loss of such a public person in such a personal way.  I never had the opportunity to actually meet Jack – and my thoughts are very much with those who did know him personally, because your loss is surely greater than the rest of ours – but his death still feels momentous in my own life.  I do not believe that Canadians have had a political leader (of any party) who has had the dedication, the charisma, the integrity, and the courage that Jack Layton had, and I am immensely grateful for all of his hard work.  Everyone should read his letter to Canadians, and we should absolutely not forget that while we have lost an amazing political leader, everything we voted for in May still holds true, and we should not let anybody tell us differently.  Keep voting, and keep fighting – I don’t think there is any better way to honour Jack.  May he rest peacefully.

Photo credit to Jenna Marie Wakani, who worked with Jack and who lost a friend today.

PEACHES. Holy moly, do I ever love them. I feel like this year I’ve missed a lot of the summer seasonal fruit, both because I was out of town so much during the month of July when things like raspberries and blueberries were in their heyday, but also because this year was actually not very fruitful for some of our more beloved summer fruits – mostly the stone fruits.  Why? Well, we had a wet spring, and our already-waning pollinators can’t go out in the rain to pollinate those beautiful cherry and apricot blossoms.  Not Far From the Tree has a great blog post explaining this, check it out here.  What this all means is that now that I’m finally moved and settled, I’m also ready to start cooking, baking, and preserving like a madwoman, and peaches are right on time.

I bought myself a basket of Ontario peaches, and since our dear friend Emily was coming over the next day to see our new apartment in the morning, I wanted to make some kind of breakfast cake to be enjoyed with coffee or tea.  In the recent tradition of my freestyle banana bread, I decided to essentially make the recipe up as I went along.  The problem? Well, it seems that when I cook I can remember EITHER to take photos, OR to write down the recipe I’m making up as I go.  I have yet to master the taking of pictures AND the recipe recording AND the cooking altogether.  The result this time is that I have a great new recipe for you, with no photos of the work in progress. D’oh!

The good news? I couldn’t have been happier with how this little coffee cake thing turned out.  It was just the right sweetness, a great texture, and the peaches weren’t overpowered by the other ingredients.  Without further ado, here’s my recipe – finally, an original of mine!

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I used bread flour because it’s what I had on hand)

1/4 cup or so of regular large flake oats (this was an afterthought so I just dumped some in)

3/4 tsp of both baking soda and baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

some freshly grated nutmeg, and a generous pinch of cinnamon

Stir together those dry ingredients!

3/4 stick of butter, softened (a stick is one quarter of a 1lb block of butter, or 6/8 of a cup)

1/4 cup of white sugar

1/4 cup plus another small glug of maple syrup

1 egg

a splash of vanilla and a splash of dark rum

3/4 cup of plain yogurt

1 cup of chopped peaches

Cream together the butter, sugar and syrup, and then beat in the egg, vanilla, and rum.  Stir in the yogurt and then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Stir until combined and then add in the peaches.  Bake in a VERY well-greased or parchment-lined loaf pan for approximately 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  You’ll have to keep an eye on it and just keep inserting a toothpick or fork to test for the cake’s doneness – for a long time it seemed like the top of mine was going to burn long before the cake was cooked, but it worked out fine.  I also sprinkled the top with some turbinado sugar before baking for that crunchy sugar topping!  A great finishing touch! Here’s what the cake looked like when it was done:

Now, since I did such a poor job of photo-documenting this tasty little creation, I’ll end with a smattering of photos of recent edible delights.  Next time I’ll do better, I promise!

Pizza with golden zucchini, caramelized onions, and fresh basil and kale from the garden!

Bread and Butter Pickles with Fresh Ginger!

Strawberry summer cake back from Canada Day weekend! Kat didn't get any and she was sad...

See you next time! I’ll keep you posted about my preserving exploits and the vegetarian creations I cook up on my brand new (drumroll!) BBQ!

Building my pantry…

I moved again last weekend. Yes, again.  In case you aren’t keeping track, this is the 4th apartment I’ve lived in in the last year. CRAZY. What is this, Montreal again? Whatever stability credibility I gained by living at 381 Lansdowne for two whole years is now shot! The important thing is that I’m hoping to be settled in this new place for awhile.  I have a roommate again – none other than Kat Burns – which means some changes for me but it’s going to be great! Next month I’ll be back in school, and since I’m going to be living off of savings and OSAP I want to be as self-sufficient as possible.  Therefore, while I am terribly behind (too many vacations in July! Sigh, woe is me!) the canning and preserving marathon month starts now.  I’m looking forward to building a pantry of preserves that can help me last through the winter months.  That, in addition to making more and more things from scratch (granola, bread, CHEESE, yogurt…) will hopefully mean that Kat and I can live on the cheap, and still on the delicious! Once tomatoes are in full swing I’ll be going crazy standing over my big pot of boiling water filling jars forever, but for now – it’s PICKLES.

Last year I made my first foray into pickling, which was also one of my first adventures in canning beyond jam.  Don’t get me wrong, jam is awesome, but really I don’t eat that much and I’ve been looking for more challenging projects.  I love dill pickles, and the ones I made last year turned out pretty great, so I opted to make a similar batch again this year, with some slight changes.

First of all, this year I made a bulk order of pickling cukes from my CSA.  I picked them up yesterday – all 12lbs.  While I would have been happy to turn them all into dill pickles, I thought maybe I’d do half that and half something else.  Today I made the pickles, and I’ll still accept your suggestions as to what I should do with the second half of those cukes! Last year when making my dills, I used a club house pickling spice mix.  This year I opted to make my own – because really, why wouldn’t you? After a trip to my new neighbourhood bulk store for spices, I crafted a spice mix containing: coriander seeds, mustard seeds, whole allspice, ground ginger, red pepper flakes, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, and dill seed.  Let me tell you, this pickles are going to be ZESTY.  I also opted to put a bit of sugar in with my brine because last year my pickles were just a touch too zippy – likely because I used the 7% pickling vinegar rather than the regular 5% stuff, which I did again this year.  Into each jar I put a dill head, a clove of garlic, and a dried chile.  Dried chile! I’m excited about this addition – I have no idea how spicy these pickles are going to be, but I think they will be pretty hot and I’m psyched.

I packed in my cukes – I actually had washed and prepped too many, so hopefully they will keep for a few days in the fridge until I make whatever’s next.  (As for prepping, I cut the nub off of each end and let them sit in some ice water for awhile – this supposedly helps them to stay crispy – and I like a crispy pickle).  Boiled my brine and poured it over, and processed my jars for 10 minutes! They look pretty good.  The worst thing about making pickles is the waiting – they’re best if you wait a couple months before eating them.  TORTURE.  I’ve been thinking of trying to make a dill relish with the rest of the cukes, because yesterday I was inspired by the internet to try my hand at making ketchup, mustard, and relish this year for gifts.  I just simply don’t think there is anything cuter sounding than that! I’m a dill relish, not a sweet relish kinda gal, so that’s my plan for now, but I’m also open to other pickle suggestions! I can always get more cukes for relish! Tell me your pickle ideas!!!

P.S. Here lies the requisit apology for taking so long to update, accompanied by the requisite photo of my new, terrific kitchen! Still unpacking but this apartment is really coming together, and I love this kitchen!

The return of summer!

The following post can be read to the tune of:

I have been a very bad blogger.  This has, most certainly, been my biggest lapse and as always, I apologize.  But rather than dwell on reasons or excuses, how about I just tell you about some delicious things?  Since it’s been so long since I’ve posted here’s a smattering of images from foods I’ve made in the last couple of months:

Buckwheat pancakes with blueberry-rhubarb compote

Shaved asparagus pizza

That last photo is of my go-to veggie burger recipe.  I’ve been making it for years, and I often crave it.  Usually I have everything for it on hand, so it’s a great recipe for when you are trying to use up things in your fridge.  The first time I had these burgers my good friend and housewife Krista Nerland made them for me and some friends, back in Montreal, many moons ago.  This was when I still ate meat, and when I thought of vegetarian food as usually lacklustre – particularly when it seemed like vegetarian “health food”.  What I’m trying to say is that I was expecting to hate these burgers, and to lie through my teeth that I liked them.  But then, I DID like them.  I was surprised.  They contained something called “bulgur” and that did not at all sound appealing.  Perhaps my now-love of delicious, natural, whole foods can be traced back to this moment.  The recipe itself is from a Moosewood cookbook – Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home – to be precise.

I’ve adapted this recipe slightly – mostly to make a smaller batch, and used their variation of adding chickpeas (I honestly can’t imagine these burgers without the chickpeas – I don’t think I’d like them nearly as much).  The “small” batch – the one I’m sharing here – still makes 6-8 good sized burgers.

Mince 1 garlic clove, and saute it in some oil for a couple minutes with 3/4 cup of bulgur.  Add 1 1/2 cups of boiling water, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and bulgur is tender.  *NOTE* for years when I made this recipe I made it with fine bulgur, and never needed to actually cook it at all – I just poured the water over and covered it and let it sit (like couscous) off the heat.  This was the first time I’ve ever actually cooked it on the stove, because now I have whole bulgur which is much larger, like wheatberries (are they the same thing?!) so just note that if you have fine grain bulgur you really don’t need to cook it.

Meanwhile, assemble the following things in a mixing bowl:  1/4 cup chopped green onions, 1/4 cup grated carrot, 1/8 cup chopped parsley (I frequently use cilantro instead, and I also don’t ever measure it, I just throw a big pile in, YUM), 1/8 cup tahini, 1 tbsp. tomato paste (get the stuff in a tube and you won’t have a rotting can of paste in your fridge!), 1 tbsp. tamari, 1/2 teaspoon (or however much you like) dijon mustard, add your favourite hot sauce (optional) and salt and pepper to taste.

Mix all those things together! Then, mash 1/2 -1cup chick peas (the more you add, the harder it will be to get them to stay together, but I generally use more than the 1/2 cup the recipe calls for) and add them into the mix.  When the bulgur is ready, mix it in too.  Then form your patties (don’t burn your hands!) and place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Bake for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.   You can also fry these burgers, but I gave that up a few years ago because they never stay together and they become an oily mess.  In the oven they still sometimes fall apart when you flip them (be gentle!) but it’s nowhere near as bad as the frying scenario.  But if you’re brave and wanna fry them, be my guest.

If you love chick peas and veggie burgers that don’t try to taste like meat, I hope you will like these a lot.  They are nutty, and the flavours all mingle so well.  I imagine you could alter this recipe to put your own favourite seasonings/sauces in it, but you would want to keep the same amount of binding liquid-y stuff (i.e. tahini, tomato paste, mustard) to drier grainier things if you care about them actually staying together.  Yum! Now I just want these for dinner, but that’s not what I’m having tonight.

In other news, that time of the year is here again – the time when I feel busy all the time because I need to use most of my precious non-working moments to can things.  Canning! I made two batches of jam today, which meant standing in a small, sweaty kitchen and stirring for longer than I normally would on a day off, but really it’s so easy and satisfying and it made me remember why I like preserving things so much.

I made an old favourite today – my Aunt Linda’s Christmas Jam, which I blogged about last year (and used my own blogged recipe today while making it, which Paul thought was cool), but I also made a new, slightly experimental jam.  Rosemary Rhubarb.  Now, I followed a recipe, and in theory it’s not very different from the Rhubarb Ginger jam I’ve made a few times before, but obviously the flavour combination is totally different, and I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Paul loves it.  I like it quite a bit, though it’s the kind of thing that tastes good but also confuses your brain a little bit.  I’m interested to see how other people find it, but I think that it would definitely be amazing with a good goat’s cheese and some bread.

I hope to do a lot more experimental canning this year, and I want to break away from just jam and into more challenging things – more relishes, chutneys, sauces, syrups! I also have big plans to buy a bushel of tomatoes and can them all so that I can live off them in the sad winter months.  So stay tuned, this won’t be my last sweaty stove afternoon!