books

QUENCH

 

HANDMADE GATHERINGS

 

A YEAR OF PIES!

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: HOME DAIRY

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING BEES

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: CANNING & PRESERVING

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING CHICKENS


Instagram
  • Discussing the bigger, more important things in life (or, quite possibly, Batman and his prowess) today on our hike and picnic. Being Huxley's mom is my favorite thing to do, of all the things I do.
  • After a picnic lunch and hike in the forests around our home, Huxley and I kissed @glennbenglish goodbye and wished him good luck as he set out on a hunt for the ever elusive morel. He texted to say the magic mushrooms weren't showing themselves, but that he did make it up to the mountain bald that rests on the ridge line behind our property. Love his panoramic video!
  • Hello, gorgeous fog. Happy Monday, friends!
  • Smoked sea salt chocolate chip cookies, because rainy Sundays were meant for baking cookies with my home slice.
  • Nothing you could say could tear me away from my guy. || Playing in the park, from yesterday in Decatur.
  • Rain + birdsong + spring green. On repeat. The city is fun to visit, but home in the cove is where my heart sings.
  • These Brussels sprouts, our first course @pinewoodtr, with their spectacular dipping sauce, were the stuff of crispy, salty, cruciferous dreams. Totally set the tone for the rest of the meal. So, so good.
  • Passed this scene on our driveway earlier this morning as we headed to Decatur, GA for the weekend. Going to miss the cove, but am stoked to enjoy a bit of city living. Happy weekend, friends!
  • Mountain morning ridge line fog is, to me, the best fog. Taken from our entryway porch.
  • Last Thursday, our perennially kind and generous friend Jessica Smith asked if she could stop by with a gift for us. This stunning succulent planter (in a vintage enamel pot) was what she showed up with. Turns out she's starting a new business called DIRT FLIRTS with her friend Diana. As they describe it:
  • Since this past Friday evening, @glennbenglish, Huxley and I have had the exquisite pleasure of hosting @tea_austen in our home. There has been much laughter, much eating, and much sharing of our hearts, minds, and deepest selves. As she drove away just a bit ago, it didn't feel like we were saying goodbye, but instead, see you again, hopefully sooner than later. Thank you for being such delightful company, @tea_austen, and for loving our little guy so fully (and getting a TMNT education in the process ?!). || Image is from this past Sunday, when we took Tara up to #blackbalsam for a hike and a picnic.
  • Jump in, you know these arms can fill you up.
my sponsors
Lucky-Design-7
budha hill natural toysImagine Childhood
Imagine ChildhoodBlissful Belly
Sponsorship Information
blog archive
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008

Good Things Come In Jars

IMG_4053IMG_4097

When you’re an out and proud canner like I am, come the holidays, most of your nearest and dearest pretty much take it for granted they’ll be getting something tasty in a jar. And for good reason. From marmalades to fruit butters, pickles to jams, the provisions I’ve put up all through the growing season were intended for both our own pantry and for at-the-ready gift-giving. While I’d love to be able to give friends and family exquisite, original, hand-crafted, artisan gifts, sometimes finances just don’t allow. I’ve found home-canned goods are just as meaningful to give and just as happily received as store-bought goods while keeping my purse in the positive.

While  the simple, humble jar, unadorned and unfestooned, certainly has its place, I like to give mine an added bit of flair, especially this time of year. Some disks cut from note cards rest atop the lid (scrapbooking paper or fabric would be nice here, as well), while a bit of twine or ribbon embellish the screw band. Simple, yet lovely. Great for last-minute gift-giving that has a personal touch.

My Cardamom Apple Cider Butter is a much-loved favorite amongst my kith and kin. Since you’re all another type of family to me (of the digital kind!), I figured sharing it with you here today seemed like just the right thing. I was just at the market today and saw a wealth of apple varieties still available, so whipping up jars of this fruit butter is a great wintertime canning option.

Here’s wishing you and yours jar-upon-jar of delicious eats, this holiday season and anytime!

 

Cardamom Apple Cider Butter
While I’m an equal-opportunity spice lover, if forced to choose my favorite, I’d probably have to say cardamom. Its aromatic sweetness is beyond compare. Partnered here with apple cider, this apple butter would be just as good slathered onto hot buttered toast as it would be spooned onto slices of warm pound cake.
Yield: 6 half-pint jars.
(Recipe reprinted with permission from Homemade Living: Canning & Preserving with Ashley English: All You Need to Know to Make Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Chutneys & More © 2010 by Ashley English, Lark Crafts, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.)

You Will Need:
-5 pounds cooking apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped (good choices include: Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Gravenstein, McIntosh, Newton, Pippin, or Winesap)
-1 ½ c. apple cider
-2 ½ c. granulated sugar
-3 tsp. ground cardamom
*Alternately, if you have access to cardamom pods, remove the seeds from 4 pods and grind until powdered in a coffee grinder or spice mill for a more intense cardamom flavor.

To Prepare:
1) Place apples and cider in a large stainless-steel pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. If additional liquid is necessary, add water in 2 Tbsp. increments. Remove from heat.
2) Next, either press the cooked apple mixture through a food mill or fine-meshed sieve, puree in a food processor once slightly cooled, or use an immersion blender and puree the mixture in the pot. If using food processor or blender, blend just until smooth, but not runny.
3) Once pureed, return to pot, add sugar and cardamom, and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25-30 minutes until butter thickens and clings to a spoon. Stir often to prevent mixture from sticking. Remove from heat.
4) While butter cooks, sterilize 6 half-pint mason jars, lids, and screw rings. Fill a canner or large stockpot with water and set over medium-high heat. Bring just to boiling point. Place lids in a small saucepan, fill with water, bring to a boil, turn off heat, remove from stovetop, and set aside.
5) Place hot jars on top of a kitchen cloth on the counter. With the help of a canning funnel, pack butter into jars, reserving ¼ -inch headspace. Use a non-metallic spatula to remove any trapped air bubbles and wipe rims clean with a damp cloth. Place on lids and screw bands, tightening only until fingertip-tight.
6) Using a jar lifter, place jars in canner. Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath. Remember to adjust for altitude.

 

 

4 Responses to Good Things Come In Jars

  • Emmalina says:

    Sigh, jars with gorgeous labels on, very jealous! I wish I were close enough to my loved ones to give them delicious treats for Christmas, I keep thinking about how much nosh I would be providing this year. Your family are lucky to have such treats coming their way ; )

  • Jessica says:

    These are really lovely, Ashley! I think I may be cooking up a batch to gift to our guests on Christmas Eve. Perhaps I need to revisit my canning books and plan some last minute gifts.

  • Bette says:

    Oh Ashley,they are just beautiful. I put up pumpkin butter from my harvest to put in Christmas baskets for our grown children. I love the idea of discs and will happily “copy from you” today. Have a blessed Christmas.

  • Penelope says:

    Ooh; thanks for sharing! This will be a lovely gift for my sisters.