• Canning,  Cooking

    Homemade Horseradish Sauce

    Mondays are always good days for a “Who would’ve thought?” story. Back in May I took a trip to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and spent a Tuesday afternoon browsing the newly planted gardens. I remember taking this photo while I was there and wondering who on this green Earth decides the Herb of the Year? Sure enough, there’s an International Herb Association, who selects the Herb of the Year for special celebration and promotion.  2011 happens to be the Year of Horseradish. Who would’ve thought?   Horseradish and I don’t have a strong prior relationship, one mostly unscrewing the jar and turning my burning nose away from pungency.  News flash.…

  • Canning,  Cooking

    Vegetable Soup Day

    The kitchen partner and I spent Labor Day weekend back in Wisconsin, visiting family and relaxing after a busy August.  A long summer weekend wouldn’t be complete without a canning project though. There’s just so many tasty things available now, it’s hard not to preserve anything we can get our hands on.  I try not to draw attention to it, but today I noticed just a few more leaves with a yellow tinge on my drive home.  Fall is creeping in and the season’s canning days are numbered. Thankfully, this project involved everyone in the family–a regular ‘ole vegetable soup day. It started by raiding my parents’ garden for the…

  • Canning,  Cooking,  Local Products

    ELC Day #10- Campground Pasta Sauce

    The kitchen partner and I are packing up today for a well-needed vacation. We planned this trip when there was still snow on the ground; hard to believe it’s August already. The anticipation of busting out the tent and the cooler Lake Superior weather. I can hardly contain myself. Seriously. This gal hasn’t had her hiking boots on in weeks. Camping during the Eat Local, America challenge shouldn’t be too much of a stretch. We do our best to pack as much fresh, local food that will last without refrigeration. After the first day or so, the non-perishables take over. Minnesota has good options in the dehydrated camping food area…

  • Canning,  Cooking

    My Very First Dill Pickles

    The air is so thick with vinegar, my nose and eyes are burning.  There’s dirty dishes everywhere.  A tiny “pop” can be heard every few minutes. It can only mean one thing: it’s pickle time!  Tonight I canned my very first batch of dill pickles ever. 15 shiny jars on the counter. Cucumbers are running rampant in our garden; I picked over 4 pounds today alone.  I want to remember the abundance in mid-February, so I decided to take my luck at the classic cucumber dill pickle. Although I wont reproduce the recipe here,  (I copied it straight from the Ball Blue Bookand I haven’t tried them yet to know…

  • Canning,  Cooking,  Gardening

    The Last of June and Strawberry Mint Popsicles

    Can you believe June is over? Really? I don’t like to complain about summer being 1/3 or so in the books, so instead I thought I’d share a few highlights from the month followed by another strawberry recipe. It’s a popsicle perfect for what’s shaping up to be a steamy 4th of July weekend. 1. Dinner on the Farm June started with a visit to Crandall’s Garden Farme in Ramsey, MN, complete with Sebastian Joe’s ice cream. Ended up with great posts on 20food.net about the event. 2. The Little Acre Grew and Grew and GrewAll of the garden space was planted by early June. It was a late start,…

  • Canning,  Cooking

    Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

    Back in the swing of things after taking Memorial Day weekend away from the computer. A small reward for reaching 50 posts on the blog. Hope everyone enjoyed the warm weather to get their hands dirty and the extra day off to put their feet up. My long weekend included grilling out for friends, catching a game at Target Field, finishing up the garden, and a batch of strawberry rhubarb jam. A year ago canning seemed like a long shot for me. Between botulism and exploding pressure valves, I was convinced that it was WAY too complex for this amateur foodie. After a reading the Ball Blue Bookcover to cover…