Thanksgiving: I've said it before and will say it again, my favorite Holiday! I still cook enough for eight, even if its just for us two now-a-days. When you are a cook and canner - your Holiday starts before anyone elses and ends long after too! From the day after Halloween, gearing up to clear out the fridge and freezers to "make room" for the Holidays is how I kick things off. If there is a free turkey to be found, I get it and throw it in the freezer to process into wonderful canned items like soups, stews, stocks and quick meals and save my fresh bird for the big day...Cranberries hit the store in early November and I get started on those next. This year I am trying my friend Paula's "canned" homemade gelled cranberry sauce (first photo below) No matter what you chose to make for your family, make it easy on yourself, jot ideas down on what you want to serve, how many you need to feed and work from there. Budget minded folks can produce a beautiful spread with fresh, healthy and homemade side dishes too! If its just turkey, salad and some homemade bread - that's just as great! Thanksgiving is ALL ABOUT the memories and creating a warm welcoming atmosphere for you, your family and friends, The meal is just the 'icing on the cake" I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving! If you have a question about any of my recipes below - or others on my website - feel free to message me and we can work on getting you prepared for T-DAY! Another reminder, think of the little items you use every day that you might forget about during the hustle and bustle of the Holidays...the simple things like tin-foil, dish soap, and leftover food containers come to mind over here... for you canners out there - remember you will be saving your turkey carcasses to create turkey stock - you don't have to process right away - just wrap well, bag and toss in the freezer until you have time and give my Turkey Bone Broth a try!
Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy! Diane
Gelled Cranberry Sauce (homemade) *can be canned
Green Bean Bake
Sour Cream & Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato Bake
Southern Corn Pudding
No Knead Dutch Oven Bread
Turkey - Smoked & Grilled
Turkey - Roasted in the Oven
Turkey Bone Broth
Desserts: I usually serve my homemade spiced apple galette, a cherry pie, a pumpkin pie and this year, my Pumpkin Spiced Bundt Cake will be added to the line-up! I will be sharing that recipe soon!!
I created a new fruit butter that could double as a side on my Holiday table, a great fruit butter that is easily converted to a sauce for basting onto grilled foods too! Serve with turkey or even on leftover turkey sandwiches at the Holidays - YUM! ~Enjoy! Diane
Cranberry/Blueberry Fruit Butter
3 Fuji Apples, sliced thin - peels left on
1 (12 oz bag) Fresh Cranberries
1 cup apple juice
1 (pint) Blueberries (I used my home-canned ones in blueberry juice)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
3 cups sugar
2 tsp cinnamon * *
3 Tbs sweet cocoa * *
Cook down the apples and cranberries in a large stock pot at a high heat in the apple juice for a good 10 minutes, add in all the remaining ingredients except for the cinnamon and cocoa powder. Let this cook down and thicken for a good 30-45 minutes, Use an immersion blender to blend your fruit butter smooth. Taste test at this point, if you like your sauce on the tart side then its ready for canning. **If you want to tone down the tart taste just a bit more, add in the cinnamon and coca powder. Waterbath can half-pints for 10 minutes or according to your altitude.
Yield: Approx 5 half-pints/fruit butters have a shelf life of about 6 months in pantry.
Recipe and Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home
Most folks call a chicken based liquid a broth or a stock - which is the traditional way of saying "a flavored meat based addition to the solids in a soup or sauce." There are three terms bantered about quite often and I hear the dreaded "oh, but, they are all the same" No actually, they each ARE different. We are talking about Broth, Stock and Bone Broth. My personal favorite is the "oh so tasty and good for you" Bone Broth. Before I share my way of creating a bone broth for canning (you also don't have to can this, you can freeze it) I will share the meaning of each term so you can distinguish between them in the future. The explanation below comes directly from "The Nourished Kitchen"
Chicken (or Turkey) Bone Broth - SlowCooker Version
When we roast a chicken or a turkey - my next step is to save the carcass and any leftover wings that can go into my 6 quart slowcooker. Since these have already been roasted in the oven during the usual cook time, I don't re-roast the bones as some might. The difference in cooking my carcasses into a Bone Broth instead of anything else is, cooking at a higher temperature for a longer period of time. Two Chicken Carcasses (or one large turkey carcass cracked in two) cooked on High for 10-12 hours will yield a nice and gelatinous Bone Broth not only full of protein but, full of flavor! Once the broth is done in the slow cooker, I remove the solids and strain my broth thru a sieve, I then refrigerate overnight so that in the morning, I can skim off all the fat that has risen/collected/solidified on top of the bone broth. My final step is re-heating the bone broth by bringing it to a boil for 3-5 minutes, reduce heat and can accordingly in my Pressure Canner for shelf stability.
Chicken or Turkey Bones (2 chicken carcasses from at least a 6lbs bird or one turkey carcass cracked in half from one 14+ pound turkey)
1 1/2 tsp salt *you can hold off adding until the end if you prefer and adjust to your taste
2 medium onions, rough chop
3 carrots, rough chop
bulb of garlic, cut in half horizontally *optional
3 celery ribs, rough chop
boiling water to cover carcass
2 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Bay leaf
8-10 black peppercorns
3 spring fresh thyme
at least a 6 Quart Slow-Cooker needed.
Place all ingredients in a slow cooker (mine is a 6 Quart) cover with enough boiling water to just cover the carcass, cook on HIGH for 10-12 hours. Once the broth is done in the slow cooker, I remove the solids and strain my broth thru cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve, I then refrigerate overnight so that in the morning, I can skim off all the fat that has risen/collected/solidified on top of the bone broth. My final step is re-heating the gelled bone broth by bringing it to a boil for 3-5 minutes, reduce heat and can accordingly in my Pressure Canner for shelf stability.
**rough chop meaning you don't peel the onion and you don't cut or take off any peelings from carrots and leave celery whole - with leafy greens too...
** the apple cider vinegar will not flavor your dish but, helps to leech out the minerals from the carcass while cooking - adding more nutrients to the final product. You can use white vinegar as well.
Yields approx 6 Pints of Bone Broth
If Canning - NCHFP Inst. on Pressure Can Meat Stocks/Broth: 10 lbs weighted canner/11 pounds dial gauge canner (or according to your altitude/local regs.)
for: 2o minutes/pints 25 minutes/quarts. .
Recipe & Photo by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home
Sharing a wonderful guest post today from my friend Paula. This is perfect for the Holidays!
I know my brother would just LOVE this! ~Enjoy! Diane
2 bags Cranberries, 12 oz each
1 cup of water or cranberry juice
1/2 cup orange juice
2 cups of sugar or honey (stevia or splenda will require pectin)
Optional: 1 box Pectin (no/low sugar pectin works best)
Pectin is not needed if you use sugar but, some prefer it. If you use an artificial sweetener or honey in place of sugar, you will need pectin to get a set (jell).
Put the cranberry juice (or water) and the orange juice in a large pot, get it boiling. Lower heat to Medium and add in the cranberries, let cook for about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring once or twice (you'll hear the berries popping) Once half the berries are popped and the sauce feels mushy, it's done! It should take no more than 10 minutes of cooking over medium heat.
Crush and strain the cranberries:
A food mill is perfect for this! In a pinch, a sieve and the bottom of a jar to mush them through the sieve will work, but not nearly as easily as a food mill.
Another trick? Use a blender or immersion blender to puree the whole cooked berries; it's not as smooth as the strained, but uses the whole berry.
Once strained or blended, Add in the sugar and pectin and bring to a full boil for one minute
then remove from heat and jar.
If you don't plan to can any, you're done! Just pour into a mold or serving container, chill in the fridge for a couple of hours and serve.
Fill the jars (preferably wide mouth jars) to within 1/2 inch of the top, wipe any spilled cranberry sauce of the lid rim/top, seat a new lid and tighten the band/ring around them. Put them in the waterbath canner, covered with at least 1 inch of boiling water.
Process: If you are at sea level (up to 1,000 ft) boil half-pint and pint jars for 15 minutes and any elevation above 1,000 ft at 20 minutes for half -pints or pints.
RECIPE NOTE: Cranberries, if you don't overcook them, will usually set on their own. Cranberries have enough pectin naturally to set on their own, but it's a lot more certain to add the pectin and know it will set! If you make jam, you probably have some pectin handy. Adding a half packet of it will ensure a good set.
Recipe Adapted from: Pick Your Own
Photos by: Paula A. *Guest Post
Don't forget to enter to WIN in the CanningCrafts Give Away going on right here under my "Blog Give Aways!" Tab Such a GREAT Give Away - 4 days remaining to enter to WIN!!
Click HERE to see Give Away Details: