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It's Lemon Time! Again!

Pucker up, buttercup
Lemons for pie, cakes, cookies, seasoning, drinks, they are all good. Now is the time to take advantage of your backyard lemons, or ask and perhaps take advantage of someone else's back yard fruit.

There is an alley I walk and down that alley is a Meyer Lemon tree that is just LOADED with fruit. If there was some hang-over fruit, I would feel free to pick some, but not so with these. The fruit is just out of reach on the other side of the fence AND there is a young, extremely alert and noisy dog that ferociously announces my passage--every time!

Meyers are not quite so tart as regular lemons and are more aromatic. They ripen to a lemony-orange color and are more spherical than the usual store-bought fruit. They make a beautiful display on the tree, bright and cheery.

There are certain recipes I would like to indulge in and preserve if I can get some of those Meyers. Lemonade concentrate, Strawberry Lemonade concentrate, lemon jelly, lemon marmalade, lemon curd!  Good lemon products are great to make at home when your main ingredient is free.

Maybe I should stop writing and walk down to the street and approach this problem from the front of the house where the Lemon tree resides. A promise of some lemonade concentrate could be made in return for a load of lemons. . .  It could be a win-win situation:  sweets plus a tree clean-up for the owners and sweets and more for me!

If you should come upon some free lemons, or even if you have to pay for them, try the lemon curd recipe that I wrote about last year:  Lemon Curd--try this with those new-found powers of HOME CANNING! It really is a very good recipe and is rich and flavorful and eminently worthy of eating by the spoon. Of course, try some as a cake or tart filling, eat it on sugar cookies, it's great.

Here's a fact sheet for lemon curd:  Preparing and Preserving Lemon Curd.

Is there room for lemon curd in your future life--yes, and I know you want it!

Upcoming Classe:

Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 6:00 AM
Tags: citrus (2), lemon (2), lemon curd (1), preserving (19)

Tea Time Class is coming up-- you attend?

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!  The Teatime class is coming up! So popular last year that it is being presented again. Come and enjoy learning about go-withs when having a cup of tea.

 

As an added bonus for planning your future attendance is a list of 2019's classes with the San Bernardino Master food Preservers. Do any look interesting? Put your favorites on your calendar right now!

Remember that the Grow and Preserve and Gifts from the kitchen are especially highly attended, so make reminder to yourself to reserve your classes few weeks before each, ok?

 

 

 
Posted on Monday, February 4, 2019 at 1:36 PM
Tags: curd (2), jams (3), preserves citrus (1), scones (1), tea (2)

A Webpage about cook-type Clearjel, the one used in the USDA recipe for canned pie fillings.

 
--and that's the truth!

I wish to make cherry pie fillings to can, and have purchased the cook-type Clearjel (aka: ClearJel, Clear Jel, CLEARJEL).  Clearjel in the NCHFP pie filling recipes  makes an extremely thick pie filling; some would call it gloppy, over thickened. It is all right for me, but it is a definite change in texture from what I usually get making fresh pies. I think a thickened but not quite so stand-up pie filling would be nice.

So to accomplish the thinner pie filling "thang," the hunt was on.  After several searches varying words and phrases, the page "Clearjel Starch Thickener" was found on Healthy Canning.

What a great page. It is written by a Randal Oulton, from Canada. Mr. Oulton relies on approved information and recipes from the NCHFP, various USA State Universities for recipes/instructions. "Clearjel Starch Thickener" has nice depth; he cites sources extensively. It appears that he periodically reviews and makes revisions to his article as there were several dates in 2017 for accessing articles and the last date I found was November of 2017. I cannot speak for the rest of his site, but a nice job was done on this page and it answered my questions.

Very interesting. This is a great continuing education article for us all. And one last thing: always rely on and teach from approved sources, of course!

--And I hope to encourage you to make pie filling, can pie filling, make pies and eat PIES!

My first sour Cherry pie: raw and cooked! In my opinion the filling could have been better, but even so, we made great sacrifices and choked it down. :-)
 
 

 

 

 

Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at 6:00 AM
Tags: canning (10), cherry (2), Clearjel (1), filling (1), pie (3), pie filling (3)

Some Tips on Winter Pollinators

pine white butterfly on milkweed by Cathleen Carter

Winter months are an important time in the garden. The shorter days bring a regeneration period for plants and the pollinators that will also emerge in spring. As we tend winter gardens or wait for the spring thaw, there are things we can do now to...

Posted on Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 3:54 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment Yard & Garden

Roses and Eating Them

Do you love roses? I do. Old style roses that look like cabbages, 5-petal wild-style roses, exhibition tea roses, a-bunch-on-a-stem floribundas, I like them all. They make my yard beautiful, grow easily, and roses look great in the house.

But, other than looking at them and growing them, I don't do much with them. Take a look for an interesting article along with some really great ideas about roses in cooking at Saveur Magazine, “Why—And How—You Should Incorporate Roses In Your Diet” :  https://www.saveur.com/cooking-with-roses?CMPID=ene081618

How about some Rose Butter? Or maybe some fragrant rose honey—what a treat that would be in some hot tea on a cold winter's morning!

 

---And use your most fragrant petals to try some Rose Vinegar:  https://www.saveur.com/rose-vinegar-recipe

 

Posted on Friday, January 18, 2019 at 10:34 AM
Tags: eat (1), master food preservers (5), preserve (5), roses (1)

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