Dried Red Current Pulp for Tea’s and Baking

The color and flavour on this years Red currents are outstanding..

I do love the Steam Juicer but I can not waste the pulp left over..

Thankfully my big nine tray dryer is on the job..  its a bit of a process, I put them on as flat as possible like the above, let it go four to six hours, at that point it will peel off in flats, those go into a big cake pan, then that gets broken into small clumps, those will still be damp inside them.. put them back in the dryer for six to eight hours till bone dry.

Then take out, allow to cool, check to make sure fully dry, if so then pour them into a baggy and on a nice wooden cutting board and with a rolling pin.. roll them and then give them a good whacking 🙂 This perfect for use in the tea’ but if you want it for Baking, I recommend that you put it in the blender or your spice grinder and give it a whirl till its a nice fine powder. Into a super dry(make sure its dry) jar and lid and into a cool dark area.. it will last a full year (most likely longer but I have not used it by then)

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Red Current Honey Garlic Sauce

The Current Crop is coming in this weekend and what a crop it is..  I am on my third full steam juicer load (which makes five to six cups of the most amazing Current juice, which once made into jelly, syrup and so forth will increase in volume of finished product) and each batch creates four trays of current mash that will be used for tea and baking though out the year.

Which fresh current juice, I had to find a way to use it in my planned supper and our coming dessert-slash coffee break baking. I had pulled a lovely piece of Beef that I had planned on making into stir-fry bites and lots of veggies, we had a carb heavy lunch, so I wanted a much lighter supper.

I laughed and thought! honey Garlic.. why not Red Current Honey Garlic Sauce.

red current garlic honey sauce

Red Current Garlic Sauce Recipe (for 2 meals, double for larger amounts)

  • 1/2 cup of Red Current Juice or Jelly(if you don’t have fresh)
  • 1/2 cup of raw local honey (could cut it down to 1/4th of a cup if you wanted)
  • 1 tsp of minced Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp of Salt, Pepper and Ginger
  • Two shakes of Worchester Sauce (if you like it)

Mix together and after meat and veggies is cooked, if you have a lot of veggie juice, which I did, you can drain it and then put the sauce over for it to be a bit more sticky covering, simmering it for a min or two while gently stirring.

I left my cooking juices but the flavour was still all there an it was delightful.. so good.

 

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Red Current Season has arrived!

In 2010, I pinned down five branches off my two biggest red current bushes on the farm. they were planted as two year old potted red current from a local greenhouse our first year on the farm and I let them root down for the year

in the spring of 2011. We trimmed them off the adult plants where it came up to join the parent plant and with care worked it out the pin and the laying I covered over that section of the branch.. what came up is a huge lovely mass of roots.. such a pretty sight.

After clearing and preparing the hole and mixing the soil with compost, we planted these rooted stems up to the start of the branch (which had just starting buds on it in early spring) We should have made the hole a bit bigger and pulled the grass back more but it was done the next year, it didn’t hold the current bush back.

Don’t prune on the first year, just let it grow and put those roots in and start shaping the bush the next spring, I take two years to get it to full shape and then just let it grow and it will be producing outstanding red currents in no time flat!

By doing this we have a dozen red currents bushes and I plan to make more to transplant into the food hedge row at the front.. one more thing that needs to be done this year. The reward from these bushes.. wonderful currents..

This year, the birds are loving them just a little to much.. but we still will have a good crop coming in, I am out of Red Current Jelly and that is one of my mom’s favorite, last year I had enough Red Current Jelly left that I made them all into Red Current Juice.

I will be making some of them into regular jelly with pectin and some I will be making Red Current-Gooseberry Current (using the Gooseberry as the pectin) and I will also be making at least one batch of Red Current-Elderflower Jelly.

Do you have a way you love to use Red Current Jelly? that you want to share with me?

How many current bushes do you have? Do you like the red best or do you like black current or white current more.. on my farm, I have all three but its the red that is the productive currents.. they out grow and out produce the other colors by a landslide.

 

 

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Last of the strawberries..

Our strawberry crop is pretty much done for this year, we have put up strawberry rhubarb fruit blend.. it was a good crop, lots of berries but sadly the slugs got way to many, it is always sad to see so many end up being given to the goat or chickens, the milking Nanny Juno loves strawberries.. they are one of her favorite treats!

10 pounds of rhubarb to each three pounds of strawberry to six cups of sugar, simmer and hot water bath process for 15 min..

We have had fresh Strawberry with cream.. o so good..

I have processed 12 pounds this month, some was frozen, some fresh eating and some went into jam..

But this is coming for sunday breakfast..

Farmgal Scones
Half a cup of butter
Three cups flour
1/2 tsp of salt
1 Tbsp of Sugar
2 Tbsp of Baking Powder
1 cup of Milk
Take the first five and add them in a bowl, cut the cold fat into the flour mixture till its blended in to tiny pieces no bigger then the size of pea’s, then make a well in the middle and add the milk and stir, it will make a soft dough if its sticky, add a little more flour, turn out on a floured surface and gentle pat down into a round circle about half an inch high, you can cut it with a glass, or a jar lid ring, or proper steel  cookie cutters or you can take a pizza cutter and cut into squares or you can score lines and bake it as a solid piece

But what I am craving is a strawberry Custard Pie I am going to make the custard Elderflower duck egg custard with fresh strawberries and whip cream on the side for those that want it.

However its been a busy, long day and I am heading for a short nap an then I will be up after the heat breaks..

 

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Elderflower Scrub Recipe

I made a small Elderflower Scrub just to see if I liked it.. o yes! its lovely..

  • 4 to 6  heads of Elderflowers
  • 1/2 cup of White Sugar
  • 1/4 cup white wine Vinegar
  • 1 cup of boiling water

Now with Scrub’s you can make it cold with fresh fruit and sugar allowing the juice to come out. but when it comes to herbs or in this case flowers, I wanted to make it the quick and hot way.

I picked 4 to 6 heads of Elderflowers and I stuffed them into a wide mouth pint jar and I poured one cup of boiling water over top and then put a weight on top to hold the flowers down and allowed it to steep and cool for 20 min. I strained the flowers out.

I then added the sugar and mixed it well, I added 1/4th a cup of White Wine Vinegar, you could use up to half a cup of vinegar if you like it really strong on the acid side, I do not, I like it mild so for me 1/4th of a cup was lots.

This morning after a night of chilling, I filled my glass this morning 1/4th full of Elderflower Scrub and finished the rest with cold water after I came in from doing morning chores..  Delightful!

Here is the Shrub at full strength, I liked the lovely yellow color that the pollen from the flowers gave it.

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C5 Presents- The Ultimate Cargo Bike- Redux – The Shareable Version

I do enjoy the ramblings of C5 but I also will admit that I was grateful that he offered a cleaned up version of this post, so I could share it with my readers. I know that it might not seem in place until you think about the fact we run this farm on human or animal power.. no tractor.. no quad, etc.. other then the odd time I have hired powered help, we even hand dug the fence post etc.

So I am the queen of figuring out how to haul X to y.. we have buckets, we have skids, we have sleds, we have wheel barrels and so forth..  I am breath a huge sigh of relief when I can run a hose to fill buckets or horse trough’s because yes, we really are hauling and filling them by five gallon buckets in the winter..

I have been enjoying seeing things though his “fresh” eyes in his host country for the year. If you brave the sometimes eye popping “did he really just write that” without ending in a shake of my head or starting to laugh when I get to the end of it..

So enjoy this look at how they are “making” due and have created a interesting cart with wheels.

 

This is the Highly edited version…with my more challenging, foul mouthed, punk rock prepper personality scrubbed out of it. I have done this one time and one time only. This is to make the information more easily shareable to the masses. Dont get used to it.)
 
 What we will be talking about is the South American Bike Truck, simply referred to down here as “The Trike

Source: C5 Presents- The Ultimate Cargo Bike- Redux – The Shareable Version

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Outstanding Elderflower Harvest for 2017

We picked into a laundry basket and in the end we picked just over 5 pounds worth of them and we were so lucky that we have the rains stop, the sun come out and the flowers were dry and perfect to be picked.. some bushes had finished blooming, others are still coming on.. but more then enough were in peak bloom.

It takes a bit bowl of fresh Elderflowers to hit that pound mark 🙂 I dried 3 pounds worth of them, I still have lots of elderflower jelly and elderflower syrup in the pantry, so this year I focused on drying them for winter use. I decided to take a cup of them and mix them with a cup of sugar, mix together and put into a jar for a couple days to infuse, then I am going to blend them together and use the infused sugar in a cake, along with fresh elderflowers both in the cake and on the icing  (coming soon)

We only take off 1/3rd of the flowers per bush so that we will have lots of elderberry’s coming later this year, I find that taking off the 1/3rd of the flowers (I am the only one that harvested from these bushes) means bigger elderberries on the ones that remain, I also make sure that the one remain do not overwhelm any one branch, reducing the chance of breakage from berry weight.

I do recommend that you prune your flowers off with later berry production in mind. Hubby asked me to step up my herbal tea making for him and Elderflowers give a lovely light floral flavor to mixes.

How is your elderflowers doing this year?

Three Extra Thing’s to do with your Elderflowers

Gooseberry Elder Flower Pie
3 c Fresh gooseberries filling
1/2 To 1 cup fresh elder flowers
1 1/4 c Sugar
2 tbsp Tapioca
2 tb Lemon Juice
Pastry for 9″ double crust

Line a 9″ pie tin with pastry and put your fresh elderflowers in, don’t worry if they go a little light brown from bruising when you remove them from the stems,  fill with gooseberry mixture. Cover with a round of pastry or with latticed strips of pastry.

Bake in 350 F until golden brown and you can see the filling is boiling hot.
Serve Cold with a dollop of whip cream or clotted cream or scoop of ice cream if you wish.

Glenny’s Elderflower and Lemon Ice cream Recipe

This recipe comes from The forgotten skills of cooking, and I did not farmgal this recipe, I made just this recipe and I can’t imagine tweeking it.. its just amazing.. it does need a ice cream machine ideally.

This is a itty bitty batch, so feel free to double it..
3/4th cups of whole milk
3/4th cup heavy cream
8 large elderflower heads
4 farm egg yolks (no whites)
6 tbsp. of sugar
2 tbsp. of lemon juice (as fresh as you can get)

Combine your milk, cream and elderflowers and warm gently to just below boiling point, steep for 15 min, strain.. beat your egg yolks and sugar together, add the warm infused milk slowly, stirring the whole time, return to heat and cook on very low till the custard sheet coats the back of your spoon, slowly mix in your lemon juice.

Pour into bowl and chill it in fridge till very cold, then follow the ice cream maker instructions.. heavenly!!! and if you want to just take this over the top, when ready, put into a tall narrow small pan, layer of ice cream, itty bits of half teaspoons of black current jelly mixed to break it as smooth as possible, cover with ice cream and repeat and freeze, depending on how hard your freezer freezes, you might need to allow to thaw a bit before serving, if wanted put a layer of parchment and lift it out and serve as colorful ice cream slices..

 

Elderflower Syrup Recipe

Pick the heavenly scented star shaped mini flowers off the stems over a bowl to catch them, you hold the stem and gently stripe them off with your clean hands. Put your flowers and one finely sliced lemon into a steel pot, just cover with water and bring to a simmer for ten min.  Put into a cheese Cloth and allow to drain for at least four hours or overnight in the fridge.

Measure how much liquid you have and then I do a 2 to 1 ratio, so two cups of liquid to one cup of sugar and I bring it back up to a boil and into a clean hot jar, if you want to keep it for long term use, I will hot water bath it for 15 min.

Idea’s for this lovely golden yellow syrup, well pancakes and waffles are the easy off the top, but lets consider using it as the base for a wonderful cool refreshing summer drink, or drizzles over fresh fruit etc, a tiny bit goes a long way in the flavor department

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Canning Pineapple “a year’s supply”

Canning Pineapple is a simple enough. trim off the ends, peel and core it and cut it into cubes, jar up in to a light syrup and process for 15 min in a water bath canner.

You can make it more work if you wanted to crush it or ring it but I just turn mine into Pineapple bits. I had bought 36 X-large Pineapples. One was made into Pineapple-strawberry jam

The rest was turned into pints an more pints of Pineapple.. this year’s pineapples yielded more then others have years past. While each pineapple is its own slightly in size, typically I was able to get 1.5 pint when all worked together. This years Pineapple are yielding 1.75 pints, so I was surprised but pleased to find that we ended up with 52 pints (would have been 53, but we eat a pint fresh).

The ones below were the one days worth and the rest were done the next day but you get the idea 🙂

So we have one pint of Pineapple per week for the coming year, Each Pint cost me 86 cents in cost, a good savings cash wise compared to the 10 oz dole canned pineapple at 1.50 to 1.67 at normal price locally (Used to be that you could find it for a dollar a can, but I have not seen it that low but for one time last year and it had a limit of four cans at that price)

So Math Wise, those extra 6 oz per jar over 52 jars adds up..  total of 832 oz put up, equal amount if I have bought the cans 520 oz.. which means that we have a extra 312 oz or what would be 31 extra cans of Pineapple.

Or in another way of looking at it, I would have needed to buy 83 cans worth of Dole Pineapple to have the same amount I have in my 52 jars… Good Deal indeed..

Do you can your own pineapple.. you can do it in water but it pulls all the flavour out of the fruit when I did it that way, might have been good if I had been able to use pineapple juice but that would have raised the costs a lot, we eat up our pineapple within the year its done so no need for me to do a heavier sugar content for longer term storage so I do a light syrup only on it.

I try and mix an match the really ripe with the just ripe so that each jar gets a good mix of both in them.

Ps, we now have enough rhubarb fruit and mixed Rhubarb fruit blends for 2 pints a week put up and now we have enough pineapple for one pint per week in use..

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Rabbit Update

Last week we were gifted by a friend that was slowing down her rabbit breeding plans, a four hole grow out set up cage and a two hole mom with full nest box attached to each end set up.

The timing was excellent as I had grown out’s in an outside feeding tractor that needed to be sexed and moved apart (they will finish out this month for butchering timing) and I have right around 40 four, coming five-week old kits that are all eating and do well whose mother are more than ready to wean them.

So I have two does that are ready to pop kits this coming week, they went to the new doe cages with attached nest box’s and the one has declared it most excellent and has even been spotted with a hay mouthful as she is in fuss mode..

The second doe moved is giving me the eye.. she liked her bigger outdoor hutch I think but she will settle.. that big old 16 square feet hutch is being used as grow out hutch at the moment.

The four grow out hole wire hutch that is a hanging type that is now inside, the Croft (barn) has nice big getting there grow outs at three per pen (legally I can put five per pen, but no need for crowding) so three does in two and three bucks in the other and I have an outstanding doe in the one pen.. she is massive, her growth rate is off the charts, her whole litter is excellent but she is heavier than the bucks and is going to be like her mother.. HUGE..

I plan to keep her back and see how she continues to age out.. it was be a sad day if you butcher out a doe that has that kind of possibility in her genes for getting you whole litters and kits to butcher size up to a week earlier then what you currently have.. that add’s up to a whole lot of food in the freezer in the end and lot less time and food output to get there..

So today we re-bred the other three does..  ( I have a total of five does) for litters in a month and weaning a month after that.. which means that I have time to butcher the oldest, finish growing out the just weaned now before those new kits in two months will need to be moved to their grow out pens.

As I stood looking at quiet calm, eating, resting, grooming themselves rabbits, I Said to DH, well there is our chicken this year dear..

As it turned out, in our chick’s, we only have three roosters.. one that I will be keeping back, leaving me with just two chickens to butcher this year.. so truly for white meat.. rabbit is the white meat of 2017.

I expect that I will have one more breeding for the fall and then just put all the girls on a healthy but lean winter diet and put deep winter breeding on hold..  I have the boy’s in rabbit tractors but Dh and I are in agreement that we are going to design and built a two hole buck hutch for them. I like having two unrelated males, and five unrelated females at the moment. It gives me lots of room in my breeding programs.

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5 Ways to use Garlic Scapes!

Ah, Garlic Scapes, those yummy green tops on the garlic that you are growing in your garden, or available from your favorite local garlic grower. When they reach over and start to curl into themselves.. its time for harvesting. I have been putting up between 15 to 30 pounds of these amazing scapes over the past years.. here is a round-up of my favorite ways to use them.

This is what they are going to look like freshly cut, some will be super thick and others will be smaller and thinner, some will have more of the flower bud and others will have less of one.

You will need to tip and tail each one of them as you are going to prepare them.. now I don’t mind that my hands smell of a mild garlic but if it bothers your hands, be aware that they will release a drop of garlic scape juice on the end of each cut when they are fresh and if this is an issue, I recommend that you were gloves.

This is pretty much a lovely done in pieces cut up average scape.. from here you can use them in stirfries, you can roast them, or you can pickle them or you can make them into a sauce at this point. A lot of people would take out the flower bud (second in from the left) but I personally don’t mind them.. they will be a softer bit in the pickles then the solid green.

Use #1 –Stirfry

So beautiful and such a wonderful way to add a outstanding mild version of a garlic to so many dishes. Add in half a cup of these fresh garlic Scrapes to your favorite stirfry blend.. these will also bag up and freeze and keep for a solid six months in correct freezer bags that are easy to open and take some out over the winter.

#2 Pickled Garlic Scapes

Use your basic Dill Pickle Brine

  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 cups of white vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. of pickling spice (in a cheese cloth bag)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 half cup of canning salt

Mix together and bring to a boil.. use standard water bath canning process on jars, pack them with the cleaned, prepared scapes (you can see above some can be curled into them in rounds for serving in a tray.. most are done into bite size bit.) cover them with the brine, wipe the lip, seal and process for 15 min.

#3- Sweet Minted Scapes

  • 5 cups water
  • 3 and half cups of sugar
  • four cups worth of apple mint leaves.
  • Collect your leaves, wash, no stems, bruise them a bit to help release the mint flavour, and add them to a pot that has water and sugar on med heat, bring to a gentle simmer, turn down and simmer for five min, lets sit for another five, strain out the mint leaves.. bring back up to a boil for jarring up.
  • Tip and tail your garlic scapes, wash them well in cool water, then drain and cut them into two to four-inch pieces, this really does need to be a big flexible as size and curl affects the cutting.
  • Prep your jars, lids and your canning pot as per normal, when you remove the hot jar, put your three to five whole black pepper and two cloves per jar, one inch by one inch horse-radish, fill the jar with garlic scapes, fill to half an inch from top, then add the mint syrup to half an inch from the top, wipe your lip, lid and seal, into the hot water bath for ten min.
  • Out and onto the towel, allow to sit for a full 24 before moving, can be used within a week but ideally let it cure for at least a month, these are sweet, with a bit of heat, crunchy and awesome! Makes Five pints.

The minted Scapes are outstanding with darker heavier meats, like lamb, or wild game.. It’s quite different but it’s very good.

#4 Roasted or Grilled Scapes

Take a big handful or two of cleaned tipped and tailed garlic scapes, a drizzle of oil, sea salt or seasoning salt and into an over at 375 for 12 to 15 min.

Do consider watching carefully and letting them get quite brown and crispy for snacking on them or allowing them to cool and then breaking them up for use as a crunchy bite in a salad..  this will take another five to eight min of cooking time!

Both the lovely green baked kind and the crunchy baked kind are delightful!

#5 Garlic Scapes Fresh Pesto or Creamy Pesto Sauce..

This one is your choice.. please consider at least once making a fresh garlic Scape Pesto.. Its delightful

  • one cup of finely or coarsely chopped cleaned and prepped garlic scapes (I recommend not using the flower parts for this one)
  • 1/4th of a cup of pine nuts
  • Half a cup of Parm Cheese.
  • 1 tbsp. of lemon juice
  • half a cup of the best quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh ground salt and black cracked pepper

Blend it all together and go! YUM!

Now for a different taste, mix in a few tablespoons of cream cheese.. so good..

 

 

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