Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mango Salsa and Mango-Mint Preserves

When I was a young girl in Pennsylvania, every summer my mother would buy two crates of mangoes- one for the family and one just for me. I remember sitting in the yard with a knife and sticky bare-hands eating sweet, ripe mangoes until I couldn't stuff myself any more. They seemed to be the best thing I ate all year, and now that I live in Florida they are still my favorite food in this world.
But there is a limit to how many mangoes even I can consume everyday, and my father-in-law's tree is well exceeding that limit. He attacked us with a mango hit and run, left a grocery bag full on our doorknob, texted us to check our front door and then disappeared. I ate as many as I could, fed some to company, and then pulled out the canner.

Mango-Mint Preserves:
6 cups diced mango
2 cups water
2 Tbsp grated ginger
1/4 tsp salt
zest from 2 limes
1/2 cup lime juice
2 cups sugar
1 package pectin powder
1 Tbsp mint, chopped

Sterilize 8 1/2 pint jars, lids and rings and hold in a 200 degree oven. Combine mango, water, ginger, salt and zest in a pot and cook on low for 20 minutes. Add lime juice, sugar and pectin and bring to a heavy boil for at least one full minute. Remove from heat and test jam for set point on a frozen plate. If needed, cook longer until set point is reached. Stir in mint at the last minute. Ladle into jars, wipe rims, attach lids and rings and process for 10 minutes.

Joe's Mango Salsa:
1 diced green bell pepper
1 diced red bell pepper
2 minced jalapenos
1/2 diced Vidalia onion
4 minced cloves garlic
5 cups diced mango
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp pickling salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
dash each white, black and cayenne peppers
1 cup lime juice
1 cup rice vinegar

Sterilize 3 pint jars, lids and rings, hold in a 200 degree oven. In a small pot, sweat peppers, onion and garlic until onion is translucent. (I'm adding this step in hindsight, as we canned all of the ingredients fresh and ended up with a lot of air bubbles in the middle of the jar. I think cooking the vegetables will prevent this from happening.) Add all ingredients together and mix well. Ladle into jars- we had a little extra- wipe off rims, attach lids and rings and process 10 minutes.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pregnancy Pickles

July was quite an exiting month, and I have to admit that even though I've been wanting to make pickles for a long time now, it really wasn't at the top of my list of things to do..

Click for tigress can jam food blog challenge

A family vacation took us to an old farmhouse so far out in the boonies of western Pa that our cell phones took a vacation, too. We made a trip to a bison farm and later that night had bison burgers with what I believe must have been the best tomatoes and sweet corn cultivated in the eastern United States.

Upon arrival back in Florida we anxiously awaited the ultrasound that would tell us if we are to have a precious baby boy or girl. Despite all the old housewives tales, and my own "woman's intuition"- I really was sure it was a boy- it's a girl!

I realize I've only been posting one recipe a month for a while now, and would like to start stepping it up. With a totally blank August calendar, fall produce appearing at market and my father-in-law's mango tree exploding to fruition I'm hoping to get a few more posts than usual, so keep checking in!

3 lbs. pickling cucumbers

Horseradish Pickles:
2 tsp. horseradish
2 tsp. black peppercorns
2 cloves
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. mustard seeds
2 dried chilis
1/2 onion
4 garlic cloves

Dill Pickles:
2 tsp. dried dill
1 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. dried basil
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. mustard seed
2 dried chilies
4 cloves garlic
1/2 onion

3 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
4 Tbsp. canning salt
4 tsp. sugar

Wash and quarter cucumbers into spears. Bring brine to a boil to dissolve salt and sugar, cover and let stand. Sterilize 6 jars, lids and rings (we only yielded 5, but I always do one extra to be safe). Divide seasonings into jars, then stuff with cucumbers and top off with brine. Wipe rims, screw on lids and process 10 minutes.