I bought two baskets of Ontario miniature cucumbers today, and am brining about 2/3 of them (cut into spears) for this year’s batch of garlic-dill cucumber pickles and the rest of-which will be chopped up and fresh-eaten in salads over the next four days or so.
I also picked up a few golden zucchini – also Ontario-grown – and blanched two out of three of them. They’re sliced into super-thin rounds and freezing (not exactly IQF, unfortunately, but close) in the chest freezer along-side a couple of cups worth of local alleyway raspberries, all of which will be transferred to freezer bags in the next 24 hours or so. My plan for the next hour is to wander over to a neglected patch of red currants (not quite in my neighbourhood, but close) and collect enough for a pie and, potentially, enough to freeze a few for later use.
I admit what’s more likley to happen on that front is that I’ll use last year’s red currant hoard (such as it is) in the pie, and freeze this year’s bunch to make (months from now) a simple, sweet-tart fruit sauce that more-or-less works in lieu of cranberry sauce. Or possibly another pie, or possibly an addition to breakfast muffins or a struesel loaf or something. You get the idea.
Anyway. With these projects under way, I think it’s safe to say that Canning Season is upon us – or at least upon me in edging-towards-full force.
Right now I have:
2 C asparagus relish
2 C black currant curd (made with ribena – aka black currant simple syrup – about a month ago)
2 L (or so) frozen serviceberries
1-2 C (flattened out in a single freezer bag) edamole (made from previously frozen edamame)
1-2 C (flattened out in a single freezer bag) Vietnamese Garlic pesto
2-3 C frozen (well, freezing) golden zucchini rounds
2 C frozen (freezing) raspberries (hoping to collect more early next week, if I can swing it)
6+ pints (3+ litres) of cucumber spears – currently brining, but the end result will be pickles
…Plus the preserves I have in the cupboard, still, from last Summer – four cups of fruit butter, two and a half cups of various jams, a pint of cucumber pickles + a half-cup jar of raddish pickles, two cups of chutney, and an acient jar of grape jelly that I need to find a use for ASAP. (Got suggestions? I’m wondering if I can use it, mixed with some red wine vinegar, as some kind of a glaze…)
As for that red currant pie… Taking this and this as my starting points, I’m aiming for:
2-3 C red currants, washed, stemmed, and tossed in –> 2 tbsp flour
0.5 C sugar (or more to taste – red currants are pretty sour on their own)
0.25 C plain yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
0.5 C black currant curd
1 single-crust pie shell – possibly a crumb-crust made with ground almonds, brown sugar, a little flour, and some butter (likely)
Spread pie-shell with black currant curd
Combine upper ingredients in a bowl, then dump into pie-shell (on top of curd)
Bake at 350F for 30-45 minutes
Allow to cool for half an hour (to set)
Serve. Possibly with vanilla yoghurt OR whipped cream OR chocolate (or vanilla or berry) ice cream. Enjoy. 😀
Meliad the Birch Maiden
 The irony, if you can call it that, being that finding Ontario garlic at the moment is going to be a tad tricky. (I’ll have to check the Parkdale Market – possibly today – to see if anyone has some uncured stuff up for sale). Woops. :-\
 Specifically, think diced cukes + red kidney beans + cooked quinoa (or couscous) + dried herbs (dill and cilantro, probably, plus some of my frozen Vietnamese Garlic pesto) + plain yoghurt. It’s basically a meal, and I like it that way. 😀
 I am so freaking glad that we have this, I can’t even begin to express it! Stocking up! Without having to cover everything in sugar! 😀 😀 😀
 The idea is to have them on hand – along with (I hope) some frozen roasted-and-diced eggplant and a lot of different blanched-and-frozen greens (muffin-cup sized “pucks” of them), and as many jars of crushed/sauced tomatoes as I can manage to create – for making stews and braises over the winter and into the spring.
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