December 27, 2012

Reflections on Preserving Part 3: Maybes

Here is Part 3* on my past preserving experiences, specifically, what I may make again, but differently:
Chive flowers.

- Chokecherry Jelly -
I love this jelly and it reminds me of my early childhood when my sister and I would pick all the chokecherries in our backyard that were low enough for us to reach, for my mother to use. However, out of the last three years I've picked the chokecherries in my current backyard, I only made the jelly once. One year I froze the juice, and then thawed it but never got to making jelly in time. Another year the cherries didn't yield enough juice for even one batch! Picking chokecherries is very time consuming, so unfortunately I've decided it's just not quite worth the effort. Since then silver-lining is that I've done a major prune back of the chokecherry trees, which makes the yard much tidier looking!

-Dried strawberries - 
I sliced these with a mandolin and put them on parchment paper in the dehydrator. They turned out ok, and were delicious when added during cooking of oatmeal, but I found they did not keep for long. I'd make them again in smaller batches (perhaps freeze after drying) and I would make the slices thicker!

-Dried strawberry husk tea - Never used this tea, I think because I was afraid of poisoning myself with partially dehydrated parts! The one time I tried it was tasty though.

- Dried blueberries - 
Oops, I forgot to pinprick each berry before drying to let the moisture escape properly! Skipping this step resulted in empty, papery blueberry skins. Tart, fragile and unusable.

- Dried pineapple - 
Sliced with a mandolin and dehydrated, these were so delicious sweet to snack on! They might be nice to put in muffins too. I'd make the pieces bigger next time (more than 1 cm thick).

44 Orange - 
If I make this again it will be with a lighter roasted coffee bean! But other infused vodkas would also be interesting...

- Chive Flower Vinegar
Straight, mixed with oil or with mayonaise or sour cream, this was a lovely vinegar to use in salads, despite the sulfurous egg smell. Next time, I will only make a small amount, or give some away as gifts as I found it hard to use up over the course of the year!

- Chocolate-covered Candied Ginger - 
This took forever to make and JF and I restrained ourselves from eating it too quickly - with the result that the bowl languished in the fridge forever! If making again we'd use larger chunks of ginger because they shrink when candied, and of course, we'd let ourselves eat more! A great treat for those fighting a cold or pregnancy cravings.

* Part 1 and Part 2 can be found here and here.

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