I got to go pick kumquats and lemons last week at the Stanford Estate (aka the brother and sister in-laws’ home). The kumquat tree was loaded with fruit and they let me have almost all of it. When I got home I weighed the kumquats and found I had over 30 pounds of fruit. Some of the fruit was shared with other preservers but the majority had to be processed by me. I made kumquat marmalade, dried kumquats, preserved lemons, and peeled and juiced lemons. We have eaten preserved lemon risotto, lemon chicken, lemon pesto, and made lemonade!
The special label on some of the marmalade is to honor the special grandmother who owned the kumquat tree. Millie Stanford just passed away at age 91. Hopefully eating some of her fruit will help us to live such a long life.
Whenever you can something, or freeze, or dry, or just plain store something, you need to label it. I have pulled a bag out of the freezer and thought that I had discovered something from a past epoch – frozen turkey from which Thanksgiving??
There are many ways to label a product. The easiest is a permanent marker written on the bag for the freezer or lid of a canning jar. It is hard to get all of the details of a canning project on the lid when you are hand labeling. So I usually print a label.
I have a Brother Label Printer, model QL-700, that came with some software that helps you design labels. My husband purchased it for about $50 at an Office Depot. We ordered additional labels from Amazon. It is not the easiest software to use but once you get a format you like you just save the label and use it as a starting point for your next project. There are different size labels you can purchase for this machine. The above is a 3.5 inch label which is too large for a canning jar so I use a round cutter to slice off the edges and it makes a nice looking label then.
If you want to make nicer looking labels, there are Avery labels that come with templates. Avery makes labels for both regular mouth jars and wide mouth jars.
And if you really want to get fancy try this site:
I can easily while away time watching the littlest things in the yard. I get excited over the caterpillars (and future butterflies) and ladybug larvae. Not so excited about the little mites but you have to take the good with the bad.
This morning I even got my husband sidetracked on his way to work and he happily took the some of the pictures below for me using the cool macro lens for his iPhone.
I had the privilege of teaching the tomato canning class for the current Master Food Preserver students. I was assisted by the wise Gary Delk (the tomato king) and the very helpful Katrina Kirkeby.
The class was held on a Wednesday so I went to the farmers’ market on Tuesday and came home with four boxes of tomatoes purchased from Orange County Produce. They told me that I could purchase a 25 pound box of tomatoes for $16. Sounded like a great deal to me. When I actually weighed the boxes when I got home, I found that they had given me 36 pound boxes! A lot of tomatoes!!
I topped and sliced and roasted tomatoes so the class could make tomato sauce to can. Thanks, Cara, for your assistance with all the slicing. This reduced the liquid in the tomatoes in advance thus eliminating the need to cook down the sauce in class which would have been too time consuming.
I think I overdid it. Here is what happened yesterday:
Drilled holes in lids to make more fermenting jars.
Started pickles fermenting.
Made fruit leather two ways- raw and cooked so we can compare in class this week.
Followed the complicated process to make cheese starter- creamed cheese coming soon.
And made six pints of tomatillo sauce.
Made pesto two ways- again for comparison in class.
Then made dinner using some of that pesto!