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  • FoodSaver V3240 Vertical Vacuum Sealer, White
    FoodSaver V3240 Vertical Vacuum Sealer, White
    I just started using a FoodSaver vacuum sealer to seal foods and I can't believe I waited so long to get one. (Check out my first project: Sweet & Sour Green Bean Freezer Pickles!)
    For example: In the past I would take the time to pick beautiful berries, then would bring them home and stick them in a zippered baggie in the freezer. My berries would have ice crystals and taste freezer burnt after just a few short months. 
    Then I had a light-bulb moment: "Air is the enemy" of freshness. 
    When vacuum-sealed my berries last 3 to 4 times longer! I have similar results with other fruits, veggies and even meats & cheeses.
    The FoodSaver has been a fantastic discovery. ~ Brook
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    • Mehu-Liisa 10 Liter Stainless Steel Steam Juicer - Made in Finland
      Mehu-Liisa 10 Liter Stainless Steel Steam Juicer - Made in Finland
      Mehu-Liisa Products

      Some day I will replace my ancient graniteware Steam Juice Extractor with this gorgeous Mehu-Liisa brand Steam Juicer. My old Steam Juicer leaks steam, meaning I have to refill the water often, and it doesn't have anywhere close to the capacity of this one from Mehu-Liisa.
      If you want to experience the magic of a Steam Juicer, check out this 10 quart Mehu-Liisa. It will last you a lifetime and save you countless hours in the kitchen, whether your juicing fruit for  Plum Jelly or Apricot Nectar, not to mention it minimizes the mess of juicing large amounts of veggies!  ~ Brook

    • Ball Quilted Jelly Canning Jar 4 Oz (Pack of 12)
      Ball Quilted Jelly Canning Jar 4 Oz (Pack of 12)
      What's the one jar size I always keep a couple extra cases of? 
      The Ball 4 ounce jar.
      It's basically 1/2 cup, and just the right size for gift-giving and for experimenting with small batches. Perfect for things like my famous Pear Honey.
      People can't help but say "That is so darn cute!" when they seem them. 
      ~ Brook

    • Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker
      Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker
      Looking for an affordable, easy-to-use pressure canner, backed up by great customer service? Look no further than the Presto 23 quart Pressure Canner/Cooker. It's the one I recommend to all my students. ~ Brook


    Dilly Pickled Onion Slices on Punk Domestics

    • Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen (Orange) Instant Read Thermometer, Perfect for Barbecue, Home and Professional Cooking
      Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen (Orange) Instant Read Thermometer, Perfect for Barbecue, Home and Professional Cooking
      Do you have a great instant-read thermometer, or are you still buying the 20 dollar ones that only last a year or two? This was one of my best kitchen purchases.
      Can't imagine cooking jam (or meat or candy) without it! 
      Take your jams to 220º and you'll have a perfect gel set every time. Also available in other colors, but why wouldn't you want orange? It's only the BEST COLOR EVER. ~ Brook


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    • The Home Preserving Bible (Living Free Guides)
      The Home Preserving Bible (Living Free Guides)
      by Carole Cancler
      If you're looking for a book that covers every preserving topic imaginable, this is the book for you. It doesn't have a flashy cover or glossy pictures, but it's full of great info. One of my very favorite resources. ~ Brook

    • OXO Good Grips Corn Stripper
      OXO Good Grips Corn Stripper

      Last August my friend Kelli asked me if I wanted some fresh corn from her grandpa's garden. I said "Sure....I'd love to make a few jars of Sweet Corn Relish!"
      She showed up 6 hours later with 158 ears. Wasn't sure if I loved her or hated her for it.
      After a long hot day spent cutting kernels off all those cobs with a small paring knife, I decided I'd never be without a Corn Stripper again. ~ Brook


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    I have attempted to share safe preserving methods however you alone are responsible for your health & safety in your own kitchen or location. Be aware of current safety recommendations. Please see "Full Disclaimer" page for suggested preserving resources.

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    Apple Pie Liqueur* -- (quick version)

    To quote the poet Ogden Nash, "Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker." He must have somehow inspired my decision to make a batch of this tasty liqueur.

     I stocked up on some fresh-pressed cider on Sunday, and besides making Caramel Apple Syrup, I decided to make a few booze-y holiday gifts for my family, most of whom live in Wenatchee, where it gets pretty darn cold in the winter. This Apple Pie Liqueur is made with Everclear grain alchohol -- we all know a little "anti-freeze" can be helpful on a freezing-cold snowy day, right?

    So while I have plenty of candy-making ingredients on hand, this quick & easy recipe just seemed like a lot more fun.

    Here are the ingredients you need to make Apple Pie Liqueur:

    I expanded on this, adding cardamom pods, allspice berries and ground nutmeg.

    I called this my quick version, because even though I've made others, this one is the easiest to put together. Quick & easy to make, and quick & easy to drink, so be careful -- it sneaks up on you.

    Prep time the first day? About 10 minutes.

    Then I let it sit overnight with the spices (cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, cardamom pods and ground nutmeg.)



    The next day, you just pour it through a mesh strainer / funnel combination and into some fancy bottles or even plain ol' jars, and it's good to go. Stick it in the fridge for a couple months and when you need a gift, it'll be there.

    Just add a ribbon and a cute tag, maybe write a few recipe ideas on it, and there you have it....Apple Pie in a glass!

     Strained Apple Pie Liqueur should be kept in the fridge and should probably be enjoyed within one year of making it, although I've had it last for years (plural) and in my opinion, it just gets better!

    (Complete recipe for Apple Pie Liqueur here.)


    *Liqueur and Liquor are not the same. 

    Reader Comments (2)

    Where did you get those tall glasses?

    July 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

    I bought those bottles (unused) at a garage sale. A whole case. Then bought new corks for them. Score!
    They are really taller than they look -- the Mason jar to the left of them, with the apple on top -- is a half-gallon size, not the usual quart.
    That gives you some idea how tall the bottles really are.

    July 5, 2011 | Registered CommenterBrook Hurst Stephens
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