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  • FoodSaver V3240 Vertical Vacuum Sealer, White
    FoodSaver V3240 Vertical Vacuum Sealer, White
    FoodSaver
    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)
      Ball
      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
      Presto
      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
      ThermoWorks
      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
      OXO

      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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    International Food Blogger Conference 2011 NOLA

    « "Hi, my name is Brook and I like to eat paste..." | Main | Cleaning out the fridge...my way. »
    Saturday
    Nov272010

    Please don't nibble on my Sugared Fruit...

    ...it looks tasty but it's only for decoration!

    For my centerpiece, I used a quince, an orange, an apple, a few limes and Seckel pears, and some cranberries. For this batch I used the whites from 2 eggs and about 1 cup of plain ol' sugar.

    This is my first attempt at Sugared Fruit, but it won't be my last. It was easier than I thought it would be, and even though my results weren't perfect, you get the general idea.

    To achieve this old-fashioned look, I used raw egg whites, so I wouldn't recommend eating my centerpiece, but it is kinda' tempting!

    I read about 3 different ways to make Sugared Fruit and I'll pass them along to you. Again, I've only tried the Egg White Method.

    Very important: No matter which method you employ, you must wash the fruit first, in case it has wax on it. You also need to let it dry AND it needs to be room temperature. Got it? If you don't follow this advice you'll be sorry. Trust me on this one.

    Once the fruit is properly prepped, you need to brush something sorta' sticky onto it for the sugar to adhere to. Get creative. You can use regular sugar, sanding sugar, unrefined sugar, or just about an type of granular decorative sugar.

     

    Egg White Method (unsafe to eat):

    Brush a thin layer of lightly beaten egg whites onto the fruit and sprinkle with sugar. The first layer will sink into the egg white coating. The second layer might too. Just sprinkle on some sugar until it looks good.

    Set fruit aside on a piece of waxed paper to dry.

    Let stand at room temperature for up to 24 hours.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Unflavored Gelatin Method (safe to eat):

    In a microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle 1 packet unflavored gelatin (like Knox) over 1/4 cup cold water; let stand for 1 minute.

    Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds, until gelatin is completely dissolved. Whisk until slightly frothy.

    Lightly brush mixture over all sides of each piece of fruit, working on one at a time, then set fruit aside on a piece of waxed paper to dry. Alternatively, you can place the fruit on a wire rack over waxed paper. Sprinkle with sugar, turning fruit to coat all sides.

    Let stand at room temperature for up to 24 hours.

    ~~~~~~~~

    Meringue Powder* Method (safe to eat):

    Make a mixture of 1/3 cup meringue powder mixed with 3 to 4 Tbs. water, then paint fruit until it's lightly coated.

    Sprinkle with sugar, being sure to coat the fruit on all sides. Set aside on waxed paper and let stand at room temperature until dry, which might take anywhere from 2 to 24 hours.

    *Meringue powder can be found at stores selling baking & cake decorating supplies.

     

    I added a few berries and leaves from my yard. Don't eat those either!

    Link to my main blog page and plenty of other great ideas:

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