Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Whole Wide World

Saw this. Loved it. Sharing it with you.

Recipe-wise, I've been so excited for Thanksgiving (not enough attention is given to Thanksgiving, smushed as it is between Halloween and Christmas -- IT'S JUST NOT RIGHT!) that I've started making bits and pieces of my dinner ahead of time. Last night I made my cranberry sauce, which is an Emeril recipe I messed with, and canned it (more or less) in a freezer jam sort of way. Here it is:

1 (12-oz.) bag of cranberries
1 T. (big T) orange zest
1 t. (little t) lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
3 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute or a little of each
1 t. vanilla
2 cups water
3 T. cornstarch

Put cranberries, orange zest, lemon zest, juices, sugar and 1 1/2 cups water in a medium-sized non-reactive saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 8 minutes. Dissolve cornstarch in remaining 1/2 cup water and add to the pan. Reduce heat to medium and stir constantly until thick, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. (I use a whole package of cranberries; I like my sauce a bit more tart -- Emeril uses about 3/4 of a bag. Wimp! Plus, what are you going to do with a 1/4 cup of cranberries?) Also, feel free to add sugar to taste -- when I say I like my cranberries tart, I mean it.

I filled a quart jar about 3/4 full with water and got it boiling for a couple of minutes in the microwave. I pulled it out carefully, discarded the water and re-filled it with hot cranberry sauce. I placed the lid on top of the jar and waited until I got a seal! Voila! It tastes fabulous and it's not that can-shaped jelly that you roll out onto a plate to slice. (I don't mean to knock it, but -- come on -- REALLY?? Just because your mom did it doesn't mean you have to.)

Since I don't actually know how to can, I'm keeping it in the refrigerator until Thanksgiving because I am a germ freak and if I can boil the h-e-double-hockey-sticks out of something or freeze a spore to death, I will do it proudly and without apology. Any comments on my preservation (or lack of) techniques is welcomed, but if you have a better idea (like how to REALLY can something), I'd prefer you come over and show me. :)