Maple Cream

Sort of like whipped honey, maple cream is a great addition to toast or crackers!

Cardamom Apple Jam

Some good apple choices are Golden delicious, a mixture of Granny Smith and Pink Lady, or a mixture of whatever you have. We used an unknown apple from a friends tree.

While this is good as a jam, it is also very good over vanilla ice cream!

Black Berry Jam

In the early summer, the kids often pick red blackberries. We enjoy them and occasionally have enough for a mixed berry jam. Oma told us the other day of a blackberry farm that had you pick berries for a very good price. We enjoyed picking around 30 pounds of blackberries and ate a pound or two also. They were very good.

Not wanting the berries to go to waste, we froze some, made fruit leather with some and Adrian made a pie. We used most of the berries for jam. It is wonderful on fresh sourdough bread! There are a lot of seeds in blackberries. If desired, strain part or all of the seeds.

This is a small batch jam recipe that uses very little sugar. For a sweeter jam, see notes.

Marinara Sauce (to Can)

This summer we wanted to make Marinara Sauce to can some garden tomatoes our neighbor, Mrs. Beer, shared with us. We knew she often cans her extra tomatoes, so we asked for her favorite recipe. She gave us this one and we adjusted it very slightly.

We usually eat a whole quart of sauce with spaghetti, but decided to can pints instead this year. Our thought was to use it for extra special grilled pizza since we often have that with company. This sauce is also extra good on homemade noodles.

Using roma tomatoes are best for a thick sauce, but we usually combine them with assorted tomatoes from the garden. We think it creates a better blend of flavors.

Enchilada Sauce

Instead of buying enchilada sauce, this is an easy recipe to make your own. Adjust the seasonings to your taste.

Thimbleberry Jam

Thimbleberries are a raspberry like berry that Dad introduced us to many years ago in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I will happily eat as many as I can find.

But, since we are rarely in the UP when they are ripe, Daddy often buys jars of jam for us to enjoy at home. We have only made jam once, but it was the best jam ever (memories make things a lot better don’t they?)

We went on vacation with my parents and they were showing us around where Daddy spent summers and fun places we used to visit when my siblings and I were younger. One day Mom and Dad took the kids up Brockway Mountain and while they were gone, Allan and I surprised my parents with fresh jam with berries we had picked.

Fresh picked Thimbleberries!

Cranberry Sauce

I grew up on canned cranberry sauce. I was never fond of it even though I enjoy the tart taste of cranberries. Then one day, I discovered homemade cranberry sauce!

After much experimenting with different recipes, Andrea and I settled on this one as an easy favorite. Feel free to make it a few days early and store tightly covered until needed. We almost always double the recipe and rarely have leftovers.

Vodka Sauce to Can

We tried vodka sauce when a we had a coupon for a name brand jar. We liked it and bought it a few times. Then we discovered how easy it was to make. This sauce is great plain, but it is even better when cream is added. We often use it instead of pizza sauce.

Some simple recommendations for this recipe:

If you can, use at least half Roma or Amish tomatoes. Then mix and match assorted tomatoes for a fuller flavor. Different amounts of tomatoes will product different amount of liquid in the sauce, so you may need to strain it or boil it longer.

Adding olive oil is optional, but I recommended it.

Use a cheap bottle of vodka. What you do not use in the sauce, use for vanilla extract 🙂

Feel free to adjust seasonings, but do not alter amounts of tomatoes or onions if you plan to can the sauce.

Salsa (for Canning)

This is our favorite salsa recipe. It uses more cilantro and is spicier than the other recipe.

Tomato Salsa (for canning)

This is a less spicy recipe that does not use much cilantro. Adjust the seasonings and peppers to create a spicier salsa if preferred. Just remember that the total of all the combined peppers should be between 4-5 cups, no matter what type used. Also, if desired, add a little hot sauce or extra ground chipotle to spice it up a little more.

Depending on the tomatoes used, this can be a very sweet salsa. Add a little additional vinegar if too sweet. Lastly, feel free to use lemon or lime juice instead of the apple cider vinegar for variety.