Home Canning and Preservation

Maple Syrup in March

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Today we took a long drive out to the country to learn about how to make maple syrup with my sisters, their kids, and our dad. It was a crisp spring day – cool, but the smell of life floated in the air. The soil is softening and the buds are bursting and the birds [...]

Pickled Red Onions and Jalapeños

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Winter in Chicago has been fairly mild this year, but I’m still so totally OVER IT. I really hate the cloudy skies. And I really hate how long it takes to get the kids ready to walk out the door. And I really really REALLY hate feeling cold all the time (especially when I step [...]

Homemade Raspberry Sauce


Oh how I love our neighborhood produce market.  I never know what I’m going to find there, but I go at least once a week to check out the deals and stock up on organic produce for half the price of conventional stuff at the regular grocery store.  Last weekend I found 6 oz packages [...]

Homemade Blackberry Jam


The local produce market I shop at every week always has some amazing deals.  A few weeks ago HUGE boxes of Florida oranges were only $2.98, and as I wrote about before I once scored 11 pounds of orange peppers for just $1.00.  This week’s super deal was 6 oz containers of organic blackberries for [...]

Homemade Almond Butter


For the past couple months Trader Joe’s has had a shortage of almond butter.  Lately my husband has been using it every day in a smoothie, so the shortage at TJ’s was becoming an issue! Ha! I’m not sure why I continued to buy almond butter when we’ve prepared homemade peanut butter for so many [...]

Homemade Slow Cooker Apple Butter


Chicago has enjoyed a spectacular September.  Refreshingly cool mornings, sunny afternoons and sneaky 80 degree days scattered throughout.  As someone who laments the end of summer, this slow entry into autumn makes me very happy. Last weekend we decided to take full advantage of the delightful fall weather and spend a morning at the idyllic [...]

Homemade Rhubarb Jam


I’m so happy! The farmers markets are back in Chicago! This weekend, Chris took Vivian and Mack while I enjoyed some much needed quiet time at home with Evie.  The three of them brought home a bounty of fresh romaine lettuce, asparagus and a good bundle of rhubarb.  I used three rhubarb stalks to bake [...]

Fresh Pumpkin for Homemade Pumpkin Pie


Last week the Breast Cancer Fund released a report about concerning levels of BPA in many prepared Thanksgiving foods.  BPA, an estrogenic chemical linked to breast cancer, is most often found in plastics (one of many reasons I try to avoid plastic altogether).  However, BPA is also found in other surprising places like grocery store [...]

Economical (and Easy!) Homemade Chicken Stock


We love love love roast chicken.  Especially on a Sunday evening when the house has been calm all day and I’m happy to unwind with a cozy meal.  I buy delicious free-range chickens from our wonderful co-op, and every roast chicken comes out of the oven juicy and flavorful even when I season with nothing [...]

Homemade Bread and Butter Pickles


I’ve become such a geek about canning fresh fruits and vegetables. I live in the middle of downtown Chicago, so I lack the space to grow my own produce.  But, I am happy to make do with what our neighborhood farmer’s market has to offer.  Last summer I bought a big bag of discounted ugly [...]

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