Archive for November, 2011

Preserving the fall: a seasonal workshop in canning what’s local – Sunday, November 13th, 1pm-4pm.

Pickled Carrots 3

Photo courtesy of mgsimpson999 on Flickr Creative Commons.

In this three-hour session that emphasizes safe canning practices, participants will learn how to make jams and pickles using a boiling water bath canner. The principles of pressure canning, and other preservation techniques, will also be discussed.
The workshop will consist of a presentation followed by hands on canning session in which participants have the opportunity to make both a jam and make pickled carrots using local, seasonal ingredients. Registration includes all supplies and participants will take home a jar of preserves. Cost: $30 (plus $1.74 registration fee,) materials included.  For more information and to register visit the eventbrite registration page.

Knitting it together: an introduction to knitting – Wednesday, November 30th, 6pm-9pm.

In this introductory course on knitting, participants will learn the basics of knitting from the materials required, to reading a pattern. Spend the evening casting on and off, learning the art of knit and pearl. Cost: $25 (plus $1.61 registration fee), knitting supplies included!  Please note there are no refunds for cancellations. For more information and to register visit the eventbrite page. Please note that space is limited to 11 participants. Growing season workshops do sell out fast, so make sure to purchase your ticket early.


Photo courtesy of Dyanna on Flickr Creative Commons.


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Nancy’s organic, homemade ketchup was all the rage at this year’s 9th Annual FarmAde.

This recipe should yield about 4 litres, which may be a lot for singles or couples. However, because it is time consuming, this quantity is probably worth the time and effort. Ideally, the tomatoes, onions and garlic should be organic, as they were for FarmAde.

  • 12# of fresh, ripe tomatoes
  • 3# of yellow onion
  • 1 head of peeled garlic
  • 2 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup each of honey, molasses and brown sugar (molasses has a pretty distinct taste, so it can easily be substituted for more honey or sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon each of dry mustard powder, all spice, black pepper and cayenne pepper (this gives it a bit of a kick and can be adjusted according to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 3 tablespoons of salt
  • 1.5 to 2 cups of tomato paste

Wash, core and chop  the tomatoes, peel and rough chop the onions and mince the garlic.

Put these 3 ingredients in a large, heavy bottom pot and sweat on low heat until the tomatoes break down.

Add the apple cider vinegar and simmer until the onions and garlic (and tomatoes) have softened completely (about ½ an hour).

Add the sweeteners and the seasonings and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally, being you sure you don’t scorch the pan.

Remove from heat, transfer to another large container and let mixture cool.  Don’t bother washing the pot, you’ll need it again!

It is at this point that you can go to the trouble of straining out all the seeds and skin for a more sophisticated ketchup, but Nancy does not do this.  Personally, she prefers it  rustic, which is how it was prepared for FarmAde.

Taste for seasonings and sweetness and see how thick your mixture is, once cooled.

Transfer small batches of ketchup to a food processer and blend until smooth.

Tomatoes & onions have varying degrees of water and the thickness of your ketchup is personal taste.  It is at this point where you would add as much or as little tomato paste to achieve the desired degree of thickness.

Once you have added the paste, pour ketchup back into the pot and simmer on very low heat for about ½ hour.

Depending on how quickly you plan on using up the ketchup, you can either pour it into sterilized  canning jars to about an inch from the top, or just put it into clean glass containers and give some to your friends!  It will keep for about two to three weeks like this in the fridge.

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