This weekend I got to close up the week with a delightful dinner out. I came home Sunday night and told my husband, Ervin, that I wanted to go eat outside for dinner where I could view the lake. He came up with a good suggestion, they were open, so down Indian Point we went. We watched the lake as the day faded to twilight with homemade pizza and cokes. It was delightful, and the only problem now is winter is about here, and I can’t sit outside to dine!
As I look at the weeks ahead I am wondering if any of you start making preserves and sauces to give as gifts for the holidays. This week I’m putting pears in the garage fridge to use in making pear honey. I’m also getting ready to stir up this super super simple cranberry honey. I made 2 batches of this last winter and I ended up eating it on literally ‘everything’. It’s so easy, you’ll feel guilty making it!
On the home front I enjoy have little jars of sauces and sweets to send home with guests. Usually I send things that are good with toast and bagels for breakfast.
Don’t forget to create nice labels so the jars look even more enticing. I pick up pre-made labels at craft stores to tie around the jar necks.
Pear Honey goes ‘way back’ for me. I grew up on my grandparents’ farm in rural Monticello, Missouri. Grandma Lucy always had this to eat over ice cream, biscuits and toast. Once I left home I started adding my only little extras on this simple recipe. Fresh ginger is a nice touch; I also like to use lemon and/or orange zest for a nice undertone. You’ll find my instructions rather humorous as I talk about grinding a plateful of pear. Another tip I frequently give is to use an old fashioned grinder for the pulp preparations. Food processors often break down the fruit too far. Cinnamon and nutmeg can be implemented, the citrus just adds a lift on the palate.
It is good to plan ahead and start on projects, but equally as important is to find time for self and preservation! Don’t bog yourselves down too much so you can’t enjoy the last few weeks of fall. We have road trips planned and I am anxious to get going.
Enjoy the pear honey and cranberry honey, Simply yours, The Covered Dish.
Grandma Lucy’s Pear Honey
Pears; cored, peeled and ground using a grinder or food processor
3 dinner plates of the ground pears
3 cans (20 oz. each), crushed pineapple, drained
4 pound bag of sugar plus 3 additional cups
(There are approx. 2 1/2 cups of sugar per pound of sugar)
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ginger
Dash or two of salt
9 tablespoons lemon juice
Lemon Zest to taste
Put everything into a large stockpot and stir over medium heat until it boils gently for 20 minutes. Allow the mixture to boil down and get rid of any unwanted juice. You will find it thickens a bit more as it cools down. Pack into sterilized jars and seal with a boiling water bath. Yields approximately 12 pints.
3 cans (14-16 oz.) whole cranberry sauce
1 (12 oz.) jar orange marmalade
1 (8-12 0z.) jar fresh honey
Place all ingredients in a saucepan and heat to a gentle boil on the stove. Medium heat is suggested. Prepare clean canning jars, flats and rings. Pack product into sterilized jars and seal with a boiling water bath. Consult canning guidelines for a bigger break down on preserving steps. Yields approximately 7-8 cups of product.