Sunday, April 6, 2014

Mango Jam
I recently came across a recipe that called for Mango Jam and since I make whatever I can from scratch, I decided to make and can some of my own. we don't eat a lot of jam or jelly so I'm going to can it in very small jars for marinades and glazes.
 Mangoes come into season in late summer and will be much cheaper if you can wait for them. Choose mangoes that give slightly when pressed and smell fresh and fruity at the stem end.





You will need:
3/4 cup water    2 pounds ripe mangoes
1C sugar  Jars, lids and rings for canning.
Sanitize your jars, lids, and rings first by either running them in the dishwasher or boiling them for a couple minutes. Keep them warm if possible. Some dishwashers have a plate warmer setting on them.  I put mine in the warming oven at 170 degrees. If you let them cool there is a chance they will break when you put the hot jam in them, but honestly, it has never happened to me.
Boil the mangoes for 60 seconds and remove the skin. You can use a mango splitter or just cut the mango away from the pit. Don't worry about being neat, we are going to mash them up.
Mash well using a potato masher, you could also use a ricer or food mill.  You can also puree it in a food processor if you have one. Mine were a little lumpy because I hated my current food processor and threw it in the trash in a fit one day. You want the mangoes to be quite smooth. Like baby food.
I had quite a bit of mangoes and we love smoothies for breakfast so I decided to freeze some. Normally I would put them in ice cube trays but I could not find mine so I washed a egg tray and froze them in that, then stuck them in a zip lock bags, they are perfect for smoothies.
Back to canning:
Place sugar and water in a large saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves, stir in mangoes and bring to a boil.
Continue to boil until fine soft threads for or until it reaches 270 degrees. Simmer until thick as desired, think jam consistency.
Pour into jars leaving 1/4 inch head space (space between the food and the top of the jar) Wipe the rims of the jars very carefully with a clean wet cloth. Place lids on jars and tighten rings on them just until they are snug. Bring water bath to a rolling boil with the rack in the upper position. Place your jars in the rack using a jar lifter. Lower the jars into the pot and make sure there is at least 2 inches of water above the jars.  Bring the water back to a rolling boil and process for 15 minutes from the point of boiling. Carefully lift the rack using tongs or your jar lifter, lift the jars from the water bath and set on a folded kitchen towel to cool over night.
 Once in a while you should hear your jars "pop" as they create a seal (At this point I like to throw my hands in the air and yell "I did it!!") Check all your jars the next morning by pressing on the lids. If they move than your jars did not seal. You need to put the jam in the refrigerator and use it up or you can re-can and process them again.
By the way here is the recipe that started the mango jam adventure. My whole family really enjoyed it.
Grilled Chicken with Sriracha Glaze

Shown with sauteed vegetables and Chimichurri Mac n Cheese
2/3C mango jam    2T finely chopped chives   2T rice vinegar
1T EVOO   4 leg quarters    1/2t salt    1/4t pepper
Prepare grill for indirect grilling. If using a gas grill, heat one side to med-high and leave one side off. Combine mango jam, chives, vinegar, and Sriracha, stirring until smooth. Reserve 1/4 cup and brush the rest over chicken. Salt and pepper. Remove grill rack. Place foil pan on unheated part of grill. Return rack and place chicken on cool side of the grill.  Grill 90 minutes basting every 20 or until thermometer reads 165.  Transfer to platter and drizzle with reserved sauce.

Monday, March 31, 2014

A few words on canning

A few words on canning

HOORAY!!! It's canning season. I saw my DH tilling up our yard this week and immediately rushed out to the storage shed to haul in my canning supplies.  He grows it: I can it. That is our deal. I don't normally wait for him to produce anything though, I get all excited and find something to preserve long before I have to get out my garden pillaging basket.  I ran across a recipe a couple weeks ago that called for Mango Jam. I didn't have any so I used Orange Marmalade and it was delish!!! But far be it from me to ignore the original instructions so I'm going to pick up some mangoes and can them so I will have it next time.
I know there are many newbie caners out there or folks who would love to can but are worried about the cost and hassle. Well no need to fear!! You can start canning very simply. Though you will need a few things to start you can avoid the expensive, scary, steamy pressure caner for a bit. Start by water bath canning. It's super simple!
You will need:
A water bath caner with jar rack
Jar lifter
A canning funnel
Jars with lids and rings
A ladle
The ingredients required for whatever you are canning
That's it!
Water bath canning is generally used when canning items that are high in acid. Pressure canning can be used to can anything but is a bit more complicated and requires a more expensive canner. If you just want to start slow and easy to see if you like canning, grab a water bath canner.
I will be posting my mango jam adventure later in the week so if you would like to pick up the things you will need before I post it you will need the above list as well as:
2 pounds ripe mangoes
One cup of good quality white sugar
1 tablespoon real butter
I am going to use very small jars, 4oz regular mouth jars
See you later this week :o)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Welcome to the Domestic Goddess Workshop!
Ok so what is the difference between a Domestic Goddess and a home maker? If someone says they want Chocolate Chip cookies and you jump up to make some you're a homemaker (and probably a damn good one). If someone says they want chocolate chip cookies and you stay up all night researching the origins of the chocolate chip cookie, where the best chocolate comes from, testing four different recipes, deciding on the best one and not only filling the (hand painted) cookie jar but freezing 8 dozen little measured cookie dough rounds in case someone wants more, you are a Domestic Goddess.
The domestic Goddess feels no fear or loathing when faced with Monday morning's pile of dirty laundry, she tackles it, rejoicing in the fresh scent of her homemade laundry soap, snuggling into the warm fragrant piles she pulls from the dryer, experiencing chills at the sight of freshly pressed rows of shirts on hangers, or neat piles of towels and jeans.
In other words a Domestic Goddess loves what she does. Though the DG does not earn a paycheck, very few people could afford to pay her for the multitude of rolls she fills. We have all heard the list: Chef, laundress, nurse, maid, chauffer, personal shopper, coach, and blah blah blah, it goes on and on. A home maker may fill these roles with great skill and even pride but the DG, well, she loves it doesn't she. DG goes to bed at night with a wistful little smile thinking of what she accomplished that day and better yet, what she will accomplish tomorrow.
I've wanted to start this blog for a while now. I toss the idea around and think of what I will write but the reason you are finally seeing my zippy cool text is that my Husband inadvertently tossed me a challenge a few weeks ago, not knowing he was changing my life. He simply said "Why don't you see how many things we need you can make yourself?" His point was to save money, but it struck a chord in me. Why not. Every time we need something why not see if I can make it myself. Or at least see if I can find it cheaper.
Being a DG is not necessarily enough to write about and might actually make me look conceded instead of merely confident, but BECOMING a DG....that might be fun to write about. Not only all the things that I have learned about in the last 18 years of marriage but the new things I'm discovering in an effort to meet that mans unintentional challenge.
There are many levels of DG. Even if only one of the categories I write about interests you, you are still a DG, just maybe not a full service DG. Take what you love about caring for your family and rock it everyday.
So, welcome to the Domestic Goddess Workshop where you will find recipes, household tips, crafts, advice only if you ask for it (try getting that from your mother-in-law), and whatever else I think you might find interesting.