Preserves I Already Have:

Heaps of frozen Red Russian kale, Rainbow chard, and rappini (and a little bit of borrage, because hey).
1L frozen raspberries
3C pickled beans
3.5 C goblin fruit jam (choke cherries & black currants + extra stuff)

+ (from last year)

3 pints of cucumber pickles (that I made last year) + 2 pints of someone else's cucumber pickles (taht he made last year)
1/4 C Ground Cherry "marmalade" (that I made last year)
1 pint of relish + 1 pint of tomato chutney (made by my friend's mom)
1C grape jelly (made by a friend who brought it as a hostess' gift)
1-2 C Various Jams from Mr Wilson


Preserves I want to make:

4lbs tomatoes + 1lb nectarines + a bulb or two of garlic --> As many cup-jars of salsa as that'll give me
10lbs tomatoes --> as many pint-jars and/or 1C jars of diced/crushed tomatoes as that'll give me
5lbs tomates + a few bulbs of garlic and a few onions + garden basil --> As many 1C jars of bruchetta as that'll give me
1lb tomatoes + all the cores and skins from the the rest of the tomato masacre + 1-2 bulbs of garlic, lots of garden oregano, garden savoury, balsamic vinegar, and dried rosemary --> as many half-cup jars of tomato sauce as that'll give me

POSSIBLY some extra tomatoes (perhaps from the garden, this time) - roasted with herbs and garlic in the oven and then frozen-in-pucks in the freezer

1lb nectarines + skins from another 1lb of nectarines --> Nectarine butter, as much as possible

POSSIBLY a choke-cherry preserve (something like a chutney? see below) that involves onion, basil, and peppermint... not sure yet.

As much apple butter as I can make with the apples from Idioglossia's tree

POSSIBLY some apple slices dried in my dehidrator

Crab Apple jelly using crab apples harvested from trees along the Canal and in local parks

Half a dozen LARGE eggplants (farmers' market again) roasted, diced, and frozen into pucks (the same way I do the greens) - I will try to go a little easier on the salt this year...

Multiple Jack-o-lanterns worth of pumpkin butter

POSSIBLY half a dozen 2C freezer-boxes of diced-and-blanched winter squash (or pumpkin) purely for the easiness of dumping already-prepped and partially-cooked veggies into a dinner in the middle of winter.

Still more frozen greens a-go-go (because we kind of live on that stuff over winter)


Things I will have to buy in order to make these preserves:

Upwards of 5 pie pumpkins (+ possible winter squashes)
6 large eggplants
2lbs nectarines
20lbs sauce tomatoes (or other tomatoes... whatever)


Possible Chokecherry Thing (adapted heavily from the Chokecherry Chutney recipe in Rona Mogelon's Wild In The Kitchen):

6 C chokecherries
1.5 C diced apples (AKA: 2-3 apples, diced[1])
1.5 C granulated sugar
1.5 C red wine vinegar
1 C diced red onion (or other onion)
1 C dried dried cranberries

0.25 C each: fresh basil leaves (shredded), fresh peppermint leaves (shredded)
1 tsp each: salt, dried rosemary
0.5 tsp each: black pepper, ground cloves



[1] I originally said "sweet cherries" - and you could do that (or use dried sweet cherries instead of the cranberries, that'd work, too) but I don't want to use sweet cherries as "sweet filler". Apples, however, being fleshy and easy to come by, get used as "sweet filler" all the time. So I've put the apple back into this recipe and I figure it'll work, even if I'm not 100% confident about the apple/mint (not to be confused with Apple Mint) combination).
So. The Kowloon Market, which is the neighbourhood's Big Grocery Store, sells duck at their prepared-food counter. Two pre-cooked, deliciously seasoned duck legs for about $3.50. It's awesome. I've been known to pick up two or three packages at a time and that'll do the protein part of our dinners-for-two for a couple of evenings (plus maybe a lunch or something) for a good portion of the week.
You can (or at least could, immediately after the full moon closest to Autumn Equinox) get a whole, roasting duck for ~$12.00. Which is not that much more expensive than a roasting chicken from Hartmann's or Loblaw's or something.

So, as you can imagine, I've had a fair bit of Duck Bones lying around of late. Consequently, I've been starting to make my own soup stock.
I kind of love having a slow-cooker. The ammount of stuff I make in it is kind of nutty. It wouldn't shock me if I wound up making yoghurt in it (using the "keep warm" setting) in the not-too-distant future.

But. Duck Stock. Basically, you make stock by throwing in whatever bits and pieces you happen to have lying around. Here's what's gone into the version that's just started to simmer in the slow-cooker now:


1 whole duck-carcass skeleton + the bones from 4-6 duck legs
12 (or so) small nasturtium leaves (from our garden)
10 onion-chives (likewise from our garden)
5 tiny leaves of rainbow chard (likewise fro what's still hanging on in our garden)
1 scarlet-runner bean (likewise from our garden)
2-3 green beans (from Ghost's parents' garden)
1 very tiny red pepper (likewise from Ghost's parents' garden)
1 granny-smith apple that probably froze in the back of the fridge at least once
6 (or so) strips of rutabaga
1/2 C left-over red wine (that might have been on its way to vinegar, though I'm not sure)
4 garlic scapes cut into 1" lengths
3 woody stalks od basil, w/ seed-pods (from our garden)
5 bay leaves
1 tsp dried rosemary
1-2 tsp black pepper
1 pinch of cinnamon
10 very small cherry tomatoes (half of which came from our garden post-frost, and half of which came from a friend of Ghost's NPPP)

I'm inclined to add:
2-3 baby carrots
1-2 collard stalks (the thick ends)


And that should make for a tasty stock.
I'll give it a sampling in a few hours, to see how the broth is shaping up, and figure out what needs to be added. (I'm guessing a little bit of tamari or marmite, plus some maple syrup or molasses, but that's an early guess and it may be fine without).
I'll probably also break up a few of the bones at that time, so that the marrow can find its way better into the broth.

I've used my other home-made stock (duck + chicken bones, and Whatever Was Lying Around) as a base for (a) beef bourginion (esque), and (b) slightly-French onion soup. That latter involved the additons of sesame oil, molasses, and balsamic vinegar, fyi.

It works.
I tend to make 6-8 C of fairly concentrated stock at a time (size of slow-cooker, but also size of fridge) and assemble the ingredients for the next batch (in the freezer) while I use up the current one. I find that 2C stock (I store it onld pasta sauce jars, typically) plus 2-4 C water makes a suitable base for two people worth of soup.

I'm hoping this particular stock (duck lends itself well to strong flavours, being a fatty, strongly flavoured bird to begin with) will be pleasantly spicy and - thanks to my over-cooking the roasting duck[1] - nicely meaty/rich as well. I find that it, like pork, combines well with "sweet" flavours like apple, maple, and cinnamon. Which is handy. But it also goes really well with earthy flavour like rosemary, mushrooms, and thyme (and, yes, maple).

Next time I roast a duck, I will probably do it a little differently, in order to render as much of the fat out of it as possible. I like to keep some duck fat on hand for cooking, since it's quite a lovely consistency. :-) I will, again, save the bones for stock - but I may also try throwing some pork bones in as well (as we've got some pork chops in the freezer at the moment). We'll see what this does to it in terms of flavour.

Aaaaaaaaaaand, yeah. That's my rambling on making duck-based soup stock. Huzzah! :-)

Amazon. :-)

[1] I cooked it for four hours. That was too long by a good hour, at least. Next time I roast a duck (possibly next week?) I'll have to make sure it's fully thawed when I start the cooking, and then cook it for less time. I mean, yes, the skin was lovely and crispy. But the meat on the wings was pretty-much jerky with bones in it. So they went into the stock pot very nearly whole. O.O
Last night was rainbow trout (broiled until crispy on both sides) served with a Serbian riesling (rather tasty, though not as bright as other rieslings I’ve had) plus a sauté of (cooked) wild rice + russet apple, fennel, and red onion. Dessert was some of the remaining mandarin oranges we’ve got floating around. We had russet apple with 2-year-old cheddar (PC) for starters (the parrot had some, too).
It was hella tasty. The veggies mix was lacking a little something – mustard, cranberry, a spritz of cider vinegar, something to brighten it up a little – but otherwise it was flavourfully well-rounded and delicious. :-)

This evening will probably be something fast-and-easy Rotini with alfredo sauce and some veggies – probably frozen spinach, preserved red peppers, and garlic, but maybe some other stuff thrown in there, too. We shall see. Maybe we’ll serve it with cranberry juice or something. :-)

One of these nights I’ll be doing beets with chevre, I do know that. I just need to figure out what to serve it with… Maybe gnocchi and some roast pork or something. I don’t know. :-)


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