Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Independence Days update

Independence Days ChallengeI haven't been very good about keeping you all up-to-date on my participation on the Independence Days Challenge over on Sharon's blog. I generally haven't had time to make updates and/or I can't keep straight from one week to the next what I've been working on. Call it early senile dementia.

Either way, here's what I've been up to in the last week. For those of you unfamiliar with the challenge, these are things I have done to be more independent of the standard American food chain:

  • Kale, lettuce, spinach, chard
  • Red onion
  • Lavender, sage, rosemary, mint
  • Strawberries, cherries
  • Rose petals

  • Peppermint
  • Grapes
  • Walla Walla sweet onion
  • Beets
  • Spinach, lettuce
  • Carrots, radishes
  • Anaheim pepper, Cayenne pepper
  • Meyer lemon tree (woohoo!)

  • Marjoram, oregano

  • Vegetable stock
  • Dried rose petals
  • Drying lavender
  • Made 8 jars rose jam
  • Made 32 jars strawberry jam (more on that later)

  • Bought extra beans, pasta and water for storage. Will continue to buy extras every week to create emergency supplies in addition to canning

    I spent most of the afternoon yesterday canning strawberries. I made three different types of strawberry jam. I'll post the recipes up on my cooking blog once I get around to it, but for now, just know that I made:

  • Strawberry, Sangiovese and Spice Jam (cinnamon, clove, star anise, nutmeg)
  • Strawberry, Mint and Black Pepper Jam
  • Strawberry, Balsamic Vinegar, Vanilla Bean and Amaretto Jam

    I know these sound weird, but they are fantastic and are loosely based on some French jam recipes. Yum!

    Announcement: Tomorrow I'll be doing a book giveaway of the book Plenty: One Man, One Woman and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally by Alisa Smith and JB Mackinnon.

    Also, look for the first book club post for Food Not Lawns coming up next Tuesday!

    TheSmithZoo said...

    Could you tell us where you got your lemon tree? I've looked at local nurseries (S. Seattle)for one, but have not looked very hard.

    Anonymous said...

    Wow, those jams sound simply amazing!!! Is there a cookbook you use or do you creatively just whip them up?

    Unknown said...

    Yum - I would love to have your recipe for Rose Jam! It sounds wonderful!

    Crunchy Chicken said...

    thesmithzoo - I got my lemon tree at Swansons up here in the Ballard area.

    annamarie - I based the first two on recipes from Mes Confitures. The last one I just made up.

    I'll try to post the recipes (including the Rose one) this week.

    Michelle said...

    Yes, please post those recipes when you have time, and could you please detail the canning process? I would like to start canning myself, but I have no idea where to start. You've been a busy bee!

    Chile said...

    I haven't been updating because I'm doing lousy at it. I've got lots of excuses, none of which would mean diddly squat if our lives depended on this. The sun cooked the garden, it's too hot to do any canning, I'm too stressed or tired, blah blah blah.

    You, on the other hand, did great! You'll love your lemons.

    Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

    There is something quite thrilling about all of this... you have been very busy.

    Carrie and Justin said...

    WOW - Awsome going Crunchy!! Can't wait to see those recipes, they are already making my mouth drool! We've been following the Harvest Keepers, Back 2 Basics Challenge from
    You're definitely inspiring me to do better though!

    Kristi said...

    32 jars of strawberry jam? Yikes! And here I was feeling so good about my 8 jars.... :-) Way to go!

    Jenn said...

    I've got lots of jars of lavender-plum and habanero-plum jelly, and canned the plum sauce last night.

    My main problem with buying emergency supplies (and canning, for that matter) is that I have no cabinet space or place to put stuff. I even have a baker's rack and a butcher block cart, and put in several shelves -- but four cabinets in a converted back porch kitchen just isn't enough.

    To make matters worse, I still have a gallon of plum juice and am going to make more jelly -- I was thinking of doing a batch with mulling spices.

    Would you be interested in a jelly exchange? I'd love to try your black pepper/strawberry jelly.

    Green Bean said...

    Holy cow! You've been busy on the jam front. I made strawberry jam too this weekend but only 5 piddling jars.

    Crunchy Chicken said...

    Jennconspiracy - I might be pursuaded in a jam trade. Both of yours sound mighty tasty.

    Greenus Beanus - I have Jam OCD. Last year I think I canned altogether something like 54 jars of jam. I only have a few left as I gave many away as Christmas gifts and other gifts and, well, we ate the rest. So, it appears that I'm well on my way to a record year.

    Anonymous said...

    32 jars? Holy crap! I am so going to so this challenge. We're doing the whole urban homesteading thing (in our cement wasteland townhouse backyard) to offset some of our produce use...yawn* I'll stop. Awesome. :)

    Connie said...

    Awesome! Way to go on the challenge. I'm sure you are printing time in your basement however.

    Rose Jam! I'd love the recipe!

    My Diva Cup came in the mail today woo Hoo!

    Jenn said...

    okay - just sent you an e-mail!

    I'm making more plum jelly tonight -- still have a gallon of juice! I'll make one batch of plain plum jelly and one batch "mulled plum" with cinnamon, cloves and stuff.

    Also coming up are lavender jelly, mint jelly and basil jelly when the basils come in.

    Jenn said...

    ..oh, and, I have a killer lemon chutney but I need to get more lemons and make another batch. It was exceedingly popular.

    Chile said...

    Jenn, are you able to share your lemon chutney recipe?

    Jenn said...

    I roughly followed a recipe on Love and Cooking, but there are a few on delicious that look good -- like lemon & black mustard seed. Yum.

    Chile said...