Top row: pear butter, smoked salmon, cloudberry jam. Second row: Arctic blueberry jam, cranberry sauce, cloudberry jam. Third row: Arctic blueberry jam, pear butter, smoked salmon.
Small batch canning has become a perfect way to preserve many foods in our Arctic home. We anticipate that this skill will transfer nicely to our galley kitchen aboard the sailing vessel Bandon.
We recently read an article about items that are supposedly “not worth the time to make in your own kitchen.” The three items that topped this rather specious list were yogurt, pasta and jam. Of course, we heartily disagree on each count. The hands-on time for our delicious homemade yogurt is about 15 minutes, and while it takes a little longer to turn out a few servings of pasta, the time invested results in noodles that trump any store-bought variety. And jam can be made between dinnertime and bedtime – including the processing time in the water bath. Knowing where your hand-picked berries and self-harvested salmon come from: priceless. As those in-the-know can attest, the rewards go beyond even that. Our meals are infused with memories of mornings in berry fields as we dip into our jam and of days on water and of the friends we shared fishing experiences with as we open jars of beautifully cured salmon.
Just in time for the holidays, we’ve added ginger pear cranberry sauce to our home-canned collection. We adapted the recipe from Full Circle Farms, which was thoughtfully tucked into a box containing our order of organic cranberries and D’Anjou pears. The spicy ginger and sweet stewed fruit was the perfect complement to roasted turkey.
Ginger Pear Cranberry Sauce
7 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 ½ tsp powdered ginger
3 firm D’Anjou pears, seeded and cut into ½-inch cubes
6 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp dried lemon zest
2 tsp dried orange zest
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup orange juice
¾ lb organic cranberries
In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, vinegar, ginger, and salt.
Bring to a boil over moderate heat.
Add pears. Cover and cook until pears are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.
Remove pears with slotted spoon and set aside, leaving liquid in pan.
Add granulated sugar, zests, juices and cranberries to pan.
Simmer over medium heat, stirring often, until cranberries pop.
Reduce heat and add pears back to mixture.
Cook for at least 5 minutes to allow flavors to mix. Cook longer if a thicker sauce is desired.
This crisp cookie bursts with the flavors of salty, roasted pistachios and tart, sweet cherries. Its attractive green and red colors would make it a welcome addition to this season’s offerings.
We picked up a bag of roasted and salted shelled pistachios last summer at Costco. The large bag of nuts was quickly opened, but we know that a rapidly expanding waistline can be the price for eating too many pistachios in too short a time. So, we put the bag in a mailing tub to be shipped north only partly consumed and forgot about it till recently. To our surprise, the nuts have remained amazingly tasty. Before they fall from grace, we wanted to make good use of them. Enter a biscotti recipe that celebrates their unique flavor. The roasted and salted aspect adds a delicious juxtaposition to the sweet tanginess of the dried cherries. We think these biscotti should be eaten all year ’round, in spite of their seasonal colors.
Roasted Salted Pistachio and Dried Cherry Biscotti
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3 tbsp light olive oil
1 tbsp dried orange zest
2 tsp dried lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
1 cup roasted and salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Combine first 6 ingredients in bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle.
Mix on low speed until ingredients are well combined.
In a separate bowl whisk eggs with next 5 ingredients.
Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Beat on low until combined.
Fold in cherries and pistachios.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface.
Divide dough in half.
Using floured hands, shape each dough half into a 16″ long log.
Place logs on parchment covered baking sheet, about 5″ apart.
Flatten logs to a strip about 2″ wide, so you have two logs that are 16″ x 2″.
Bake cookies until browned and set, about 30 minutes.
Let cookies cool in pan placed on wire rack for about 15 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees F.
On a cutting board, using a serrated knife, cut logs into slices, about 2/3″ thick.
Place slices back on the parchment-lined baking sheets, cut side down and close together.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Flip the cookies to the opposite side and bake again for 20 minutes.
Let cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.