Easy Pickled Onion Recipe - LivingHomegrown.com

Looking for a simple recipe that will wow your friends? This is it.

Pickled onions are easy, fast and can be your go-to source for a flavor punch. They take ordinary dishes and bump them up a few notches to something more sophisticated.

Use these onions as a side dish or as a condiment on sandwiches, grill-cheese, hamburgers, hot dogs, green salad, egg salad, and more.

With the holidays coming up, serve them with cold cuts at a party, give them as a hostess gift, or keep them on hand for a fast appetizer with cheese, crackers and wine…you get the idea.

Here’s how…

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Easy way to make yogurt - LivingHomegrown.com

All homemade yogurt is surprisingly easy to make.

But most people make one of the heated (thermophilic) yogurts. These are what we would normally think of as traditional yogurt (Greek or Bulgarian style yogurts) They are made by heating and cooling the milk, inoculating it with a yogurt culture and then keeping it at 110 degrees for a few hours to ferment.

Although this is fairly simple and makes a delicious yogurt, I sometimes find the heating and temperature requirements to be a pain.

But there is another way!

You can make a delicious yogurt at room temperature.

Yep, room temperature. No heating or maintaining a temperature.

EASY PEASY!

All that is required is an heirloom yogurt culture from the mesophilic class of yogurts. (More on that below).

  • It is cultured at room temperature (70-78 degrees F)
  • There is no need to heat the milk – at ALL!
  • It can be reused to culture the next batch -Indefinitely!
  • It has the same benefits as the heated yogurt
  • It is just as delicious as the heated yogurt (I swear!)

Here’s everything you need to know to make it yourself…

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Do Not Can Pumpkin Puree - LivingHomegrown.com

I get asked about canning pumpkin every October.

Fall is in the air. We are gearing up to carve pumpkins for Halloween and the idea of warm pumpkin pie is on our mind.

Many are in the mood to make a canned pumpkin product and might be considering something like pumpkin puree or even pumpkin butter.

So it is only natural that the questions about how to water bath or pressure can pumpkin puree and pumpkin butter are starting to come in. So here is my answer:

Don’t do it.

Don’t water bath it.

Don’t pressure can it.

Here’s why it is dangerous and what you can do instead…

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How to make tomato powder - LivingHomegrown.com

A few weeks ago, I was dehydrating the end of my delicious summer tomatoes when I discovered I still had some of last year’s dehydrated tomatoes sitting in a jar way toward the back of my pantry.

Oops!

They were still good, but had started to darken and I was sure they had lost much of their flavor. What was I to do with these little lovelies who were past their prime?

I pulverized them (literally) into powder!

Tomato powder is just a ground up version of dried tomatoes. The result is a super concentrated flavor that can be used in a number of ways.

It’s a powerful spice!

It’s a top-notch flavor enhancer!

It’s amazing…

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Using Up Leftover Preserves - LivingHomegrown.comI always seem to have a jar or two of jam or jelly with just a spoonful at the bottom. Never wanting any of that deliciousness to go to waste, I periodically post on a new use for my leftover preserves.

This is a summary of previous ideas with a few new ones thrown in for good measure!

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How to Use a Steam Juicer

How to Use a Steam Juicer - LivingHomegrown.com

For the last 23 years, I preserved small to average sized crops because I grow much of my food on just 1/10th of an acre.

Oh sure – occasionally, I would get a bumper crop of fruit from a friend, etc. But for the most part, I didn’t have mass amounts of fruit at any given time.

All that changed 2 years ago.

Now that my family is working to restore an old 14 acre-farmstead (with over 60 heirloom fruit trees), my style of canning has gone into overdrive.

I still put up my small batches of produce from my own backyard. But when I am at the farmstead, I am doing large-scale canning.

Which brings me to my new favorite tool – a steam juicer.

I never felt I needed a steam juicer before because I considered them best for mass quantities of fruit. But after buying two (one for home and one for the farmstead), I now realize I should have bought one years ago.

A steam juicer is a great way to juice large OR small crops of produce (like berries, plums, peaches, apples, grapes and even tomatoes), which can later be used in juice, jelly, liqueur, or even wine. Here’s how they work…

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New Smooth-Sided Canning Jars

New Smooth Canning Jar - LivingHomegrown.com

I don’t know about you, but I hate how most canning jars make it impossible to easily label the side of the jar.

There are so many bumps, logos and designs that no smooth surface is left for a label – especially if you want to use a large one.

And I like to write on my jars with ink paint. Well, you can’t do that when it is covered with designs. (More on how to do that below.)

Sure, I can use a Weck jar, but they are too expensive to use in mass quantities. And yes there are a few other options out there that I am compare testing out now. (Results to come.)

But, one new jar has my attention already.

With 3/4 of the jar clean of logos and writing, you can label it any way you like.

Here is my review, plus a giveaway!

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Kraut Source Fermentation Tool - LivingHomegrown.com

Turning Mason Jars into Fermentation Crocks

Fermentation is not only a great way to preserve food. It is also a great way to add nutrition and probiotics to your diet.

Well last week, making small batch ferments just got easier.

You see, two friends decided to join forces and create a new fermentation tool. They set up a kickstarter campaign to help fund the building of it.

But what happened next went beyond their wildest dreams.

Surprisingly…They didn’t raise the $35,000 they were asking for.

No.

They raised over $184,000 and started a huge buzz among the fermentation community.

Here’s the story…

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New Canning Lid Procedures - LivingHomegrown.com

Recently, Jarden, (the company that manufactures all Ball Canning Jars and lids), very casually mentioned that they completely changed the recommendations when using their canning jar lids.

No explanation was given for this change.

So, I called them up to get the scoop.

Below it is the latest information…

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Free Fruit Sources for Canning - LivingHomegrown.com

Although I try to pack a lot into my backyard, I have extremely limited space for growing produce.

On just 1/10th of an acre, I have 5 apple trees espaliered around the perimeter, 5 citrus trees in pots and enough vegetables, herbs and berries to keep us happy most of the year.

But I wouldn’t exactly say I get bushels of excess produce from my postage-stamp-sized homestead on a regular basis. From this space, we mostly eat the food fresh and I do some small batch canning projects and freezing.

Although I am also lucky enough to be able to preserve produce at our family’s 1892 farmstead, that is a very recent addition. Prior to that, I had to find extra produce for canning from different sources. And I still do!

There are several places you can look for wholesome, delicious produce that is either cheap or completely free. Here’s my list of where to look…

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