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Make Your Own Marmalades!

by James R. Coffey

It's time to start canning! If you've missed my previous posts on HOW to can - you'll need to read them, first! I will share at this time Late Winter and Early spring recipes for seasonal items as they are available. Please feel free to send in your own favorite recipes and we will try to include them. Please include your name, e-mail, and phone number on all submissions. We reserve the right to update recipes, if necessary.

Oranges and Kumquats are in season at this time of the year and now is a good time to make these marmalades.

Orange Marmalade

6 large oranges
5 pounds sugar
1 #2 can crushed pineapple (Do not drain)

When Good Canning Goes Bad!

by James R. Coffey

Preserving food through canning is a fantastic way to enjoy fresh, delicious food year round! There’s nothing sweeter than opening a jar of food you’ve canned yourself – and nothing is more disappointing than realizing the food you’ve worked so hard to preserve is not safe to eat.

This column deals with first identifying spoiled food - and then preventing future occurrences. Yes, you may have a few failed attempts as you learn the art of food preserving- but don’t give up! Save and savor those fresh-picked flavors – all year round! You can do it!

Country Preserving

by James R. Coffey
Preserving the GardenPreserving the GardenWe have over the past two columns discussed the history of canning and the methods involved. Now we will tell you how to can and how to use both a water bath and a pressure canner.

This is also a good time to assemble jars, canning lids, canners and other equipment you will need. Many times once we get into canning season, some supplies run out and are not replaced quickly enough when you really need them. You can find used jars at flea markets, yard sales and even your family members who no longer cans. Purchase your pectin and lids early as your store may run out at the height of the season. Never reuse canning lids at any time. Rummage and Garage Sales as well as E-Bay are a good source to buy pressure canners and water baths. Beware of antique pressure canners as parts may no longer be available for them. I have provided more information in the insert from my canning book:

Bella Luna Restaurant in Cambridge

Mosaic by Jen WagnerMosaic by Jen Wagner

Downtown Cambridge's newest restaurant, Bella Luna, is located at 303 High Street (the old High Spot).

Serving lunch and dinner daily, along with Sunday brunch, Bella Luna features regional Italian cuisine, with a focus on local, organic, and fresh. Specialties include made-from-scratch ravioli; sausage and sun-dried tomato in rosemary cream; and shrimp, olives, and oranges over fettuccine.

Methods of Canning through the Ages

by James R. Coffey
Water Bath CanningWater Bath CanningPressure Canner: This is the only method considered safe for canning low acid foods by U.S.D.A. and all canning authorities. A pressure canner is a sealed pot that allows steam to reach above the boiling point of water. This reduces time and gives a greater degree of safety. [we’ll be discussing pressure canning in greater detail in future articles!]

Water Bath: This is the oldest method and the one used by Nicholas Appert. The jars of food are placed on a rack in a pot and the jars are covered with water. When the water boils, the processing time is counted. When the processing time is up, the jars are removed from the bath, allowed to cool and the jars are checked to be sure they are all sealed. This method is also known as cold packing in some areas and the kettle as a cold packer.

This method is recommended for all high acid food. This is fruits, bread spreads, pickles, and most tomatoes, as long as they are acidified. This method was also used for vegetables and other low acid foods. It is still used in the Amish and Mennonite communities for this purpose.

Meandering Through Kent County

by Cyndi Paxton Johnson

Kent County, MDKent County, MDIt was a perfect day - filled with sunshine, country charm and joyful people. Which may explain why the streets of Rock Hall and Chestertown were overflowing with laughter, fun and people!

Kent County is the northernmost Mid-Shore county. It's off the beaten path - you don't tend to wander through on your way to somewhere else. However, as the many friendly residents and tourists will quickly inform you - it's worth the trip!

We began our day in Rock Hall. The quaint, charming village is perched on the end of a peninsula - which explains their famous seafood! Rock Hall offers intriguing events year-round, including music, festivals and the annual New Year's Eve "Rock-Fish Drop".

We wandered through the town and stopped at the Harbor Shack Waterfront Bar & Grill (20895 Bayside Ave.) for lunch. The place had a pretty good crowd, many folks opted to eat on the Bay-front porch or in the front room dominated by a large, wooden, guest-friendly bar.

An Introduction to Canning and Equipment

by James R. Coffey
Preserving the GardenPreserving the GardenHome canning is both art and science. Nothing is more satisfying than a full canning storeroom. The science, of course, is that is must be done right or it will not keep.

Canning tidbit: Canning, as we know it today, was invented by Nicholas Appert. This “Father of Canning” was awarded 12,000 Francs for developing his methods – which haven’t changed much through the years. Canning preserves food by sealing it airtight after a heating period which kills the germs and organisms that cause spoilage. If jars do not seal or the heating (processing) period is not long enough the food will spoil.

Why are we talking about canning in February? Because you’ll need to plan your garden around your future canning projects! You’ll also need to gather the necessary equipment. Some people like to can soups and meats in the winter – if so, here’s what you need to get started!

Plan an Evening of Romance!

Local woman, Dr. Amber Golshani, creates chocolate aphrodisiacs!

Dr. Golshani and her Love TrufflesDr. Golshani and her Love Truffles

by Cyndi Paxton Johnson

It began - innocently enough - in a mother's kitchen. Dr. Golshani was experimenting with ways to get healthy, immune boosting herbs into her young daughter without a lot of added sugar. She began mixing the herbs with cocoa and dates and soon her child was begging for the healthy treats! Amber Golshani then shared her creation with her friends - who begged for more!

Eventually Dr. Golshani, a Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.)with an office in Easton, created another cacao based treat for her grown-up friends. "Love Truffles" contain a potent blend of herbal aphrodisiacs and nutrient-rich raw foods that stimulate your senses while providing a natural "boost". Different herbs are used to create "his" and "hers" chocolate delights!

“Her” love truffles contain herbs that promote relaxation, increase circulation and pleasure, help relieve stress and muscle tension, stimulate the libido, and balance the female hormones for a more sensuous experience.

In “His” love truffles, stimulating herbs are blended to promote energy and stamina, increase libido, promote circulation, and boost virility for a strong performance and enhanced experience.

Team Trivia Nights: Show Off What You Know!

Andy's in ChestertownAndy's in Chestertown

by Erin Mawn

“How many Campbell’s soup cans appear
in Andy Warhol’s famous painting?”

That is the question that cost me $40 a few weeks ago. Well, not really. I could have gotten a forty dollar gift certificate if I had gotten it correct, but how was I supposed to know how many cans of soup were on that canvas? Does anyone know? You might be surprised by how many otherwise useless trivia tidbits people know, but don’t have the opportunity to share with their peers.

Trivia night at Andy’s in Chestertown gives local residents a chance to show off their knowledge of well, pretty much everything! The questions range from science (“What creature is of the genus Hippocampus”?) to popular culture (“What song was Men at Work’s first single in the US”?. In case you’re wondering, the answers are ‘seahorse’ and “Who Can It Be Now?”).

Read more...

Dixon's Auction at Crumpton

Amish Market & Dixon's Auction

is a renowned destination for furniture, produce, and Amish goods. At Dixon, Crumpton. 9 a.m. every Wednesday. (fantastic cheesecake!)

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