**Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links on the books! Which, I'd like to add, you might be able to find cheaper at www.booksprice.com - a very helpful resource for buying books online. Also, www.abebooks.com. **
I have a passion for food. Especially really good food. Especially really good food this time of year when it’s getting too cold (at least here in Idaho!) to go outside without bundling up in a scarf and coat. And this morning, the air is swirling with snow and I’m delighting in our warm breakfast which reminded me of some recipes I’ve got to share with you. Make them and your hearts, homes and tummies will be all the warmer this season. These are winning recipes, my friends.
Next time I get my hands on two hundred pounds of pears, I’m going to cook and can them all up into one big beautiful batch of this very recipe. Around here, we love these preserves on pancakes, waffles (see the awesome recipe below), or stirred into plain yogurt with some of my homemade granola on top. YUM! A jar of these preserves would make a great Christmas gift. Plan to double this recipe when you make it. Half-pint jars of this stuff just won’t cut it.
Pear and Ginger Preserves
Makes about 5 Half-pint jars
Cutting the ginger into Brunoise rather than finely mincing it or dicing it more coarsely gives you a pleasantly spicy but not obnoxious hit of ginger in each bite. Peel the ginger (about 1 ½ inches) and cut it into 1/16-inch-thick rounds, stack the rounds and cut into matchsticks, then finally into tiny cubes.
3 pounds pears, peeled, cored, and dices (about 7 cups)
3 TBLS. Of finely diced fresh ginger
Grated zest of 1 lemon
3 TBLS. Strained fresh lemon juice
1 ½ cups sugar
Put the pears, ginger, lemon zest and juice, and sugar in a wide, 6 to 8 quart preserving pan. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pears are very soft and translucent and a small dab of the jam spooned onto the chilled plate and returned to the freezer for a minute becomes somewhat firm (it will not gel) 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir gently for a few seconds to distribute the fruit in the liquid.
At this point, you can serve the preserves warm or pour the preserves in a jars and refrigerate until you are ready to eat them. If canning, process the jars for 5 minutes in boiling water. If you don’t know how to can, I highly recommend you get book where she has all the details you’ll need to get started.
Recipe on pg.#202 in Canningfor a New Generation: Bold, Fresh Flavors for the ModernPantry By: Liana Krissoff
These next three recipes I’m going to share with you, require a hydrated natural yeast or sourdough starter. If you already have one, awesome – you are good to go! If you don’t have one, find a friend who has one and ask if they will share with you. I have tried starting my own a couple times, I have borrowed from friends, but my very favorite starter (and I have had to buy it twice now because I killed mine when we moved) is the one you can buy from King Arthur flour. It has great flavor. I recommend the cookbooks that go with these next two recipes I’m going to share with you. They will make you a sourdough-cooking champion in no time.
These waffles are just the best. They are so easy and so delicous. I double or 2 ½ times the recipes and we eat them for breakfast at least once, but usually twice a week these days.
Airy, Light, Natural Yeast Waffles
1 cup starter
1 TBL. olive oil
¼ tsp. salt
Add the yeast mixture into the egg mixture. Using a spatula (do not use a whisk) gently fold ingredients together until just incorporated. Pour into waffle iron as usual. Enjoy!
Recipe on pg.#93 of TheArt of Baking with Natural Yeast: Breads, Pancakes, Waffles, Cinnamon Rolls andMuffins by: Caleb Warnock and Melissa Richardson
I just made these for the first time on Friday night. Breakfast for dinner, oh yeah! I’ve been craving pumpkin stuff and these were the ticket. I made a 2 ½ X batch for our family, which made my blender bubble over a bit with batter once I added the baking soda and powder . . . So, something to consider. We ate every single one. Also, we didn’t have fresh cream to whip, so we may or may not have put a small scoop of Breyers Vanilla bean ice cream on each stack. . . ;) YOLO. (I can’t believe I used that acronym, but it was just too perfect.) With a handful of pecans and raisins, we were well-equipped to give our pancakes faces – a favorite pastime around here. Also, I highly recommend the unfiltered Maple syrup at www.OldStateFarms.com. We always keep a 1/2 gallon on hand. A highly thoughtful gift for the foodie(s) in your life.
By: Dianna Ellis
1 ½ TBL. Brown sugar (I use rapadura)
1 TBL. Coconut oil
1 TBL. raw apple vinegar
1 cup starter
¼ tsp. allspice
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup pumpkin
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
In a blender, combine all the ingredients except for the starter, baking poweder, and baking soda. Add the starter to the mixture in chunks, and blend to combine. Just before cooking, add the baking powder and baking soda. Cook on a griddle and serve with lots of butter, real maple syrup, and lots of real whipping cream (this last one in just for yummies . . . it’s not necessary) and a big glass of delicious raw milk.
Recipe found on page #67 of Melissa Richardson’s book:
This final sourdough recipe I want to share can be found at this link. I was introduced to Jennifer McGruther through her cookbook, TheNourished Kitchen. It is a wonderful resource for those looking to revive old ways of cooking in their kitchens.
I have made these Einkorn Sourdough turnovers several times now. Eating them makes me feel like I have stepped back to Medieval times, in a really good way, whatever that means. This recipe has also turned me on to Leeks, which have a nice, different kind of oniony flavor. I have made these with the leftover multi-grain flour I use for my sandwich bread (That recipe can be found in my cookbook, available for a free download at this link.) and I have also tried them with home-ground Einkorn flour – both are great. Though I'm partial to the Einkorn flour which gives the crusts a pastry-like texture. I use home-canned chicken which makes cooking these a whole lot quicker and easier. Shredded rotisserie chicken would also be excellent. I make the dough early in the morning before we will want to eat them, or the night before. The shape of these turnovers really keep after baked, so take them to eat on the go.
By: Jenny McGruther
Please, tell me - what recipes are warming your homes this season?! And have you decorated for Christmas, yet?! (I'm pretending to resist the urge, while making plans to give in any day now . . . It sounds like Christmas at our house, and I'm itching to make it look like Christmas, too.)