Ingredient Preparation, Jams & Jellies

Homemade Curry Powder

1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp caram masala
1 tsp corriander
1 chile, crushed

Play with the numbers for your own special curries.

Peel and slice apples, putting them in lemon-juiced water until done with cutting and peeling. Drain pot, put on stove on med-med/low to break down the apples. When it's mushy, it's done! May need to add water as cooking. Add sugar and cinnamon to taste.

SunDried Tomatoes
(without the sun)

50 roma tomatoes
10 minced garlic cloves
olive oil

Toss all ingredients in a bowl, then lay out on a cookie sheet or parchment paper cut side up. Bake at 150F until dry, keeping the oven door slightly ajar. Can can (jar) the result packed in olive oil and refrigerated, or use in a timely fashion in various meals. Or just snack on them.

Roasting (Raw) Nuts
Crack/shell them, then put them in the oven at 400F for 10-15 minutes.
Remove skinlike covering, then smash them with anything handy.
If slivers, put in oven at 400F for only about 5 minutes, until just starting to brown.

How To Cook Beans in a Pressure Cooker

A pressure cooker provides one of the easiest and energy efficient ways to cook healthy beans. This tutorial take away the mystery.
Pressure cooking beans is fast and easy, but you MUST use oil when doing so. It keeps the beans from foaming up as well as keeping the skins from popping off and clogging up the vent tube. Remember not to fill cooker over 2/3 full.

Here is the basic recipe:
1 cup beans
4 cups water
1 tablespoon oil (unless otherwise noted)

Cook according to the chart below. Soaking for 8 hours will greatly reduce the cooking time. You can also "presoak" beans by putting them in the cooker with the amount of water above and bringing the cooker up to pressure. Turn off the cooker and let it sit for 1 hour. Then proceed by cooking the beans for the "presoak" time below.

Unsoaked beans take the longest. When the cooking time is up, quick-release the pressure cooker under cold water to avoid foaming or sputtering at the vent. If you do hear a sputtering sound, place the cooker in the sink and run cold water over the entire cooker to bring the pressure down quickly. Remove and clean the lid, vent, and rubber gasket. Lock the lid back in place and proceed with cooking.

Important: ALWAYS clean the lid and vent thoroughly after cooking beans! Be sure to check the vent tube to make sure no bean skins are stuck in it.

Note: Black Eyed Peas, Split Peas and Lentils do not need to be soaked or even presoaked. You can use them unsoaked and they cook very quickly.
Beans (1 cup dry): Soaked (12 hrs), Presoak, Unsoaked, Yield
Black (turtle): 9-11 min, 14-18 min, 20-25 min, 2 cups
Black-eyed (cow) peas: -----, -----, 9-11 min, 2 1/4 cups
Cannellini: 9-12 min, 14-17 min, 22-25 min, 2 cups
Chickpeas (garbanzo): 10-12 min, 21-25 min, 30-40 min, 2 1/2 cups
Fava*: 12-18 min, 16-22 min, 22-28 min, 2 cups
Great Northern: 8-12 min, 14-18 min, 25-30 min, 2 1/4 cups
Lentils: ------, ------, 7-10 min, 2 cups
Lima (large)***: 4-7**min, 8-12 min**, 12-16 min, 2 1/2 cups
Lima (baby): 5-7 min, 8-12 min, 12-15 min, 2 1/2 cups
Peas (split, green): ------, ------, 8-10 min, 2 cups
Peas (whole, green): ------, ------, 16-18 min, 2 cups
Pinto: 4-6 min 7-10 min, 22-25 min, 2 1/4 cups
Navy (pea): 6-8 min, 10-13 min 16-25 min, 2 cups
Red kidney: 10-12 min, 12-15 min, 20-25 min, 2 cups
Soy beans: 9-12 min, 15-20 min, 28-35 min, 2 1/4 cups

*Skins remain leathery after cooking and must be removed before serving unless the beans are pureed.
**Be sure to remove loose skins before cooking
***Requires 2 tablespoons of oil for each cup of dried beans

Directions for Freezing Peppers

1 Large pot of boiling water
2 large bowls, one filled with cold water and ice
1 sharp knife
"ziploc" type freezer bags

Step 1 - Start with fresh peppers - as fresh as you can get. Select crisp, tender, green or bright peppers. If there is a delay between harvesting and freezing, put it in the refrigerator or put ice on it. Don't use peppers that are old, limp, overripe or dried out.
Step 2 - Wash the peppers!
Step 3 - Slice the peppers in half, scooping out the seeds and cutting into smaller pieces. Cut out stems, cut in half and remove seeds. If desired, cut into 1/2-inch strips or rings. Of course, if your prefer Julianne cut peppers, you can cut the peppers lengthwise in thin strips instead or chop into smaller pieces.
Step 4 - Decide how you will be using them later, as this determines how you will prepare them. If you will be using them heated (in cooking), then you will need to water blanch them - go on to Step 5. If you will be using them in uncooked foods where you need a crisper texture, or possibly still use them in cooked foods - skip to Step 7.
Step 5 - Blanch the peppers by getting the pots ready first. Get the pot of boiling water ready (about 2/3 filled) and a LARGE bowl with ice and cold water. All fruits and vegetables contain enzymes and bacteria that, over time, break down the destroy nutrients and change the color, flavor, and texture of food during frozen storage. peppers requires a brief heat treatment, called blanching, in boiling water or steam, to destroy the enzymes before freezing. Blanch the pepper halves for 3 minutes; and strips or rings for 2 minutes. The duration is intended to be just long enough to stop the action of the enzymes and kill the bacteria. NOTE: Begin counting the blanching time as soon as you place the peppers in the boiling water. Cover the kettle and boil at a high temperature for the required length of time. You may use the same blanching water several times (up to 5). Be sure to add more hot water from the tap from time to time to keep the water level at the required height.
Step 6 - After vegetables are blanched, cool them quickly to prevent overcooking. Plunge the peppers into a large quantity of ice-cold water (I keep adding more ice to it). A good rule of thumb: Cool for the same amount of time as the blanch step. For instance, if you blanch sweet peppers for 7 minutes, then cool in ice water for 7 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
Step 7 - Bag the peppers: ziploc bags work, too, but it is hard to get as much air out of the bags. Try to remove as much air as possible to prevent drying and freezer burn. TIP: If you don't own a vacuum food sealer to freeze foods, place food in a Ziploc bags, zip the top shut but leave enough space to insert the tip of a soda straw. When straw is in place, remove air by sucking the air out. To remove straw, press straw closed where inserted and finish pressing the bag closed as you remove straw.

Pickling Green Beans Capri Style

3 lbs green beans (3 quarts)
6 bunches dill
6 cups of vinegar
6 small cloves of garlic
2 cups water
1 cup salt

Wash beans and cut off stems. Heat the vinegar water and salt to boiling. In each of the 6 pint jars (sterilized) place a pinch of dill, a pod of pepper, and a clove of garlic. Pack beans in each (hot) jar to within an inch of the top, pouring hot vinegar solution over beans. Seal with hot lids and store 3 weeks before using; it's not a bad idea to keep them in the refrigerator.

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