Monday, January 18, 2016

Guess the Favorite

So which of this week's culinary experiments were the favorites, the ones I'll be making again?
Was it this apple thyme jelly, thyme courtesy of Kahuna's garden?
Or maybe this baked oatmeal, made with last summer's apricots retrieved from the freezer?
Or how about this homemade cranberry juice?

Do you have your pick ready?  You sure?  You want to call a friend to confer? 
Okay.  Here goes.
I can tell you straight off the apple thyme jelly was a big fat fail.  I followed instructions to the letter, but this still turned out verrrrry gummy and not at all what a jelly should be.  Someone more experienced at making jelly without adding pectin probably could have made this work.  But me?  All I can say is errrgh.  Not good.
The baked oatmeal was promising.  But the recipe I followed was too sweet, and it had 1/4 c. of oil in it to boot, so not as healthy as I'd like for a breakfast food.  I won't be making that one again, either. 
The homemade cranberry juice?  We have our winner!  It was easy and tasty and just plain fun to turn November's unused frozen cranberries into juice concocted by my very own self.  The juice made with these directions is a tad on the sweet side, so think of it as a lightly concentrated version and add plenty of ice and a bit more water when you serve it.  The recipe is from Drinks Without Alcohol by Jane Brandt.


1 lb. fresh cranberries (mine were frozen), rinsed and stemmed
  (NOTE:  when you rinse frozen cranberries they will stick together in a lump and will not want to be corralled into your pot without at least a few skittering onto the floor.  Heads up.)
2 c. sugar
6 c. water
Put all the ingredients into a large pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for five minutes, until cranberries have burst.
Spoon into a sieve that you have lined with cheesecloth, set over a bowl to collect the juice.
 Smash cranberries against the side of the cheesecloth to extract all the liquid you can.
Cool and drink over ice, or put into straight-sided jars to freeze, making sure to leave enough room at the top for it to expand (about 3/4-inch should be plenty).
Happy day from our home to yours.

Labels: , ,