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Dilly Pickled Onion Slices on Punk Domestics

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    International Food Blogger Conference 2011 NOLA

    « I've gone plum crazy (like I do every year about this time) | Main

    Last weekend was quite a thrill ride...


     I'm the cranky one on the left. I'm thinking "I can't believe it's RAINING in Wenatchee!" Luckily, I cheered up as soon as I got inside.

          Normally I'm knee-deep in fruit about now, but I took a little break last weekend to go to my Eastmont High School Class of 1980 Reunion, in Eastern Washington. It was so much fun seeing everyone, and thanks to Facebook, I was able to study up on most of my classmates before I got there. It helped immensely when I had to match a name to a face.

          I was pretty excited about catching up on the past 30 years with my classmates, but I think I was even more excited about being able to stock up on some wonderful Wenatchee Valley fruit.

         On Friday, shortly before I left for East Wenatchee, a childhood friend of mine messaged me on Facebook, asking if I had any Watermelon Rind Pickles. Her request took me by surprise. Wasn't it just a couple weeks ago that another friend, quite unexpectedly I might add, requested a jar of my Watermelon Rind Pickles (in lieu of a birthday gift)?

    When I first made them last year, I was twisting people's arms just to TRY them...



         So I took my friend Lynda a jar of Watermelon Rind Pickles, and in return, she showed up at my motel room door the next day with a 22 pound  box of Red Haven Peaches. Now THAT, my friends, was a great trade.

         On the way back home on Sunday, I stopped at Miller Orchards, and picked up a box of Perfection Apricots. I had a lot of fun with those this week too! I made a Gingery~Apricot Conserve, starting with these ingedients:

     3 pounds of apricots along with an orange, a lemon, and crystalized ginger. (Plus 3 cups of brown sugar.)


    The end result was delicious on Roasted Chicken last night!


        In addition to the Gingery-Apricot Conserve, I made 12 half-pints of good ol' Apricot, luscious and incredibly delicious, made better by macerating the fruit with sugar and lemon juice, and letting it sit overnight.  (This process helps the sugar magically extract all of the juicy organic goodness from the Miller Orchards' apricots.)


    I made Spiced Peach Butter with the Red Haven peaches...


    ...well...with what was left of the peaches. For 3 days I had been doling them out, 1 or 2 at a time, to friends and neighbors, like the precious gifts they were. Some people halved and grilled them, some couldn't wait long enough for the grill to warm up. I smiled when I thought of those people, eating the best Thank You gift  I had gotten in a very long time.

    As usual, the Pugs agreed with me.


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    Reader Comments (6)

    Brook, I want to make this! Do you get your crystalized ginger from World Spice?

    August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTerri Torpin

    You know, I think I bought the crystalized ginger at either PCC or Whole Foods, in the Bulk Foods section, but I tend to buy almost all of my salts and spices at World Spice. Their quality and pricing can't be's a win/win!

    August 21, 2010 | Registered CommenterBrook Hurst Stephens

    Love the site! Especially the polka dots!

    August 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrichard

    I'm so glad you like them Richard. They speak to me for some reason. Now I see them everywhere and can't get enough!

    August 23, 2010 | Registered CommenterBrook Hurst Stephens

    Gorgeous photos, Brook. Really enjoyed the site.

    August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnna Wulfsong Belt

    Thanks so much Anna!

    August 25, 2010 | Registered CommenterBrook Hurst Stephens
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