Tag Archives: Food preservation

Lotsa mozza

A fresh batch of mozzarella cheese. Photo: Gourmet Girl Magazine

A fresh batch of mozzarella cheese. Photo: Gourmet Girl Magazine

Got up this morning and did the usual chores. Took the dog for a morning walk and had coffee by the river. It’s the springtime morning routine. Got home and found an urgent message on my answering machine: “I’ve got extra milk. If you want it for cheese then come on over quick and bring containers!”

I immediately dropped all the plans I had for the day and set to collecting suitable containers to bring the milk home in. It  is not often that I get such a wonderful opportunity, in fact this is the famous first! I am now busy processing 4 gallons of beautifully fresh milk into mozzarella cheese. I’ll take one batch back to the farmer in thanks, and keep the other three for myself. Will post the how to and photos soon, when my hands are not so full!

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Filed under cheese making, Food preservation, Milk preservation techniques, Recipes

High-tech yogurt

I am lucky enough to have access to local milk, but if you don’t, store-bought will work just fine for this recipe.


One gallon of milk

1/2 cup live yogurt culture

1 cup skim milk powder (optional)

‘High-tech’ equipment needs:

Stainless steel pot (large enough to hold 1 gallon of milk)


4 clean quart jars for storage

Electric heating pad

2 bath towels


Pasteurized milk ready for yogurt making.

Pasteurized milk ready for yogurt making.

Place cold milk in pot and, if using, stir in dry milk powder. Carefully heat milk to 195-200 F degrees. Do not boil! Stir gently and hold at temperature for 10 minutes.

Milk cooling in ice water bath.

Milk cooling in ice water bath.

Place the pot in cold water to cool milk rapidly. Once it is at 116 F degrees, remove pot from cold water.

Have four clean quart jars ready. Equally distribute the yogurt starter among the four jars. Gently pour about 1/2 cup of warm milk into each jar, stir well to blend the starter with the new milk. Pour remaining milk into the quart jars, leave 1/4 inch head space (the yogurt will not grow in volume).

Quart jars on towel on top of heating pad.

Quart jars on towel on top of heating pad.

Place the four jars on top of a heating pad set on low.

Prepared milk in quart jars wrapped in towel and set on low on heating pad.

Prepared milk in quart jars wrapped in towel and set on low on heating pad.

Wrap the jars well with two towels and forget about them until the morning.

The finished product!

The finished product!

In the morning, unwrap the jars from the towel and place yogurt in refridgerator. If the yogurt is not thick enough for your liking, decant the yogurt into a jelly bag or tightly woven sieve. Place it over a container that will catch the whey, and refridgerate. Let it drain for a half an hour up to several hours until desired thickness is achieved. If using the skim milk powder, you will automatically attain a thicker product.


Filed under Fermented foods, How to..., Milk preservation techniques, Preserving the harvest

Spaghetti sauce–pressure canning

Makes about 9 pint jars or 7 750 ml jars

One of seven spaghetti sauces made yesterday.

One of seven spaghetti sauces made yesterday.

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup chopped onions

1 cup chopped green peppers

2-3 tbsp oregano

2-3 tsbp basil

2 tsp ground pepper

4-5 tsp salt

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup olive oil

30 pounds whole tomatoes

Directions: remove skins on tomatoes. To do this, blanch in boiling water for 60 seconds and then place in cold water, slip off skins. Remove any blemished parts. Cut into quarters and place in large uncovered pot. Boil at least 20 minutes, if not longer (I usually boil for 30-45 mins). Press through a sieve or food mill.

In a heavy sauce pan, saute onions, garlic, and peppers in olive oil until tender. Add sauced tomatoes and remaining spices and sugar and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered until thick enough for serving. This may take a couple of hours, volume should reduce by nearly on-half. Stir often to prevent sticking/burning.

Pack hot jars with hot sauce, leaving 1-inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rims and adjust lids and screw bands in place.

Pressure Canning Process:

Weighted guage type @ 10 pounds pressure.

Pints: 20 minutes

Quarts: 25 minutes

After processing, remove jars and place on a rack to cool. Test for seal.

NOTE: Do not increase the amounts of vegetables.

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Filed under Food preservation, Food Security, Preserving the harvest