On my bucket list for summer: Preserve stuff.
I’ve vowed to do something productive or buckety every week so this weekend I decided to get cracking on the “preserve stuff” agenda item. I started easy in what could also be categorized as cooking with booze.
Inspiration struck last week …though I cannot for the life of me remember what inspired me… and I decided to put up some cherries in booze. My preserving book recommended brandy, bourbon, gin, rum, or whatever suits your fancy. A quick call out to twitter confirmed my inclinations to go with brandy and bourbon. So a trip to the grocery store for hella pricey cherries, Lowe’s for canning supplies and the liquor store and I was off to the races.
My book suggested leaving the pits in, but offered no warning that it was essential, so I opted to pit my cherries. I finally put the cherry pitter I own to good use!
The cherry pitter is what Riley is using, by the way, not Riley. In fact, she gave up rather quickly and left the task to me.
Obviously you can adjust that depending on just how sweet you like your boozey cherries.
Next the fun part. Add booze of your choosing. Again, based on twitter’s very wise wisdom, I chose both brandy and bourbon.
Easy so far right? Now comes the hardest step…
Let sit for two to three months. Yikes!! Really?
Boozey Cherries accomplished, I turned my attention to red onion marmalade. This is going to be SO GOOD on some burgers! This recipe is also pretty easy.
Slice some red onions,
Cooke them down, add vinegar, brown sugar and wine, cook some more, and viola!
Where it get’s exciting though is in the “putting up.” Things preserved in booze don’t really need a whole lot of “canning” because the booze is the preservative. In these onions, the vinegar and wine do the preserving, but they are refrigerated not heat processed and required the whole sterilized jar bit.
I felt all old timey and traditional ladling my onion marmalade into a sterilized jar through a funnel. So out of three or four onions, I got four jars of this yummy preserve. Better than the wait time on the cherries, there is still a one month waiting period for the flavors to meld. But you can bet I’ll be firing up the grill and popping open a jar on July 12 for sure!
All in all on Saturday I put up 4 jars each of Bourbon and Brandy Cherries, and 4 jars of Red Onion Marmalade. And on Sunday, I did some for real canning. But that is a story for another lunch hour.