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Easy Refrigerator Pickles

Category : Make It Yourself, Seasonal Menu Ideas, September

Pickled Beets MenuIt’s pickling season! If the idea of making pickles conjures up hours of  sterilizing jars, trimming and peeling pounds of produce, and wondering later if the lids sealed safely–relax! You can certainly go through that whole process if you enjoy it (as I do), but there’s also a much easier way to prepare homemade pickles.

Several vegetables commonly pickled can be  prepared as “refrigerator pickles.” Refrigerator pickles won’t keep as long as pickles canned the traditional way, but they are fast to make and will last from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, depending on the vegetables and the recipe you use. Continue Reading

Homemade Cream Cheese (Yogurt Cheese)

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Category : About Food Sources, Condiments, Make It Yourself, Recipes, Snacks, Vegetarian

Photo of Making Cream CheeseI’m discovering that when I can’t find a locally produced version of a common ingredient, making it myself is sometimes easier than you’d think. For example, I’ve already posted a simple technique I learned for making butter. This week I wanted to make a dish that normally uses cream cheese. I couldn’t find a local brand in the grocery stores, but I saw several local dairy products that I suspected could be used to make it. I decided to come back after doing a little research.

When I got home, I googled “how to make cream cheese” and quickly found several alternatives. (I love Google. I tell everyone that we have to make sure it is never taken over by dark forces…) Below I describe the method I finally used. The process was incredibly easy, and the results tasted surprisingly good. The texture was rich and creamy, just as you want cream cheese to be. Continue Reading

Homemade Butter

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Category : About Food Sources, Condiments, Make It Yourself, Recipes, Vegetarian

Photo of Homemade ButterLast week I didn’t see  locally produced butter in the dairy cooler at the Community Food Co-op, which usually stocks some. Since I don’t know of any locally produced cooking oils, I’m using butter instead, and was concerned when I couldn’t find any.

I remembered a friend had told me that butter could be made from whipping cream pretty easily, but I didn’t remember the details. I saw some Twin Brook Creamery cream, so purchased a pint. When I got home, I called the Creamery to see if they made commercial butter,  or if they could tell me how to make it from their whipping cream.

Debbie returned my call and said they didn’t make butter for sale to the public, but that they regularly made butter for their own use from their cream. She said the recipe below is how her mother-in-law does it. I think you’ll be astonished at how simple and quick it is–and it’s fun! Continue Reading