Budda Pickles

June 30, 2010

Yes, they are pronounced Budda pickles, Budda with a New York accent (Butter….). The original recipe is found in a fabulous book called the Art of Preserving. This is one from Rick of Rick Picks (www.rickspicksnyc.com). These are perfect for backyard BBQs…just a touch of sweetness. I tweeked this a bit for making my own pickles, so here goes:
6 lb Kirby Pickling Cucumbers
1 Large Sweet Onion
4 TBSP Kosher Salt
1/2 cup Sugar
2 Tsp Tumeric
2 Tsp Yellow Mustard Seeds
1 Tsp Black Mustard Seeds
1/2 Tsp Dill Seed
1 1/2 Tsp Fresh Ground Guajillo Pepper
3/4 Cup Dried Pitted Cherries (sweet)
5 Cups Cider Vinegar
1 Cup White Vinegar
3 Cups Water
Prepare cucumbers, cutting in round slices about 1/4 inch thick. Cut onions the same. Put aside in a large bowl while you are making the brine. Pour vinegar, all of the spices, water and the cherries into your non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil. Turn the fan on so that you don’t cough to death. Shut the fire after about 10 minutes. Carefully take the cherries out using a slotted spoon (now that they have come back to life) and add them to the bowl of cucumber and onion slices–stir to combine. Have your jars ready in boiling water bath. I find this recipe makes about 10 16 oz jars. Take your jars out of the bath and fill with cucumber mixture, packed tightly. Seal your lids. Immerse in water bath, boil them for 10 minutes. I have eaten these a few days later, but it is best to leave them two weeks if you can wait that long.

Lychee Rosewater Jam

June 29, 2010


This morning I made Lychee Jam with Rosewater for the first time. The Lychees take some time to peel and pit, but the result is amazing. The Lychees taste like perfume on their own and then when you add that bit of rosewater, it just takes them even higher. I have just ordered more Lychees from the Oriental Farmer’s Market, I can’t wait to try this out with a few different recipes. I will be bringing some to the Rapsodic Bakery in Downtown Orlando and I am sure they will be making some fabulous vegan cupcakes and fillings in the weeks to come.

Sweet Cherry Pinot Grigio Jam

June 27, 2010

What a fabulous summer bounty of cherries in the markets this year! I wanted to post my recipe for Cherry Pinot Grigio Jam. This recipe must be made in two stages, but it is oh so worth it! You must make Apple Jelly separately and this jelly can be used for many other recipes for fruit jams that need extra pectin to come together. Here is it for you, I have also posted this on food52.com and entered it into the weekly contest. I developed this recipe based on one by Christine Ferber, my idol.

Basic Granny Smith Apple Jelly Recipe
4 Pounds Granny Smith Apples (whole)
5 cups sugar
6 1/2 cups sugar
1 Juice of large Lemon

Method: Scrub the apples and cut the fruit into quarters leaving the skin intact. Place them into a large dutch oven and cover with the 6 1/2 cups of water. Bring this up to a slow boil and simmer on low for about 35 minutes (the apples should just be starting to fall apart). Get out a container and rest your chinois inside. Pour the apple mixture into the chiniois and use your wooden tool or the back of a spatula to press all the juice out of the mixture. You will then take this juice and strain it again. I use a smaller strainer and I take a wet piece of cheesecloth and pour the mixture through again–this ensures that the jelly will be clear. Now take 4 1/2 cups of this mixture and place it it your preserving pan–add the sugar and lemon. Bring this mixture up to a boil and continue to hold thre until your thermometer reaches 221. You can skim the mixture as you go. Once you reach 221, shut the fire and let it rest for 5 minutes. Go back now, turn the fire back up to reach 221 degrees. In my experience, this little rest ensures a good gel. Pour this mixture into 8 oz sterlized jars, seal and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. You should have six jars and you will be using one for the Cherry Pinot Grigio Recipe!

Cherry Pinot Grigio Jam
3 pounds Cherries, pitted and split in half
2 1/2 pounds sugar
1 lemon, both juice and zest
3/4 cups Pinot Grigio
Method: Place the 3 pounds of cherries into a non-reactive container, add sugar and lemon and cover and let this macerate overnight. The next day, pour out this mixture into your preserving pan and add 1/2 cup of the Pinot Grigio (you will use the last 1/4 cup at the end). Bring this mixture up to 219, stir all along the way to avoid sticking and burning. Once the mixture has reached 219, add the 8 oz jar of granny smith apple jelly to the pan. Stir and bring this mixture up to 221. Once the mixture is holding at 221/222, add the balance of the 1/4 cup of Pinot Grigio, this will naturally cut the foam and give the jam a fresh “winey” taste. Shut the fire, skim the balance of the foam off the top. Pour this into your sterlized jars and process in a hot water bath canner for 11 minutes. This jam is fabulous as a dessert topping, scone topping or bunged into a quick bread mix. You can also use it to top cheeses, as a glaze for pork–so many uses!

Nize’s Farm in Deland

June 24, 2010

Nize’s Farm…the search for native species begins…

Yesterday I drove to Deland to visit Nize’s farm. I love the idea of supporting a local farmer and I had an amazing time taking a tour of her land. She had so many interesting and native species of bushes and trees, I got completely re-inspired all over again. I came away with fresh picked Elderberries, squash blossoms, and lemon verbena. I quickly went to work with the Elderberries and solicited the help of my daughter and her boyfriend after the first 30 minutes….wow! The berries were tiny and very labor intensive to get them off the little branches. I selected a recipe from Mes Confitures to make some Elderberry Jelly. I followed the directions…and ….I was so sure of myself (even though it was the first time I had worked with Elderberries), I didn’t even do a gel test. And so….today I have fabulous Elderberry Sauce–alas….I was hoping it would gel overnight, but it did not. It will be destined for several of my wonderful customers…I am sure we will see it in a fabulous cupcake icing at the Rapsodic Bakery in the weeks to come.

Today we labeled jars for Winter Park Farmer’s Market

June 17, 2010

I sat this fine morning and printed and labeled Jalapeno and Banana Peppers for sale at the market. I enjoyed it just a small amount…really I liked it. The bug man came around today and told me a story about how he gets drunk every November and kills deer in Georgia, it was special. After I tore myself away, I took some photos for the blog and the web. Regional Best wants to sell the pickled vegetable line on their site so I have to print up the ingredients list and come up with some enticing descriptions for them.

First Blush

I have sat for three days messing with the options for creating the blog, not being happy with it, asking why the hell I never know what I am doing and then worrying about what my first post was going to say. I thought about whether I was always going to be positive and upbeat, if I would bore everyone to death, if I was going to honest….. Oh my God. Then I realized that my approach to this blog is very much like my approach to life. I mean when I gave birth to my daughter, I just wanted to be able to practice first so that I would be “good” at it before I had to do it in the hospital. Mastery just feels so good. I always want to be the master. Why can’t I just love being akward? Now I worry about if this blog will be original, is anyone else doing the same thing, will I win an award–is my writing just crap. Any distraction that could possibly come into my mind to take my away from the computer is very attractive right now. The whole point for me is to document what I am going though as Wendy Sunchowder, start up company. Documenting my life after being downsized out of Corporate America. My fears, my exhuastion, my search. My vision for this blog is to create a network of sorts, give lots of laughs and create a neighborhood for small companies looking for inspiration, networking, and to know if they are “normal’.