PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA

Prospecting

Master Food Preservers: Celebrating an autumn harvest

By From page B3 | October 16, 2013

Oh, those autumn days with fall foliage turning colors, days getting shorter and the temperatures cooling. Autumn is here when you see cranberries available.

Join the Master Food Preservers on Tuesday, Oct. 22, for a free class. The MFPs will share recipes and techniques for preserving autumn’s harvest with recipes for persimmons, cranberries, nuts and pumpkin.

Cranberries are native to North America. The fresh fruit is available in stores from October to early January, usually found in 12-ounce bags (which equal 3 cups).

Look for brightly colored (fully red or yellowish-red) fruit with a smooth, glossy and firm skin.

Shriveled, soft, wrinkled berries or those with surface blemishes should be discarded.

Berries can be stored in the original packaging in the refrigerator crisper for up to four weeks. Cranberries can also be stored frozen for up to one year.

To use after freezing, rinse in cold water and drain well. Cranberries are high in Vitamin C and have significant amounts of antioxidants.

Serve cranberry orange chutney with savory main dishes as a side dish, as a sauce, or served over cream cheese. It also makes a tasty holiday or hostess gift.

Cranberry orange chutney

24 ounces fresh whole cranberries
2 cups chopped white onion
2 cups golden raisins
1½ cups white sugar
1½ cups packed brown sugar
2 cups white distilled vinegar (5 percent)
1 cup orange juice
4 teaspoons peeled, grated fresh ginger
3 sticks cinnamon

Yield: About 8 half-pint jars.

Sterilize canning jars and prepare two-piece canning lids according to manufacturer’s directions.

Wash and rinse half-pint canning jars; keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids according to manufacturer’s directions.

Rinse cranberries well. Combine all ingredients in a large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until cranberries are tender. Stir often to prevent scorching. Remove cinnamon sticks and discard.

Fill the hot chutney into clean, hot half-pint jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal canning lids. Process in a boiling water canner according to these recommendations: 10 minutes at altitudes of 0-1,000 feet; 15 minutes at altitudes of 1,001 – 6,000 feet; and 20 minutes at altitudes above 6,000 feet. Let cool, undisturbed, 12-24 hours and check for seals.

Source: National Center for Home Food Preservation

This year’s annual series of free UCCE El Dorado County Master Food Preservers classes are from 10 a.m. to noon in the El Dorado County Fairground’s boardroom, 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville.

Master Food Preservers are also available to answer home food preservation questions; leave a message at 530-621-5506. For more information about the public education classes and activities go to the Master Food Preserver Website at ceeldorado.ucdavis.edu/Master_Food_Preservers/. Sign up to receive the Master Food Preservers e-newsletter at ucanr.org/mfpenews/. Find Master Food Preservers on facebook, too.

Monique Wilber

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