We moved house and home in September. Into not our first place, but the first one that’s ours, mortgage and all. The joys (and headaches) of being new homeowners have been simultaneously overwhelming and exhilarating. How it’s supposed to be, right?
Moving stinks. Trust me, I get it. But I had a triple whammy of being a preserver, and burgeoning cocktail nut, during shoulder season. You can imagine the acres of delicate (and full!) glass we had to schlep. Like multiple carloads. Multiple MULTIPLE cardloads. Combined with forced down time during the height of the season. Now that it’s all said and done, the joy of sitting down and relaxing in our own space makes it all worth it, ten times over.
Another joy has been Cathy’s wonderful book, which was delivered a few weeks ago. I got a chance to sit down under a warm blanket and digest it with a cup of tea. This book is far more than meets the eye, folks (even though that cover is sure a looker!). Its nothing short of an inspirational collection of preservation techniques and recipes of all colors and flavors, from entry-level to expert territory. I have already bookmarked the Blackberry Hazelnut Conserve for next year’s list (if I don’t sub the black raspberries in my chest freezer in the interim). As someone who has waterbath canning pretty down (or so I’d like to think), I am most excited about Mrs. W’s forays into other areas. I’ve been pouring over the smoking and curing sections, looking at Gravlax, Guanciale, Hot-Smoked Salmon, Smoked Whole Chicken, and Maple-Bourbon Bacon. Plus, in the index, there are SEVEN entries under bourbon alone. Mrs. W is singing my tune.
I especially appreciate Cathy’s new twist on old favorites. Just in time for this month’s big holiday, her Whole-Cranberry Raspberry Sauce recipe strikes just that chord. New preservers? Fear not – you can make the recipe, put into a jar and refrigerate. Want to be able to put it on your shelf or give as gifts? Follow Mrs. W’s waterbath canning instructions (it’s super easy – if you have hot sauce you are 90% there!) Just follow the recipe below.
Reprinted from Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving by Cathy Barrow. Copyright © 2014 by Cathy Barrow. With permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
Whole-Cranberry Raspberry Sauce
4 cups (28 oz., 800 g) granulated sugar
4 cups (32 oz., 950 ml) nonchlorinated water
Grated zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lemon
4 cups (14 oz., 390 g) cranberries
1 cup (8 oz., 225 g) fresh raspberries
1⁄2 teaspoon unsalted butter (optional)
1. Combine the sugar, water, zest, and juice in your preserving pot and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
When the mixture is briskly boiling, carefully add the cranberries. The berries will burst when heated and may splatter. Cook until most of the berries have burst and the sauce is thickening, about 12 minutes.
2. Add the raspberries and bring back to a boil that will not stir down. Boil hard for about 10 more minutes. Test the set using the wrinkle test or the sheeting test. Add the butter, if using, to clarify and clear the sauce.
3. Ladle into the warm jars, leaving 1∕2-inch headspace. Clean the
rims of the jars well with a damp paper towel. Place the lids and rings on the jars and finger-tighten the rings.
4. Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.
The sauce is shelf stable for 1 year.
The preserve is great all by itself, but I, of course turned it into several libations. First, I added a spoonful to a can of raspberry-lime seltzer while I waited for the jars to process in the waterbath. Then, I added 3/4 of an ounce of Michter’s Toasted Barrel bourbon and some Hella Bitter Aromatic Bitters. Then, the next day, it was the perfect happy hour accompaniment with some Bombay Sapphire Far East, homemade Kaffir Lime bitters, and tonic. However you choose to use it, any cocktails made with Mrs. W’s Whole-Cranberry Raspberry Sauce are equally beautiful and delicious.
Interested in a deeper look at Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry? One lucky reader is going to take home a copy of this gorgeous book. Leave me a comment below, telling me what new-to-you preserve is first on your list for 2015. Then seek out some bonus entries. The giveaway ends on 11/10/14. Good luck!