Bones. Fat. Drained cooking water. Cores. Peels. What do all of these have in common? They are thrown away by many cooks who do not realize they can be saved and put to use. In earlier times they were saved because food was more precious and waste was abhorrent. Well, for many those times have come again and for others they are looming. So here are some ways to save and utilize these precious food resources. (Any prices noted are from Nov. 2011)
Soup stock is the first thing that comes to mind. Bones can be boiled, and even re-boiled several times to provide a savory base for soups. The simplest version I use is called (appropriately enough) “Bone Soup”.
chicken bones, skin, fat & drippings (free)
water to cover (free)
spices: garlic, bay leaf, celery seed, salt, pepper (3 cents)
2 carrots, 35 cents (free if peelings are used instead)
Simmer together or cook in crock pot. Strain. Chill overnight in refrigerator so you can remove fat and put it aside for other use. (Chicken fat is excellent for cakes and other baking.)
(Entire pot cost is 38 cents if carrots used, 3 cents if peels used.)
SOUP STOCK FROM BONES (general)
If any leftover meat or bones are available, simmer 1-2 hrs. in water and use broth to make soups. A permanent stock pot should be established to provide good soup & gravies. In it should be placed all available bones, from when meat is cut up, in preparing boned meat dishes. This boiler should be kept gently simmering for 3-4 hrs. daily immediately before contents are required for use. If meat is properly boned it will provide soup at a minimal cost. The bones should be carefully drained, put in a dish, and kept in a cool dry place (refrigerate or freeze) until required for making more stock. Dispose of bones older than 3 boiling’s, and rotate in fresh bones. Bones from plates can be rotated in, too. The boiling sterilizes them. One cup of good broth replaces one bouillon cube costing 8¢!
Vegetable stock may be made if vegetables are washed before peeling and the peels are saved. When enough are saved, boil 1-2 hours to make a vegetable broth.
HOW TO USE STOCK
1. As a base for soup. Add meat and vegetables and simmer until done to taste.
2. As a base for gravy. For each 1 cup of gravy wanted, set aside 1/4 cu of stock. Put the remaining 3/4 cup in a saucepan, and heat to a simmer. Put the reserved cool stock in a jar with 2-3 TB of flour or 1-1 1/2 TB of cornstarch. (This for thick gravy, use less for a thinner one.) Shake the jar to blend the liquid and the flour or cornstarch into a thick liquid. Stir the sludge into the hot broth and keep stirring and simmering until it boils. Boil 2 minutes (to cook the flour so you don’t have a raw taste) while stirring, then remove from heat and serve.
3. As a base for tomato sauces. Mix in tomato paste to suit, then thicken as above for a no-frills and very fast tomato sauce. Season to taste.
4. As a liquid to cook beans, rice, pasta and even fresh vegetables in for a flavor boost.
5. As a hot beverage.
Fat is either cut off meat before cooking, after cooking, or is removed from liquid dishes which are set in the refrigerator to cool so they can be de-fatted. They all go in the ‘fat pail’ as it was called in times past.
When there is sufficient material in the pail to warrant it, it is rendered and clarified by melting with an equal amount of water as you have fats in a large pot over medium heat. It speeds up things to chop up any pieces of fat coarsely. Simmer, adding water if needed until the fat comes out of any meat bits, and the bits sink to the bottom of the pot. Remove the pot, strain the fat through a cloth that was wrung out in hot water, and place in the refrigerator. The strained out parts can be used measure for measure as shortening in biscuits if they taste good (pork bits are called cracklings). Remove that fat cake that hardens on top. Scrape off any impurities stuck to the underside of the cake. Reheat, the fat to remelt it, and either pour into a container for immediate use, or can it for longer storage. To can fat, wash and heat up a jar in the oven (400 degrees) and scald a lid by pouring boiling water over it and letting it sit in the water until used. When the fat is liquid, pour hot into the hot jar to 1/4th inch of the top. Put on a hot, scalded and freshly dried lid, and close it up. As the jar cools, it will seal and the fat will store a long time, (years) as long as it was well purified and the liquid evaporated out when it was remelted. If you have a strong flavored fat (from mutton, duck or goose) remelt it with an equal amount of beef suet or lard to make it milder flavored. You can also sauté in some chopped onions to give it a savory flavor.
HOW TO USE SAVED FATS:
1. Fry eggs, hash browns and make biscuits or pancakes for breakfast.
2. Dredge meat in flour, sauté in fat, then braise over low heat until cooked (or cook in slow cooker) for tough cuts.
3. Pan fry onions, carrots, celery, etc. for casseroles or as a side dish
4. Pan fry potatoes, hash browns, savory foods. Pan fry rice for first step in making pilaf.
5. Use to stir-fry.
6. Melt fat, mix with flour for a roux for gravy or sauce.
7. Pan fry fish, chicken, breaded anything.
8. Melt, toss with squares of dry bread for croutons, seasoning to taste
9. Melt in any recipe calling for oil or melted butter (pancakes, biscuits, waffles, in breads)
10. Use in pie crusts after chilling so it cuts in well. Use in biscuits as well.
11. Chicken fat can be used measure for measure in baking. Cakes will not rise as high, but will be just as tender as with butter.
12. Chocolate or spice cakes and cookies are better to conceal any flavor from saved fat.
13. Cleaned fats make superior soaps, and can be used to make ointments and emollients instead of petroleum based ones.
14. Cleaned tallow makes superior tallow candles (dipped style) and better burning fat lamps.
15. Soft, mild fats (chicken fat) can be used to spread on bread, especially if seasoned with onions or garlic.
DRAINED COOKING WATER (AND DRAININGS FROM CANNED VEGETABLES AND FRUITS)
Vegetable cooking water (and the draining’s from canned vegetables) should be saved for delicate vegetable soups. These can be combined and seasoned for a practically ‘free’ soup dish.
Use any combinations of vegetable liquors, avoiding the bitter ones (artichokes, eggplant, dandelion greens). Of course, veg must have been carefully cooked if cooking water is to be good in soup.
Onions, for example, should always be parboiled, and the first water discarded, saving the second water. Cabbage liquid must be from a young cabbage, cut in quarters or eighths and dropped in rapidly boiling water, cooked 15-20 min uncovered. The cabbage broth made in this way, stirred well with a little butter and seasonings, is delicious and has a flavor that suggests delicate chicken broth.
Cook 4 cups cut up cabbage in salted boiling water, leaving the cover off the pot so it will stay bright colored. Save the cooking water. (free) After serving them as a vegetable, heat any leftovers in 2 TB oleo (6¢), shaking the pan. Sprinkle them with flour (1¢), and after heating the cooking broth to a boil, mix in the leftovers (free) and flour mixture. Cook 5 min, press through a sieve. Reheat to a boil, and pour over 2 egg yolks (28¢) beaten with 1/2 cup milk (11¢). Serve at once. (total recipe 41¢ for 5 servings)
STRING BEAN AND POTATO SOUP
2 TB margarine (6¢)
1 minced onion (12¢)
1 tomato, fresh or canned (45¢)
juice from cooking 1 lb green beans (free)
juice from cooking 4-5 potatoes (free)
a little of the boiled potato, mashed well (36¢ for 1 potato)
salt and pepper
Cook onion slowly in margarine, but do not let it color. When tender, add 1 tomato, fresh or canned and stir until thick. Add bean and potato water and mashed potato. Season, put thru a sieve. Reheat and serve. This works with cooking water of almost any green vegetable except bitter ones. (Entire recipe 99¢ for 6 servings)
VEGETABLE CREAM SOUPS
Any vegetable bouillon is quickly made into cream soup by blending 2 tablespoons of flour (1¢)in 2 tablespoons of melted margarine (6¢) , and then slowly stirring in 2 cups of reconstituted skim milk (44¢); cook slowly, stirring constantly, until thick. Add 2 cups of vegetable bouillon (free)and a little of the vegetable (leftovers free), and season with salt and pepper. Stir and cook until well mixed. Serve boiling hot. This is a good way to use up the small quantities of liquids from canned vegetables. Makes 4 cups soup for 53¢ or 13¢ per cup.
POLISH KRAUT BORSCHT (for those who crave something ‘sour’)
1/2 beet juice (from canned)
sugar to taste
1/2 sauerkraut juice
Combine and heat through. If using saved juices, recipe is about 3 cents (for 2 TB sugar) for the whole recipe.
POTATO SOUP (2 svg)
1 lg potato, diced small 36¢ 1 TB oleo 3 cents
1 med onion, minced 12 cents 1 1/2 c water
Put potato, onion in water and simmer about 1/2 hour. Add more water if it gets dry. When smooshy, mash to suit. Stir in butter, taste for seasoning. (51 cents per svg.)
Better if made with ‘free vegetable broth’ for flavor.
Broccoli-potato soup: substitute chopped frozen broccoli for half the potato. (Reduces price to 43 cents per cup)
Cheaper yet using 1 c instant potatoes in place of the chopped potato and thinning to taste with water. Add 1 chicken bouillon cube to water to dissolve before putting in potatoes. (38¢ per cup)
HIT & MISS SOUP
1 c water, drain off pasta-free
few shreds cabbage (saved)
1 c water, drain off cabbage (free)
2 small bones from pork chops (free)
1 scant TB boiled rice (0.01)
1 chopped onion (0.10)
a little flour (0.02)
fried bread cubes (2 slices = 0.20)
Combine water, bones, and simmer to make a broth. Remove bones, skim fat; add cabbage, rice, and onions. Simmer until cooked; season to taste and thicken with a little flour. Served with fried bread cubes. Makes 2 svgs (total recipe $0.33; 1/2 recipe = 0.17)
BROWNED FLOUR SOUP (6 svg)
1 TB butter or fat (0.02)
1 pint milk (reconstituted from dry 1.25)
1/2 c flour (0.20)
1 tsp salt (0.005)
4 c veg. cooking water (free)
Cook flour until dark brown in fat over a low fire or in the oven. Add water slowly, stir in remaining ingredients. Serve with fried bread. (Without bread, $1.48 per recipe; one serving 23 cents; with 4 slices bread, toasted as croutons add 0.50 total or 31 cents per serving
WAYS TO USE DRAINED LIQUID FROM FRUITS
1. Drink them for breakfast juice or add to smoothies.
2. Use in place of water when baking cakes, pancakes, or other baking mixes.
3. Add to icing to give it a fruity twist (2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 2 tablespoons of the juice).
4. Freeze into ice cubes. Add to water to flavor it lightly, to iced tea, or to other glasses of juice.
5. Make a marinade for chicken (equal parts of the fruit juice, vinegar and oil. Combine and pour over meat in a glass dish and allow to marinate for a few hours).
You can also put the marinade and chicken in freezer baggies and store in the freezer until you are ready to use. As the meat thaws, it marinates.
6. Use in place of some of the water when cooking oatmeal or rice.
7. Pour into molds for popsicles. Each time you open a can, freeze another layer. Make multiflavored popsicles.
8. Add to fruit gelatin desserts.
9. Use to make a salad dressing (1/4 c drained juice, 2 TB water, 4 TB vinegar or half lemon juice, 1 TB olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard or other seasoning to taste, 1/4 tsp salt. Sweeten to taste with sugar. Whisk together.)
10. Cook down to thicken, use as a sauce over ice cream or angel food cake.
CORES AND PEELS
If you wash your produce well, you can save the parings and peels to flavor other foods.
The peel of one onion, for example, can be simmered with 2 cups water to make an onion broth that can soothe a sore throat or cold. For extra kick, add garlic peels.
Other home remedies using onion peels:
1. A natural dye for coloring your hair. It will give your hair healthy gold or reddish shade. Boil 2 Tb. spoons of onion peels per cup of water approximately 20 minutes, then let it stand for several hours. Strain the brew and use as a rinse every time you wash your hair.
2. A natural home remedy against seborrhea – using onion peels brew (water from boiling a handful of onion peels for 5-10 minutes) for washing your hair will keep your hair dandruff free, healthy and thick.
3. A natural home remedy against hypertension- make tea from onion peels (just brew onion pees as you would any tea herbs) and drink a cup of onion peels tea every day to lower your blood pressure as a natural remedy, without harmful pills. By the way, you also may use garlic peels for brewing tea, as both onion and garlic peels contain a special substance that I’ll cover later.
4. A natural home remedy against sore throat- gargle with onion peels brew several times a day.
5. A natural home remedy against stomatitis, parodontits- three tea spoons of dry onion peels boil in 16 oz of water, then let stand for 7-8 hours, strain the brew and rinse your mouth several times a day.
6. Use the same solution to rinse a wound- it will clean the wound and aid in healing.
7. A natural home remedy against rhinitis of any nature- put 4 Table spoons of crushed dry onion peels into a pot of boiling water and inhale over the steam for 3-5 minutes.
8. A natural home remedy against dry cough- 2 Table spoons of onion peels boil in 2 cups of water on low to medium heat. Then let the brew cool and strain it. Drink ¼ cup of warm brew three times a day, 30 minutes before food.
9. A natural home remedy against cystitis- 3 tea spoons of crushed dry onion peels brew in two cups of boiling water, let stand for 30 minutes. In case of acute cystitis drink ¼ of a cup 2 times a day for 5 days. In case of chronic cystitis drink two Table spoons 3-4 times a day for 10 days.
10. A natural home remedy against amenorrhea (absence of a menstrual period in a woman of reproductive age)- two or three table spoons of crushed dry onion peels boil in 1 liter of water for 15 minutes on a slow heat. Let it cool naturally, then strain the brew. Drink ½ of a cup twice a day (in the morning and evening) 30-40 minutes before food.
11. Home remedy against (sorry) hemorrhoids – 4 Table spoons of onion peels boil on a slow heat in 2 liters of milk for 10 minutes. Cool the mixture until warm and strain. Soak the spot with hemorrhoids (you know what I mean!) in a seated bath during 10 minutes.
12. Home remedy against varicose veins- In a cup pore 100 ml of vodka over 2 Table spoons of crushed dry onion peels, let stand for a week. Strain the tincture. Take 20 drops two-three times a day for 10 days.
13. Home remedy against Atherosclerosis – the same onion peels tincture as in the previous case- take 20 drops with 2 Table spoon of olive oil 3 times a day, 30 minutes before food. Take for 14 days, then make a break for 10 days and repeat the course.
14. Home remedy against nail fungus- 8 table spoons of crushed dry onion peels cover with 1/2 liter of vodka. Let stand for 10 minutes. Strain. Wet a piece of cotton into onion peels tincture and apply on nails affected by fungus 2-3 times a day. Another way to cure nail fungus is to soak feet or hands in a hot solution of onion peels and water for 20-30 minutes.
Potato peels are added to other vegetable parings (onion, celery, carrots) to make a mineral rich vegetable stock. A mixture of parings and leftover meat bits can be made into a rich stock, then added to cooked rice to feed dogs and cats. (2 lb. potato peels, 2 lb. meat scraps, 1 lb. assorted vegetable peels, 2 qts. water boiled together 5 minutes, then simmered one hour. Stir into 12 cups cooked rice.)
Uses for orange peels abound.
1. As A Bathing Powder: Dry some orange peels and make them as a powder. Use this powder regularly for bathing to make your skin glow.
2. Mosquito Repellent: Apply orange peels over your exposed skin on nights to repel the mosquitoes.
3. Get Rid of Ant: Take few orange peels in a cup of warm water. Make it as puree in a blender. Pour this solution into the anthills to prevent ants.
4. As a Scent: Boil orange peels on the stove with a few cloves to make your home filled with scent.
5. Keeps Brown Sugar Soft: If you place a piece of orange peel in your bag of brown sugar the sugar
will stay soft.
6. As Bath Oil: Dried orange peels can be used as homemade bath oils. Orange peels can be used in dried flower arrangements.
7. Household Cleaner: Limonene, a carbon-based compound that makes up around 95% of the oil
found in orange peel is often used to give household cleaners a citrus smell.
8. For Kindling in Winter: Dried orange peels can be used as kindling at fire places. The flammable
oils found inside the peels enable them to burn much longer than paper.
9. Protects Leaves of Household Plants From Cats: Rub the leaves of your house plants with orange peel once a month and put some orange peels on the surface of the soil in potted plants which prevents them destroyed from cats.
10. Make Delicious Oil: You can make delicious homemade oil with orange peels. Place some orange
peels and cranberries in olive oil and close it with a cork. You can observe a wonderful flavor to the oil after some weeks.
11. Insect Repellent from orange peels: Place a couple of piece of dried grapefruit peels in an ashtray or fireproof bowl. Take the bowl outside where people will be gathering. Light the peels with a match or a lighter. Let the peels burn, smolder and smoke. The smell will keep mosquitoes and other pests away. Keep an eye on the peel as it burns and keep it out of the reach of people and children.
12. One of the known uses for dried orange peel is that they are used to scent your home. Thus, dried orange peel can be placed in bowls in several areas of the house or directly on the radiator to spread a pleasant smell. Also, put some dried orange peels in the garbage bucket before putting a bag over. You will remove future odor. Also, cut it in half and thoroughly remove the actual fruit. Then fill the empty shell with salt, place it in a bowl, and stash it in a corner of your fridge. The salt absorbs and neutralizes odors and preserves the fruit skin, while the shell should lend its clean-smelling scent to your stale fridge air.
Orange peels can help us lower environmental pollution: Scientists are researching to make plastic from orange peel (orange peels have a carbon compound limonene) which is eco-friendly.
Grated lemon peel can be used to flavor cakes, but not many people know that lemon peel can be used to ease joint pain and soothe nerves. Volatile oils found in lemon peel help relax blood vessels and have an anti-inflammatory effect. Thus, grated lemon peel can be used to wrap the body’s painful areas. Pretty cool huh?
APPLE PEEL TEA
Apples with un-waxed peels work best, but you can make this with waxed ones too. Prepare the tea as directed below, upping the quantity as you need. You can freeze the tea, so make lots while you have the peels!
around 6 apple peels
3-4 C water
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (or 1 cinnamon stick)
1 T honey
1 T lemon juice
Place apple peels in a sauce pan. Cover with water and lemon juice and cinnamon. Bring to a boil for 10-15 minutes, until liquid is colorful and appley. Your house will smell amazing during this process too.
Strain out the apple peels using a colander positioned over a large bowl. Then, add in the honey. Taste… add additional honey or cinnamon to taste.
SIMPLIFIED APPLE TEA (One person notes: “This is what the Poles drank before tea was brought to the area.”)
1 lb apple peel
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Sprinkle lemon juice on peels. Dry the peels in a dehydrator or warm oven (150°F) on parchment paper with oven door ajar. They are ready when they are brittle and lightly browned. Crumble peelings and store in airtight container.
Apple Tea health benefits are much like those of Cider Vinegar (another apple product).
Apple Tea speeds up metabolism increases the amount of urine. It makes people who have weight problem throw edema, thanks to the mineral salts found in Apple Tea that act as urine remover and blood cleaner. In addition, it strengthens the body against uric acid and rheumatism. Vitamins and mineral salts give energy and freshness. The presence of vitamin A keeps the respiratory tract, nerve system, blood vessels and the skin healthy. Apple Tea strengthens both the heart and stomach.
OTHER APPLE PEEL USES
1. Make apple jelly by placing the apple peel and cores from 5 apples in a pan and covering them with water. Boil the mixture for 10 minutes and strain the liquid through a colander. Place the remaining liquid into the pan and stir in 1 cup of sugar and a dash of cinnamon. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it boil at medium heat until the temperature reaches 220 degrees. Pour the mixture into an empty jar.
2. Another apple peel jelly:
15 -20 peelings and cores from medium tart apples
6 cups water (for cooking cores and peels)
1 (1 3/4 ounce) box dry pectin
9 cups sugar
1 -2 drop red food coloring (or 1 drop each of yellow and blue food coloring) (optional)
Cook peelings and cores in 6 cups water for 20-30 minutes. Strain through prepared cheesecloth or jelly bag. Add water as needed, to strained juice, to obtain 7 cups liquid. Add pectin (whisk works well) and bring to a rapid boil. Add sugar, boil hard for 1 minute. Note: If desired, food coloring can be added to juice for color. Pour into sterile jars, leaving 1/8″ headspace; wipe jar rims, adjust lids and rings; water bath 5 minutes.
3. To make apple honey tea, boil 6 apple peels, 3/4 cup of water, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a saucepan for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain out the apple peels and add 1 tablespoon of honey. Pour it into a crock pot to keep it warm.
4. Apple peels can also be used to flavor oatmeal, placed inside a whole turkey or chicken before baking, covered with cinnamon and sugar and baked or frozen for later use.
5. The acid in apple peels can remove stains in aluminum. Aluminum pans and utensils can be restored with apple peels. Place apple peels and water in a discolored aluminum pan, bring to a boil, and let it simmer for 10 to 30 minutes. Remove the mixture, wash and rinse the pan, then dry it. Repeat the process if necessary. To clean aluminum utensils, place them in the pan with the boiling water and apple peels or rub the stains with a fresh apple peel.
6. Place apple peels in a pan and cover them with water. Bring them to a boil to produce a natural air freshener and let it simmer to add a pleasant scent to the air. Spices such as cinnamon, ginger or cloves can be added to the mixture to produce additional scents. For use as potpourri, apple peels can be cut, grated or dried and placed in a decorative container.
If you still have apple peels left , they make a great addition to a compost pile. Now you have no reason to let apple skins go to waste!
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR FROM CORES AND PEELINGS
It takes about 4-6 months for cider vinegar to properly ferment, so expect to make it and forget about it for a while.
Organic apple peels and cores
You will also need:
½- or 1-gallon glass jar
glass cup that fits inside the ½-1 gallon jar or a boiled stone
Clean apples well and use a clean work surface. As you remove the peels and cores set them onto a baking sheet or tray. Let them sit out for 10-30 minutes to oxidize and turn brown.
Meanwhile, clean your glass jar(s) in hot, soapy water or sterilize in a sink filled with 1 gallon of water and 1Tb. bleach. Rinse and dry.
Fill the jar(s) ½-¾ full with the oxidized apple scraps. Cover with water, but leave a good 2” from the top. Leave more space if you plan on adding more scraps later. The apple scraps will float to the top and need to be weighted down beneath the water. Find a glass cup or other clean object (not wood or aluminum) that fits inside the jar and serves to weigh down the apple scraps.
Cover the top with a dishcloth. Secure if desired with a rubber band. Set it in a warm place for 4-6 months. During the first month, you can optionally feed it by adding more peels or cores. It will probably bubble up a little in response to this, so do not make the water level too high. A grey scum that develops on the surface is a normal occurrence. You do not need to remove it. If apple pieces float to the surface and get slimy, remove them. It is done when it tastes like vinegar. Strain well and bottle.
•If fruit flies get into the fermenting vinegar, it is ok. They will not ruin it, and in fact can sometime help the process! However, you do not want to see fuzzy mold forming during this process. If you see this, you should scrap it and start over.
•You can start taste testing the vinegar at 2 months and every month after to see the progression of fermentation flavor.
APPLE PEEL WINE
(from a backwoods Tennessee Grandma, who said: “Didn’t practice no prohibition. The men wanted their drink and the ladies needed it to get through the day of rearing 15 or more kids and taking care of drunk husbands.”)
1 gallon water
3 yeast cakes
5 pounds sugar
1 quart orange juice
Juice of 3 medium lemons
Peeling from 12 tart apples
Bring water to a boil. Dissolve yeast cakes in boiling water. Stir in sugar, orange juice, lemon juice and apple peeling. Remove from heat; pour into a large jug but do not fill completely to top. Do not tighten lid on jug. Let peeling and juices stand for 9 days. Strain and sweeten to taste.
Boil in water to make pear nectar for drinking and jelly making. It may be canned or frozen.
8 cups pear juice (from washed, sound pieces and peelings from fruit boiled to make juice)
6 or 7 cups of water – if you are starting with peelings, you will need the water to cook them in.
4 cups sugar, Stevia, Splenda, or 3 cups of bee honey!
Juice of 1 lemon (if desired)
For this recipe, we only need the peelings. Save all washed, sound pieces and peelings from pears. (if you are peeling the pears in advance, keep the peelings refrigerated until ready to use).
Make the juice from the peelings: Cover the peelings with the water and slowly cook in a covered saucepan until they are soft. Then put in a cheesecloth bag and press to remove all juice. Drip the juice through a jelly bag and measure. The goal is to clarify the juice.
Sanitize the jars as for canning. If unsanitized jars are used, the product should be processed for 5 more minutes. However, since this additional processing can result in a poor set (runny jam), it’s better to sanitize the jars.
Put the lids into a pan of hot, but not quite boiling water (that’s what the manufacturer’s recommend) for 5 minutes, and use the magnetic “lid lifter wand” to pull them out.
Place the juice in the saucepan and heat over medium to high heat. When it boils vigorously, add the sugar at the rate of one-half as much sugar as juice. Boil it down rapidly until it achieves the consistency of honey.
To can: Fill the hot jars and put the lid and rings on
Fill them to within ¼-inch of the top, wipe any spilled jam off the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them. Then put them into the boiling water canner. Process the jars in the boiling water bath
Keep the jars covered with at least 2 inches of water. Keep the water boiling. In general, boil them for 5 minutes. I say “in general” because you have to process (boil) them longer at higher altitudes than sea level, or if you use larger jars, or if you did not sanitize the jars and lids right before using them. The directions on the pectin tend to be pretty conservative. Clemson University says you only need to process them for 5 minutes. I usually hedge my bets and start pulling them out after 7 minutes, and the last jars were probably in for 10.
Similarly you can also make peach pit and peel jelly after a day of skinning and canning peaches.
PEACH PEEL AND PIT JELLY
4 qts. peach peels and pits
1 pkg. powdered pectin
3 c. sugar
1 package powdered pectin and 3 cups sugar to each 3 cups juice.
Save peels and pits of peaches when canning. Barely cover them with water in a large kettle. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Let stand overnight. This makes the requisite peach juice.
Strain juice through cheesecloth. Measure 3 cups juice into a large pan. Add 1 package pectin. Bring to vigorous boil. Add 3 cups sugar and boil rapidly until it reaches “sheeting off” jelly test, 220 degrees. Skim off foam. Pour into hot jelly jars and seal.
PEACH PEELING PIE
6 to 82½ to 3 cups peach peelings* (fresh or frozen)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon flour (or corn starch)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg or cinnamon (use more for a heavy spice flavor)**
2 tablespoons cold butter (cut into small pieces)
2 pie crusts
2 tablespoons sweet milk
*Note: When peeling peaches, cut generously from the peach so that a little of the peach flesh pulp is left on the peeling. This makes it easier to peel peaches and adds more flavor to the pie you’ll make from the peelings.
**Option: Vanilla extract (If you use less spice, you may want to add a ½ to 1 teaspoon vanilla or skip the spice completely and use a 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Sprinkle vanilla over the pie ingredients before putting on top crust.)Directions
Put peach peelings in saucepan with small amount of water. Add about ¼ cup of sugar. Cook on low boil uncovered for about 20-30 minutes to create peach flavor water and soften peelings slightly. Drain peelings and reserve peach water for later use. Fill pie crust with peelings. In a small bowl, mix rest of sugar (use less than the remaining full cup if the peach water is really sweet in taste) flour and spice. Sprinkle dry ingredients over peelings. Add reserved peach water to almost cover the peelings in the pie shell. Distribute butter pieces over the pie ingredients. Top with second crust sealing edges well and put several “vent” holes in the top crust. Soak a paper towel with the sweet milk – then wipe the top surface of the pie crust with the milk-soaked towel (squeeze it if needed to make sure the top crust is lightly coated with the milk). Bake in 350ºF preheated oven until the crust is done and browned nicely.
Let pie cool on rack to room temperature before cutting slices.
As I researched these recipes I was truly impressed at how many ways to use produce trimmings there are. What a delight to rescue so many trimmings from the compost heap with such delicious recipes, and to get double usage for you food dollars. Start this summer to practice these techniques and if (more like when) food prices skyrocket, you will have a ‘secret plan’ to cope. Don’tcha just love getting something for nothing?