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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Mom's Oven ---- How to make Fig Jam


This fig tree was planted many years ago. It's one of the two fruit trees we have before we started our vegetable garden.  It was only last 2012 that it finally bore its first fruits.  The Great Gardener has been taking care of it by putting fertilizer sticks around the tree.  It's worth all his time and effort because its first fruits are so sweet that I can even eat them while picking.     


FIG TREE


Newly Harvested Figs
They contain *calcium, copper, potassium, manganese, iron, selenium, zinc, and  Vitamins A, E, K, and B-complex.  They also contain chlorogenic acid that helps lower blood sugar levels and control blood glucose level in type II diabetes mellitus.  

When its skin color turns reddish,  it's ready for harvest.  Don't let it turn overripe.  They can attract birds and other insects even before harvesting them.  

*Nutrition Reference:  http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/fig-fruit.html

Please see about planting other vegetables and trees - The Garden (2012) and The Garden (2013). 




How to make Fig Jam
This fig jam can be stored for a year.  You can give them to your loved ones as a gift on certain occasion.  They will surely love and enjoy it with their favorite bread or waffles during snack or breakfast time.  I included this in one of my baking recipes like, Pumpkin Muffin with Fig Jam.   You can bring it also during picnic time and have it enjoy with family members.   

Equipments and Utensils:
     16 quart boiler-water canner
     1 dozen Mason jars half-pint (regular mouth)
     1 jar lifter
     1 food scale
     1 candy / jelly thermometer
     1 cooking timer
     1 skimmer or slotted spoon
     1 bubble remover & headspace tool
     1 ladle
     1 saucepot for making the jam
     1 saucepan for heating lids
     1 saucepot for heating jars (optional if you have dishwasher)
           
Ingredients:
     5 lbs. fresh figs            
     6 cups sugar
     ¾ cup water
     ¼ cup lemon juice

To prepare figs:
Harvest or purchase only top quality fruit at its peak of flavor, texture and color. Wash fruit thoroughly under cold running water. Discard any overripe or diseased fruit. Dry the fruit. Weigh the fresh figs.  Completely cover figs with boiling water. Let stand 10 minutes. Drain, stem, and chop figs.  Crushing or chopping the fruit too finely will add too much fruit and juice to the recipe, causing an imbalance of ingredients that may not allow the spread to gel. Measure 2 quarts chopped figs.


Boiling-Water Processing:
1. Fill boiling-water canner half-full with water and bring to a simmer (180 degrees F). Position canner rack over simmering water.

Note:   Selecting, Cleaning and Heating Jars
All jars must be visually examined for nicks, cracks, uneven rims and other damage or defects. Once it has been determined the jars selected for use are in good condition, wash new and previously used jars in hot soapy water. A dishwasher may be used for washing the jars. Do not use brushes with wire components, steel wool or abrasive materials or cleanser; they are likely to damage the glass.

Jars must be heated for 10 minutes before filling to help prevent jar breakage. Submerge jars in enough water to cover. Bring water to a simmer (180 degrees F), keeping jars in simmering water until ready for use. Remove jars one at a time as they are needed for filling.  Jars can be heated in a saucepot on a cook-top. Or, in a slow cooker that has a temperature control that can maintain 180 degrees F.  A dishwasher may also be used for heating jars. Jars should be washed and dried using a complete regular cycle. Keep jars in the closed dishwasher removing one at a time as needed.

Note:   Selecting, Cleaning and Heating Lid
Choose the appropriate sized caps for the jars you will be using. New lids with sealing compound must be used for each canning. Wash two-piece caps in hot, soapy water. Rinse in hot water. Do not use any abrasive materials or cleansers that might scratch or damage the coatings on the lids and bands. Dry bands and set aside.

Home canning lids with sealing compound must be heated for 10 minutes before using to help lids achieve a vacuum seal. Place lids in water to cover and bring water to a simmer (180 degrees F), keeping lids in simmering water until ready for use. Remove lids one at a time as they are needed for canning. Lids can be heated in a saucepan on a cook-top. Or, in a slow cooker that has a temperature control that can maintain 180 degrees F. Overheating lids by boiling can result in seal failure. Lids are not reusable; however, bands can be reused if they are in good condition.
    
2.   Prepare the recipe.


How to make a Fig Jam:
a) Combine figs, sugar, and water in a large saucepot. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly to gelling point.

Note:   Gelling Test
Remove the saucepot from heat so the soft spread does not continue to cook while you are testing the gel.  Jams, marmalades and preserves can be tested using a plate test or a thermometer. To complete a plate test, place a small amount of the hot spread on a chilled plate; set plate in a freezer until spread is cooled to room temperature. Gently run your finger through the cooled spread, if it separates then slowly returns to its original form, it is ready to process.

To use a candy / jelly thermometer for testing the gelling point, first determine the exact the gelling point for your elevation. Hold the candy / jelly thermometer in boiling water; add 8 degrees F to establish the gelling point.  Once the gelling point is determined, prepare recipe.  When reading the candy / jelly thermometer, hold vertical in the mixture and read the markings at eye level. Once the spread has reached the gelling point, remove it from the heat.

b) As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking.
c) Add lemon juice and cook 1 minute longer. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary with a skimmer or slotted spoon.
d) Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving ¼ -inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.
  
Note:   Removing Air Bubbles
After the food has been packed into the jar, any air bubbles that are present must be removed.  This can be done by placing a nonmetallic spatula inside the jar between the food and the side of the jar. Press spatula back against food to release trapped air. Repeat several times around the inside of the jar. Do not use metal knives or other metal utensils since they can scratch the glass and result in jar breakage. Even though air bubbles may not be visible, they can be trapped between pieces of food and must be removed.

Note:   Measuring Headspace
Headspace is the space in the jar between the top of the food or liquid and the inside of the lid. As a general rule, leave 1-inch headspace for low-acid foods, vegetables, and meats; ½ -inch headspace for high-acid foods, fruits, and tomatoes; ¼-inch headspace for juices, jams, jellies, pickles, and relishes. Care must be taken in filling the jars to the correct headspace.

Note:   Cleaning Jar Rims
The rim of the jar must be wiped with a clean, damp cloth. Particles of food remaining on the rim of a jar can prevent a vacuum seal.

Note:   Adjusting Lids and Bands
After each jar is filled and the jar rim is cleaned, place lid on jar rim, centering sealing compound on glass. Only the sealing compound should be touching the glass. Place a  band over the lid and screw it onto the jar just until a point of resistance is met – fingertip tight. The adjustment of the band is firm and snug, but not as tight as you can make it. Using a jar lifter, place jar onto canner rack in the canner.
    
3. Place jars on canner rack immediately after each jar is filled. Carefully lower the rack into simmering water. Water level must cover jars and two-piece vacuum caps by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if needed.

4. Put the canner lid in place. Adjust heat to medium-high, bringing water to a rolling boil. Set timer according to the recipe processing time (15 minutes for this fig jam). Maintain water at a rolling boil for the entire processing period.

5. After the processing period is complete, turn off heat and remove canner lid. Let canner cool 5 minutes before removing jars.

6. Remove jars from canner by using the jar lifter, setting jars upright on a dry towel or cutting board to cool. Leave 1 to 2 inches of space between jars. Do not tighten bands if they loosened during processing. Let jars cool naturally 12 to 24 hours before checking for a seal.

Testing Seals:
 Press the center of the lid to determine if it is concave; then remove the band and gently try to lift the lid off with your fingertips.  If the center does not flex up and down and you cannot lift the lid off, the lid has a good vacuum seal.

Reprocessing Unsealed Jars:
If a lid does not seal within 24 hours, the product can be immediately reprocessed. To reprocess the product, remove the lid and reheat the food and/or liquid as recommended by the recipe. Pack food into clean, hot jars. Place a new, heated lid on the jar and adjust band. Reprocess the product using the canning method and full length of processing time
recommended by the recipe.
    
     If you determine the lid did not seal because of damage to the jar, dispose of the jar and its contents.

     You may want to consider alternative storage methods for foods that did not seal, such as refrigerating or freezing.

Storage
Foods canned following tested recipes, correct processing methods and processing time can be safely stored for one year.  After one year, natural chemical changes may occur that could lessen the quality. These changes may affect the flavor, color, texture or nutritional value. For this reason, food stored the longest period of time should be used first. Labeling each jar with the date the product was canned, as well as the type and variety of the product will help you easily identify inventory that needs to be rotated.

Before storing sealed jars, remove the bands and wash lids and entire surface of the jars to remove any food residue. Rinse and dry. Bands need not be replaced. If bands are stored on sealed jars, they may corrode and become difficult to remove.

Like commercially canned foods, once home canned foods are opened they have a shortened shelf expectancy.  Leftover foods must be refrigerated or frozen until used again. However, they are best if used within a few days.

Opening Jars    
To open jars with vacuum sealed lids, release the vacuum with a can opener and lift off the lid. This method of removing lids will help prevent damage to the jar’s sealing surface. The vacuum lids are not reusable. Do no serve any product which does not have a vacuum sealed lid or shows signs of spoilage.
                                            
Yield:  10 half pint jars

*Adapted from Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving
Note:  Compiled and summarized to show the easy step-by-step method of processing fruits and to provide some general information about  home canning only.  This recipe itself is solely made by the author, Maymona Susan Hamilton, and not taken from the book itself.


Please view also another food recipe using these figs - Nutty Figgy Bread and other canning recipes shown below:
    Bitter Melon Pickles              
    Garden Blend Salsa  
    Seasoned Tomato Sauce                  


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“Cooking doesn’t only involve knowing what and how to cook and prepare  all the ingredients, but also how much you love to cook for somebody .”




Monday, May 26, 2014

The Fruits of our Labor - 2013 (Harvests #1)


Gardening takes a lot of work to take care of different plants and vegetables and maintain the area.   Every time the Great Gardener has to take another role as a Welder,  I’m left to take care of everything – watering, harvesting, and weeding.  Besides these, I have to look around the area if there are fire ants and bugs on the leaves of every plants, so I can apply powder to kill them.  But I can’t  totally control all of the fire ants and bugs pestering every plants in our garden.  At least, minimizing them is already an advantage knowing that a good harvest is something great to look forward during harvest time.  Being under the sun for 3 to 4 hours makes me feel conscious of my skin.  I have to apply my favorite facial moisturizer, L’Oreal, on my face and neck day and night everyday, even though I’m wearing long sleeves and a covered hat (-.-) I saved the jar and that’s why I made a Jewelry Pouch with Jar project out of it.  These harvests were supposed to be posted last year, but because of time constraint to do other things, and my scheduled travel, they were postponed.  Even my crochet and knit projects that I have been planning to do were postponed, too. I’m a do-it-all woman whatever and whenever I can do, if possible. But I also get tired and stressed under pressure especially, if I can’t be able to accomplish what I need to do.  At least, I was able to do my greenecraft projects, Coffee Can Hanging Planters and Flower Pot Racks and set them up in our front porch.  It took me more than three weeks to finish them, but my feeling was great  afterwards.  Now, so much of this stress feeling,  I need to continue my garden story (-.-)

Cruciferous Family of Vegetables

The following vegetables belonging to Cruciferous Vegetables or Brassicaceae family of vegetables are widely considered to be healthy foods and eaten worldwide.  There are many kinds of vegetables that belong to this family like, Chinese Cabbage, Collard Greens, and Mustard Greens plants. The family takes its alternate name “Cruciferae” for “cross-bearing” from the shape of their flowers, whose four petals resemble a cross.  Though they belong to one family, they still have their differences. I try to distinguish each one from another by picturing their respective leaves. Let’s take a look and see.



CHINESE CABBAGE PLANT

Chinese Cabbage plant is known as Brassica Rapa Pekinensis that grows best in cool temperature.  The key to gardening this plant is regular watering and fertilizing to promote rapid growth.  It should be harvested in dry weather before the seed stalks appear.  

  
CHINESE CABBAGE LEAF

Chinese Cabbage leaves have soft, broad light green leaves with white petioles.  Its edge is somewhat a little bit crumpled or wrinkled.  Being a member of the Cruciferous family of vegetables, they are *good sources of Vitamin C,  soluble fiber,  and multiple nutrients and phytochemicals.  






CHINESE CABBAGE Harvests

Chinese Cabbage are excellent for stir-frying or mixing in a tamarind soup base with chicken, fish, or any other meat as main ingredients.  It can also be mixed in a plain soup in can to serve as an appetizing vegetable soup.  Other food recipes will vary. They can be stored longer in a refrigerator by wrapping them in a paper towel after washing them.





COLLARD GREENS PLANT

Collard Greens plant is called Brassica Oleracea that do well in both hot and cool weather. Choose a location that will receive full sunlight at least half the day.  Avoid a low-lying area as good drainage is essential.  Harvest only the outside leaves as they mature, leaving the main stems undamaged. They live longer than the Mustard Greens and Chinese Cabbage plants.





COLLARD GREENS LEAF

Collard Greens leaves are thicker, harder, and darker in color than either of the Chinese Cabbage or Mustard Greens plants.   Collards are *good sources of Vitamins A, C, calcium, manganese,  and moderate sources of riboflavin and folate.  They are also a good source of Vitamin K (the clotting vitamin) and should be eaten in moderation by individuals taking blood thinners.






COLLARD GREENS Harvests

Collard Greens can be good for stir frying, but it must be cooked longer than the Chinese Cabbage and Mustard Greens.  It can also be mixed in a soup in can to serve as an appetizing vegetable soup.  Because of its thick leaves, it can be used as a wrapper for any ground meat to be cooked either by steaming or mixed with coco milk. Other food recipes will vary.  They can be stored longer in a refrigerator by wrapping them in a paper towel after washing them.





MUSTARD GREENS PLANT

Mustard Greens plant is called Brassica Juncea that can last long as the Collard Greens plant does.  It can grow so fast and form many leaves when matured.  When fully matured, they can grow tall and flowers and seeds will form. Harvest them before this happens. They are more pungent in taste than Collard Greens and Chinese Cabbage and that’s why, its seeds are used for making mustard sauce.





MUSTARD GREENS LEAF

Mustard Greens leaves are also soft and curlier at the edge than Chinese cabbage leaves. It provides *antioxidant benefits to our body in the form of Vitamins A, C, E, and manganese.   It also provides anti-inflammatory benefits in the form of Vitamin K.  It also provides cardiovascular support because of its cholesterol-lowering ability. 



MUSTARD GREENS Harvests

Mustard Greens are also good for mixing in a soup in can or in a tamarind soup base mixed with any meat or fish.  Others pickled them while, other food recipes vary.   They can be stored longer in a refrigerator by wrapping them in a paper towel after washing them.

To summarize,  I love them all.  I love eating vegetables.  They are good for our bodies because they enhance our metabolism and help develop a good immune system. 




Sunday, May 25, 2014

My Lord says ... John 14:15-21


*SUNDAY GOSPEL

15 Jesus said to his disciples: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, 17 the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him. But you know him, because he remains with you, and will be in you. 
18 "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you." 

19 In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you. 21Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”





“I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU ORPHANS”
The most excruciating feeling my mother had experienced was when she gave birth to me without my father by her side.  It was a double torture effect on her after my father died five months before I was born. She has us four children to feed and provide for our education, especially sending us to private schools. She narrated to me that after my father’s death, she could feel his presence in her room every night.  It was always the feeling of coldness that someone was embracing her.  She felt scared and cried whenever he was around.  When she couldn’t tolerate anymore that feeling, she talked to him. She promised my father that she would take care of us and he didn’t have to worry about his children, especially me. Since then, he stopped visiting her in her room. During those years, that though we became orphans at an early age,  only her faith and belief in God that He said, “I will not leave you orphans,” which made her strong still to work hard with all her strength and time to provide for us.  She was a plain housewife then, but tried to take the opportunity of working outside of her comfort zone day and night that she had never done before.  At the end, in spite of her predicaments, she was able to survive all the struggles and trials that came her way.  Her struggles serve as a good moral example to each of us, her children that sacrifice is very important to help achieve one's goal in life no matter how hard or difficult it is.  Self-gratification is best at the end.  She is now benefiting much from the fruits of her labor at the end.         


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"I will sing of your salvation. In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are rock and my fortress. O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked. For you are my hope, O Lord, my trust, O God from my youth. On you I depend my birth; from my mother's womb, you are my strength. My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds."


Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4a 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

My Lord says .. John 14:1-12


*SUNDAY GOSPEL

1 Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. 2 In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. 4 Where I am going you know the way.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him,


“I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me."


7 If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” 8 Philip said to him, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. 12 Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.”



DEVOTED TO PRAYER
Every morning before I start my daily routine I always pray my rosary.  I always spend 45 minutes to 1 hour in praying not only for my family members, but for other people who need my prayers and even those who don’t know that I have been praying for them.  At an instance that I come to know their situation or problem, they don’t need to ask me to pray for them because I just do it.  I always pray for healing, guidance, conversion, and protection.  Prayer really works. 

There are times when accident comes to us, we don’t know what to do.  But at the end, there are still good Samaritans who are willing to help you where you are at that moment.    

Yesterday, I went to a museum which I thought was the exact day to attend a beading seminar. But I was wrong because I overlooked the date specified in the newspaper. I decided to drive back home and thought of filling up my gas.  I went to gas station, but I parked the car a little farther from the gas pump.  So the man asked me to move my car forward a little bit also.  When I clicked the switch to restart the engine it wouldn’t start.  I tried for the second time and it really wouldn’t start.  I wondered why, but I know the battery was bought only last year. I asked the guy to help me by jump starting the engine.  He brought in a truck near my car, opened its hood, and connected the clamps to respective battery terminal posts of his truck and my car.  (I always have these booster cables in my car for emergency situation like this. ) Then the car restarted and I was told to have it checked if the battery really needed a replacement.  Let’s start the countdown -- first Good Samaritan guy (-.-)

So I went to an auto spare parts store and asked the guy a favor to check on the condition of my battery and so he did.  The result – bad battery.  He advised to go to Wal-Mart and have it replaced.  Countdown -   second Good Samaritan (-.-) 

I went to Wal-Mart and asked a guy sales associate to help me remove the battery from my car.  (By the way, I couldn’t ask my husband to help me because he was still working in another state.) The guy politely responded to my call and got some tools.  He tried to remove each battery terminal cable.  He had a hard time removing them, so he asked for backup over the radio.  The response was – he is not allowed to work or help somebody outside his area. It’s against the company policy.  I felt dismayed upon hearing it, but he was still very polite in trying to help me.  He got the battery out and brought it in the store.  He tested the condition of the battery and printed out a slip – Bad Battery.  Since it was still under warranty, he got a replacement for me.  Countdown – third Good Samaritan guy (-.-) He has just been working in Wal-Mart for some months only and doesn’t know wholly the company policy.  (I didn’t know that, too, for I used to work in Wal-Mart as front-end cashier before.)

I took the advantage of being there at Wal-Mart and went around the store to buy my grocery items.  After checking out,  I asked another guy sales associate if he could help, but he turned me down because of the company policy.  So the cashier talked to somebody over the radio and asked who could help me install the battery to my car.  Guess who?  One of the assistant managers!  Last countdown – fourth Good Samaritan guy (-.-)

I really don't know why I experienced these incidents in my life. I haven’t been so conscious of any accidents in my life before.  Is there something a premonition in this or what?  Who likes to be in such an incident anyway?  Accidents can happen anytime.  Sad to say, my eldest brother died in a car accident.  He was a man of peace and prayer and led many people to spiritual conversion when he was still alive.  He truly believed in Jesus Christ.  Likewise, my faith is also in Him -- the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Thank you very much to all the Good Samaritans.  
God bless you all. 

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"I will sing of your salvation. In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are rock and my fortress. O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked. For you are my hope, O Lord, my trust, O God from my youth. On you I depend my birth; from my mother's womb, you are my strength. My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds."

Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4a 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mom's Oven --- Bitter Melon Pickles


Bitter melons may not be a well-liked vegetable to eat by other people because of its bitter taste, but its health benefits are very amazing. But I suppose not everybody knows this kind of vegetable because this is an Asian tropical vegetable.  I never thought this will also grow here in the United States.  Since I have so much harvests of this vegetable,  I made this kind of recipe which maybe new to others.  I tried making it first in a small amount and turned out to be as good as sweet pickle relish.  This can be served with fried fish, chicken, or any other meat. The longer it aged, the better it tastes.


BITTER MELON PLANTS




The bitter melons also belong to the Cucurbitaceae family.  They are an *excellent source of antioxidants nutrients,  Vitamins A, C, and folates.  They are also a good source of niacin (Vitamin B-3), pantothenic acid (Vitamin B-5), pyridoxine (Vitamin B-6), and minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium, manganese, and magnesium.  They also contain phytonutrients which are responsible for lowering blood sugar levels and helping in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.  

Harvest this vegetable when they have big bumpy ridges and the color being light green.  Don’t harvest them when they turn yellow for they are already overripe.  


Please see about planting other vegetables and trees - The Garden (2012) and The Garden (2013).






BITTER MELON PICKLES

  
Ingredients:
3 lbs  bitter melon
2 pc   carrots
3 c     granulated sugar
3 c     distilled white vinegar
2 c     water
3 pc   whole cloves
1 pc   onion medium, chopped
30 g   ginger
3 tsp  salt
 
Preparation Time:  approximately 2 hours

Cooking Time:  25 minutes (plain cooking)
                            10 minutes (canning)
Instructions:
1.Wash the bitter melon and other vegetables with fruit and vegetable wash.  Scrub, if possible, to remove the dirt in between the ridges of the bitter melon under running water or rinse thoroughly.  Cut into half and scrape off the seeds of the bitter melon.  Cut vertically into big size and set them aside.

2. Make a creative carrot slicing. Run the knife through the carrots to make a straight line with equal spacing 6 times on its top first forming a flower shape pattern as shown in picture (a) below.  Afterwards, run the knife through the lines downward to its end to make a slight deep cut as shown in picture (b).  Reserve the thin slices for your salad recipe. Lastly, make thin slices of the flower-shaped carrots as shown in picture (c).




Creative Carrot Slicing (a)


Creative Carrot Slicing (b)


Creative Carrot Slicing (c)

3. Do the same procedure for the ginger as shown below.  Chopped
    the thin slices of ginger and include them in the cooking later.  


Creative Ginger Slicing


4.    Remove the skin of the garlic, but don’t chop them.  Cut and 
       chopped the onions.  Set them aside.

5.    Drain the bitter melons and process them using the fine slice
       disc.  Soak them in cold water again to wash off its juice and
       then twist a handful of bitter melon with your bare hands to
       drain the water till you finish them.  Do the same procedure of
       washing twice to remove its bitter taste.  Set them aside.

6.    Heat the pan and pour water. Mix in the sugar and stir to
       dissolve first.  Add the vinegar, salt, garlic, ginger, and onions.
       Bring it to a boil for 15 minutes.

7.    Mix in the bitter melons and carrots. Stir and simmer for
       another 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.

8.    Ladle the hot mixture and liquid into hot jars, leaving ¼-inch
       headspace.  Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints 10 minutes in
       boiling-water canner or steam-pressure canner.  Let them cool.

9.    Check the lids if they are well sealed or not. Press the center of
       each lid. If the center is pulled down and does not flex, and
       you can not lift the lid off, then they have a good vacuum seal. 

10.  Before storing them, remove the bands and wipe the lids and
       entire surface of the jar with clean, damp cloth or paper towel
       to remove any food residue.  Label and write the date on top of
       the lids.  Keep in a cool, dry, dark place. 

Yield – 5 pints

Please see my other canning recipes:
     Garden Blend Salsa                    
     How to Make Fig Jam                
     SeasonedTomato Sauce             



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"Cooking doesn’t only involve knowing what and how to cook and prepare  all the ingredients, but also how much you love to cook for somebody ."