Welcome to Covington Creek Candle Company! I'm so glad you stopped in for a visit. I'm committed to creating a stable lifestyle by self sufficiency. Prices are going to keep going up. Food recalls are increasing. I don't know about you but I like to know how my food was grown and that I'm the one that canned it. I want to help everyone become more self sufficient whether you live in a apartment, the burbs, a acre or two or more. Of course we can't do everything but I think you will be amazed at how much control you can have.

My home business now includes quilted items and rustic home crafts in addition to creating the best and healthiest cold process soap, 100% pure soy candles, bees wax candles and natural/organic salves and lip balm as possible. Many say I have the best Fort Wayne handcrafted soap, salves and candles. I still haven't found the right place to open a brick and mortar store so www.covingtoncreekcandles.com will have the cold process soap rotating. But email me if there is a special item you are looking for and I will do my best to create it. I am all about customer satisfaction. I am continuing to look for a few acres to grow my own ingredients and move the shop part out of my home and into a separate building.

I am trying to help make this a greener and healthier place to live. We can do this thru more self sufficiency and preparedness. I would love for you to come along on my journey because that is what life is - a journey. If there is a subject you would like more information on let me know at covingtoncreekcandles@comcast.net

Shop Now: www.covingtoncreekcandles.com or join me at my Etsy store www.etsy.com/shop/CovingtonCreekCandle.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Gooseberry Conserve

A friend gave me a large amount of gooseberries to work with and after going thru many recipes I decided to tackle Gooseberry Conserve.   It seemed like it might be kind of a tough recipe but actually was pretty easy and went smoothly.  I made two batches.  The second one I added a cinnamon stick to the gooseberry mixture as it cooked down.  Both were pretty yummy.  It is a sweet tart taste and was great on both chicken and ham.  I am going to try it with duck for News Year.

Gooseberries are low in calories, are fat and cholesterol free, high in vitamins A & C, contain magnesium and are high in fiber.  My friend only has two bushes and gets huge amounts off of them each year.
The beginning my first batch.  It is very pretty.

Cooking fruit-sugar mixtures concentrates the naturally occurring pectin. To enhance natural pectin content in long-boil jams (no added pectin), prepare recipe using a mixture of 3/4 fully ripe and 1/4 slightly under-ripe fruit. These “long boil” soft spreads require longer cooking periods and a gel test.

Makes about 6 x 8 ounce or 250 ml jars.

Gooseberry Conserve

6 cups (1500 ml) gooseberries
1 cup (250 ml) raisins
3/4 cup (175 ml) chopped, seeded orange pulp
4 cups (1000 ml) granulated sugar 

1. Place 6 clean eight ounce (250 ml) mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Heat the canning inserts in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and sealing discs hot until ready to use.
2. Wash, drain gooseberries. Remove stems and blossom ends. Combine gooseberries, raisins and orange in a large, deep stainless steel saucepan. Add sugar. To reduce foaming, add 1/2 tsp (2 ml) butter or margarine to mixture, if desired.
3. Bring mixture to a boil slowly, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil vigorously for until mixture reaches gel stage – about 30 minutes. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to avoid over-cooking or scorching.
Gel Stage Tests (Remove pot from heat while conducting selected gel test).
(1)    Dip cool, metal spoon into jam. Lift spoon moving it away from steam. Gel Stage has been reached when mixture sheets off spoon.
(2) Place spoonful of hot mixture on chilled plate; place plate in freezer until cooled. Gel stage has been achieved when product does not run together when separated with spoon.
4. Cook mixture to 220°F (104°C) or until it reaches a temperature that is 8°F (4°C) above the boiling point of water at your elevation.
 5. Quickly ladle conserve into a hot jar to within 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more jam. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Center the hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining jam.
6. Ensure that all of the jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water after all of the jars are placed in canner.. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 10 minutes.
7. When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
8.  After cooling, check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.
As always follow recommended canning procedures for safe and healthy foods.