Friday, July 20, 2012

Making Vinegar, Bread, and Jam

Hip, hip, hooray! It is Friday!

 Oh how I love Fridays! I think I may say that every Friday but I guess that I just get so excited at the prospect of a leisurely schedule for two days. I do not have to answer to a clock. I can forget work and try new things; like making vinegar, or jelly, or perhaps trying to can some tomatoes. 


Lately I am trying to more conscientious of my diet, to stay away from processed food and chemicals and to eat healthier. Of course that would be a lot easier if I had a huge garden where I could grown some of my own food. But I guess one starts with little steps. 

I have been trying new recipes for bread, eating once source foods and just tweaking my diet. Don't get me wrong I haven't totally gone to a Clean Eating regimen, I still drink Coke Zero. I am ashamed to say I do not think I can break that habit. 

But I am learning and trying new things and one of the things we have tried lately is making vinegar. That was actually my idea, I purchased the crock below from the current Williams Sonoma Catalog, for my husband for Father's Day. So far so good, I will let you know when we bottle the first batch of red wine vinegar. 

The current catalog and web store has so many great ideas for making your own food, like mozzarella or ricotta cheese, or perhaps trying your hand at canning a few tomatoes, pickling vegetables and or raising chickens.

 I think they would be a great projects to do with kids. I am going to be trying the mozzarella cheese  and making butter when my niece comes to visit in a few weeks. 

Do you grown your own food? Pickle your vegetables, raise chickens, bake your bread or stock your larder for winter? I would love to hear if you do and maybe you even want to share your recipes.

I have wonderful memories of canning tomatoes as a child and making jellies and jams with my grandmother and then using her store of goods in the winter. Did you make jam as a child? Or perhaps you still do?

My father-in-law grew up on a farm and although he went on to have a wonderful career, farming and the land has always called him home. In addition to his farms he has a huge vegetable garden at home and I am telling you if we would have stayed a month we could not have eaten all of the tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, radishes, and other things that he had planted. But it was nice to walk out the door and pick a cherry tomato off the vine and pop it into your mouth still warm from the sun!

I hope that whatever your plans for the weekend they include a little time to relax and enjoy life, your family and friends. If you are making something from your harvests I would enjoy hearing about it. You know that my weekend plans ALWAYS include baking so tune in on Monday for a new sweet or tomorrow at Once Upon a Chocolate Life for some fabulous Chocolate Brownie Cookies. They are to die for!

Have a great day!


  1. nice posting. thanks for sharing

  2. I would love to make jams and pickles using my own produce, but it's impossible on a boat. Another thing to consider if you are thinking of going afloat. Enjoy your weekend and I'm looking forward to your white post!

  3. I keep the larder stocked during the winter since we get a lot of snow. We have a vegetable garden, grow fruit and get fresh meat from neighboring farms. Our fresh breads come from a local girl who bakes so I don't need to since hers are so amazing. I don't buy or use anything processed since there's no need since we have so much fresh food. I can for the winter months ahead so we have fresh tomatoes from our garden along with herbs. We're really very lucky in the foods we get out in the country.

    Happy Friday Elizabeth!

  4. I grew up with my mother spending much of summer "putting up" vegetables and making preserves. I began making preserves and butters last summer. I am getting geared up and collecting recipes to begin once again. Not having a pressure cooker I do not can tomatoes or make pickles. Although I keep hinting....I am very excited to hear about the vinegar. Have a fabulous weekend. Bonnie

  5. Ilove this time of year when I can can and make summer foods!
    Making Mozzarella cheese is so easy and fun! It tastes so much better than store bought! Have a fun and relaxing weekend!

  6. I've just made 8 jars of Apricot jam and 5 of Apricot and Lavender. Like you I would love to use my own produce, but my London garden is tiny and we're not in Brittany long enough to grow things. However yesterday I bought 5kg of apricots for less then €5, thus the jam today.
    We have a company in the UK called Lakeland and they have launched cheese making equipment so like you it's something I'm going to start when I get back in September.
    I'm looking forward to reading about your results.
    Have a great weekend Jude x

  7. This post is so inspirational........nothing like things fresh out of the garden. My mom grew up on a farm and I have such fond memories of visiting my grandparents when we were really young and going into their huge garden and getting snap peas, and fruit and was amazing though I didn't fully get it until now! Plus you feel so much healthier and no time like summer to get on the bandwagon..happy cooking and canning and vinegar making:)

  8. Your niece is going
    to have a ball with
    you, Elizabeth! Next
    year when Isabella
    comes to visit, I would
    love to make jam
    with her. I canned
    peaches, salsa and
    made jams and flavored
    oils when I was a
    newlywed and seemed
    to have more time.....
    I think that time my
    be coming around,
    again. Like you, I am
    really into nutrition and
    love the idea of knowing
    where our food comes
    from and how it is grown.

    Thanks for the inspiration
    and enjoy the weekend!!

    xo Suzanne

  9. I should get this book because we haven't put up the first thing from the garden. The tomatoes have come in so fast. The rest is slowing down except the corn will be ready to pick soon.

  10. Hello beautiful friend! I just sat down at the computer and saw your lovely message...
    I am so glad you are having a good, restful weekend, baking up yummies. I am still hopeful that we may meet this year! ;)
    I went to Williams Sonoma on Friday! I saw the cool glassware for canning...I think it's from Germany. Please let me know how the vinegar turns out, I would love to try making that sometime. The crock is beautiful! My dream is to grow some of my own food if I ever own a house...for now I am content with the farmer's market down the street...such a blessing.
    Elizabeth, I have tried my hand at cheese..I made some crumbly feta, it was so delicious. Just warm milk, lemon juice, and salt...easy and fantastic. (Found the tutorial on YouTube)
    You will have so much fun making the mozzarella, I bet!
    And regarding clean really is baby steps. You know I love my chocolate, but I am trying to eat less processed. One day at a time, right? :)
    Thinking of you, and wishing you a blessed Sunday, dear friend..
    Big hugs,
    - Irina


Thank you for coming to visit Pine Cones and Acorns. Your comments are greatly appreciated. Although I try to come to visit every blog that comments sometimes I just do not get the chance, but I do try to comment here.