SLC Urban Farm Life

Presidente Apricot Jam

Presidente Apricot Jam

As I write this post there are 13 jars of apricot jam boiling away in water bath.  It is the last of many batches of apricot jam (thanks to buckets of fruit gifted by neighbors) that I made this year and it is a very special batch.  You see, I learned it was National Tequila Day today and in honor of this day I did what anyone would do and I threw two shots of top shelf tequila in my jam and then 2 more shots of Grand Marnier.  Purely on a whim and no recipe in site.  Well, no recipe, until now.

What I can tell you about this jam is that it is AMAZING.  Seriously amazing.  I had no idea how amazing it would be.  If you can still get apricots in your area, then you need to try this.

Presidente Apricot Jam
Recipe type: Jam, Jelly
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
A delightful blend of apricots, Grand Marnier and white tequila. Suitable for toast and marinades.
  • 6 cups halved and pitted apricots with the skin on
  • 4½ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup lemon juice
  • 2 shots white tequila
  • 2 shots Grand Marnier
  1. Place your apricots in a non reactive, heavy pan or suitable jam pan.
  2. add the 4½ cups sugar
  3. Bring the jam to a boil on medium high heat and then reduce the heat to medium and stir for 20-30 minutes to keep from burning.
  4. Add the two shots of tequila and 2 shots Grand Marnier and stir to combine.
  5. continue the boil on Medium heat for about 10 more minutes and then add the lemon juice and continue to stir for about 20 more minutes or until your jam passes the drop test on a cold plate.
  6. When the jam is ready it should fill about 12 sterilized jars, then cap and process them in a boiling water bath using USDA guidelines for your altitude.


Blue Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies

So, I had a large amount of blue corn flour in the pantry and I have been procrastinating on using it.  It’s just not something you think regularly about using, so I had forgotten about it.  Fast forward to today and I found myself thinking about that flour again and then googling blue corn cookie recipes.  I saw several variations for chocolate chip cookies and after viewing several I modified the recipes into one that sounded good for me.  What I came up with is what you see pictured.  Chocolatey goodness with a bit of texture and a definite corny back taste.  It marries nicely.  So here you go; try the recipe and then let me know in the comments how you liked it!

Blue Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe type: Snack/Desert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Serves: 24
A delicious marriage of corn and chocolate that is a pleasant departure from your standard chocolate chip cookie.
  • Blue Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup blue cornmeal
  • 1 cup white flour, unbleached
  • 1⅓ cup chocolate chips (I prefer a minimum 60% cocoa)
  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with a sil-pat or use an ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together in a mixer using your flat paddle.
  4. Add vanilla and egg and mix for about 3 more minutes.
  5. Add the blue cornmeal and flour and baking powder; mix well for about 2 minutes more.
  6. Fold in your chocolate chips.
  7. Roll the dough into balls using about a tabelspoon worth of the doughand flatten slightly onto the cookie sheet.
  8. Bake 8-10 minutes.
Makes about 2 doz.

Making Mustard.  It’s easier than you might think.

Making Mustard. It’s easier than you might think.

A few weeks ago I came across a great deal on some mustard seed at Williams-Sonoma and just the day before I had been thumbing through Home Made by Yvette Van Boven where she had a recipe for making mustard.  So I grabbed the jars and took the seed home to try my hand at making my own mustard.

It was easy, cheap and seriously made me wonder why I had never done it before.  In fact I will NEVER buy mustard in the store again!  It is expensive and no where near as good as what you can make yourself.  You can customize your ingredients any number of ways with vinegar, herbs, spices, beers and whatever else you can dream up.  Just remember that whatever you make will need to rest for at least 24 hours before you eat it.  Mustard is very bitter for the first few hours after making it and needs this time to rest and mellow it’s flavor.

The first step is to soak your seeds in the vinegar, beer or both.  Two hours is good, 24 hours are better.

The seeds should look plump and happy after the beer soak.

Then you throw them into the food processor with all the other ingredients.  I didn’t add more liquid, but you can.  Just depends on how viscous you want your mustard to be.

Crank up the processor and then stop it occasionally to scrape down the mustard seeds.

When you are done you should have a nice coarse and delicious mustard that will keep for a very long time in the fridge!


Coarse Brown Mustard
Recipe type: Condiment
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
A quick, easy and cheap way to get mustard without a trip to the store and pulling $$ from your pocket!.
  • 4 oz mustard seed
  • ¾ cup of a beer of your choosing
  • ¾ apple cider vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbs demerara sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  1. Soak your mustard seed for at least two hours or overnight in the beer and vinegar.
  2. After soaking add the seeds and liquid (add more liquid later if you want a runnier mustard) along with all the other ingredients to a food processor and run it for about 5 minutes. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides.
  3. When you reach your desired consistency move your mustard to storage jars and let it rest at least 24 hours before consuming. For the first 30 minutes to an hour it will be quite bitter.
  4. You can store your refrigerated mustard for a very long time. Just don't let it dry out.

Raised Waffles

What is a Sunday morning without waffles?  I’m not talking about eggos.  The waffles I am talking about are the kind of waffles you make up the night before using yeast.  You let them rise overnight and then add the eggs in the morning, just before you cook them.  They are crispy on the exterior, soft inside and malty with the remnants of the yeast party that happened while you were peacefully sleeping and dreaming of a plate of this goodness!

Sorry that all you get is a photo of the mix.  I was too busy diving in to actually photograph the waffle.  I’ll get one up here someday.

Yeast Raised Waffles
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Serves: 8
Probably the best recipe to have in any box. These waffles are the perfect mix of crunchy and soft and sweet and savory. They are a great breakfast with syrup or jam and equally fantastic with fried chicken and gravy.
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm milk
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  1. Use a large mixing bowl (at least 6 quarts) as the batter will rise to double its original volume. Put the water in the mixing bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Let stand to dissolve for 5 minutes. Add the milk, butter, salt, sugar, and flour to the yeast mixture and beat until smooth and blended. A whisk or fork will work just fine.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, go to bed, and let stand overnight at room temperature.
  3. Just before cooking the waffles, separate your eggs, lightly beat the yolks and fold them into your mix. Then whip your eggs whites until stiff peaks form(this is the true trick to the best wafles ever) and fold them into the mix. Add the baking soda, and stir until well mixed. The batter will be very thin.
  4. Pour about ½ to ¾ cup batter into a very hot waffle iron. Bake the waffles until they are golden and crisp. This batter will keep well for several days in the refrigerator.
  5. This should make about 8 waffles.

Easy Rhubarb Jam

Rhubarb Jam
Recipe type: Jams/Jellies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Rhubarb Jam is hard to find. While so many love it, it is also disliked by an equal number (perhaps more) and that makes it a rare find. When you can find it, it is often used with strawberries in pies and jam and it is rarely allowed to stand alone and at it's singular best. That being the case, I have to make it myself if I want just the glorious taste of rhubarb. Enjoy the recipe below.
  • 2½ pounds fresh rhubarb, chopped
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • ⅓ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup water
  1. In a saucepan, combine the rhubarb, sugar, orange zest, orange juice and water. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium-low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until thick. It will thicken more as it cools. You can test for doneness by placing a small dollop of the jam on a plate you have chilled in your freezer. Place the jam on the plate and into the freezer for 2 minutes. If you can draw your finger through it bunches up, then it is ready for canning.
  2. Ladle into hot sterile jars adding 1 tbs of lemon Juice per pint, and seal with lids and rings in a water bath or pressure canner using directions for your altitude. For quick use it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Tomatoes everywhere. Time to can some tomato sauce.

Tomatoes everywhere. Time to can some tomato sauce.

So, last weekend I got the bug to go pick tomatoes at one of our local U-Pick Farms. It was Day Farms up in Layton. It is a great place and just a short drive from SLC.

It really was a beautiful Day.  Not too hot and not too cool.  Just right for the back breaking job of tomato and pepper gathering.

So I sent the laborer off into the fields…

And we came home with this!

And a case of peaches and a case of peppers and a bag of zucchini and a bunch of corn.  Day Farms is a great place!

Two days later I was canning tomato sauce and tomato paste.

It took all day but I did end up with 10 quarts and 9 pints of sauce and 11 4oz jars of Tomato paste.  Today I am working on more sauce.  Should get another 10 pints or so.

The process is pretty easy so check out the photos below and have fun.

First you roughly chop up about 12 pounds of tomatoes and put skins, seeds and all into a large pot to simmer.  (I leave the skins and seeds on to add depth and flavor) You will also notice chopped garlic in that photo.  I added one clove per 12 lb batch for added depth as well.  No salt.  I’ll do that when I cook.

You should have a pot like this.

Notice the super cool Portable Induction Cooktop I got!  Such even and FAST heat!!!

Once you get it warmed up and simmering you can mash it a bit with a masher.

Simmer some more (1/2 hour I guess) and then dump it into your food processor to puree the whole lot of it.  Better yet, if you have an Immersion Blender, puree it in the pot.  It is much safer that way.

Then you simmer some more (1/2 hour I guess).

And then ladle it into a Food Mill to separate the sauce, the seeds and the skins.

Then return it to the pot to simmer some more.  You want to go from about 7 quarts to about 5 quarts of sauce.  Then bottle your sauce in quart or pint jars and process it in your pressure canner per the directions as they are laid out for your region and altitude.  In my case it was 13 lbs of pressure for 25 minutes.

When you are done ( in my case I did it four times), you will end up with this…


Want to make tomato paste?  Then roast your tomatoes in a 450 degree oven for about 1/2 an hour – 45 minutes.  Then follow the steps above and simmer to a lovely thick paste.

Fall Means Busy Time.

It was a long day of canning tomatoes and preparing some garden beds for Fall crops yesterday. Today the Fall/Spring lettuce and spinach crops are now planted and I have enough tomatoes put up to feed our family for the winter. Tomorrow I should get the carrots, radishes and chard in. I am going to miss Summer, but I love fall as well.

I’ll leave you with a photos of the Tomato jars I filled yesterday and watch the blog for a full post on how we canned them.

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