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Cranberries and Compost

12:53 PM

The leaves have all fallen now and a cold front is on it's way in.  This afternoon was the perfect time to sneak in ... well, rather, stumble in through the STRONG winds to pay some attention to my compost pile(s)!  I turned the leaves into this years pile and spread part of last years on to my new apple tree and raspberry bed.  Everything looks like brown little sticks right now, but in the Spring they're going to FLY with the extra boost the kitchen compost will give them.

I try to compost everything, with the exception of meat and really oily leftovers.  Although, in the Spring, I plan to try out something called a "Melon Pit" where you bury ANYTHING organic(meat, bones, pine litter from the cat box, any type of leftovers regardless of composition, roadkill LOL) about 3 feet deep in the soil, cover it up, and plant on it the following year.  I guess I'll know a couple years from now whether it's a good idea or not!   Thus far, composting raw ingredients, bread, and yard waste is working out great for me with minimal effort.  I let the rain "water" the pile and I ignore the prescribed ratios of carbon to nitrogen.  I just put stuff on there as it occurs for one year and then turn the pile at the end of the season... ignore it for the Spring and Summer, and then spread it on the garden in the Fall.

Here's one of my favorite gardening quotes regarding compost, and life:
"If you are a good organic gardener, looking at a rose you can see garbage, and looking at the garbage you can see a rose.  Roses and garbage inter-are." -Thich Nhat Hanh

So, as I mentioned, not too much going on out in the garden right now but what has arrived at the grocery store in the last week is fresh cranberries!   They don't stock them year round... usually only around Thanksgiving through Christmas and New Year.  Then they disappear for the rest of the year.

With Thanksgiving on the horizon I'm looking forward to some awesome home made, super easy, cranberry sauce.  And for the Holidays and beyond I like to make homemade Cranberry Jam.

These recipes are Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Corn-Free, Vegan... and friendly to just about everyone, including my 3-year-old picky eater. You'll never go back to eating that weird jiggly stuff out of a can ;-)

Cranberry Sauce
1 (12oz) bag fresh cranberries
1 cup water
1 cup cane sugar

Heat water on high.  Dissolve sugar in heated water and bring mixture to a boil.  Add cranberries and reduce heat to a simmer for about 10 minutes (until the cranberries pop open).  Put in a dish, and chill.  Cranberries naturally contain Pectin, so the sauce will congeal on its own while it cools. Serve and enjoy!

Cranberries keep for a few weeks in the fridge, which should give you the opportunity to make some SUPER EASY jam!  You don't even need to add Pectin to this recipe b/c it's already in there!

Cranberry Jam
1 package fresh cranberries (12 or 16 oz)
1 large apple
1tbsp Lemon Juice
1 cup white (cane) sugar

Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cover.  Keep an eye on the contents , and when they are fork tender, they're done.  Transfer contents to a blender and puree.  Transfer puree into a large, clean ball jar with a lid.  Leave jar on the counter until it seals itself and then keep it in the fridge until you're ready to use. This makes an amazing addition between two layers of chocolate cake or on your toast in the morning.

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  1. Hey man that sounds great but don't knock my can-shaped cranberry jello. I will cry like a little girl at thanksgiving without it!


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