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december flavors- aka kitchen crafts 1 of 4

boiling sap
pure maple syrup - Collecting sap and boiling is one of the earliest hands-on tasks in our homesteading year.  This season we boiled right in the barnyard, and had one bright, clear day after another.  We were able to do it alongside our barn renovations.  Syrup can be used in or on just about anything. A classic nighttime snack for Bob is a little mixed up with peanut butter.
Ingred: sap from the sugar maple tree*.

just apples! cider- It was an impressive year for apples.  We pressed throughout the fall, anywhere from 2-25 bushels at a time. The apples came from all over the county. Through our 'People's Cidery,' anyone could bring unsprayed fruit.  We'd press it and in payment, we'd split the resulting cider. 
Ingred: apples*.

grape jelly- Thank you Oswego County for such lovely grapes.  This jelly is firm, with a citrus tone to it.  Crackers, bread anyone?
Ingred: concord grapes, beet sugar*, juice of lemons*.

juniper beets - When the beet harvest happens, we separate all the modest sized ones for pickling. You can eat them straight, slice into a sandwich, add to cold salads, etc…
Ingred: beets*, rice vinegar, garlic*, juniper berries*, bay leaf*, anise pod*, kosher salt.

tangy bread n' butter pickles – Flavorful, with less sugar than many commercial equivalents.  We had a bumper cucumber season, our second succession planting just wouldn’t quit.  The razor thin slices allow a much higher volume of cukes into each jar, as opposed to dill spears.     
Ingred: green pickling cucumbers*, boothby’s blonde cucumbers*, onions*, cider vinegar, garlic*, cane sugar*, kosher salt, mustard seed*, celery seed*, cayenne*, turmeric*. 

lively bite sauerkraut –  Anyone who was in the gardens this season knows what long, bountiful rows of cabbage there were.  All the winter storage and kraut varieties sized up to 5-10 lb heads.  Sauerkraut is a tangy accompaniment with just about any meal.  Think beyond the pork.  It’s a live food, and will store well in cold storage, or even the freezer.
Ingred: cabbage*, sea salt*.
jigsaw tofu - No two shapes alike!  It's pressed in the same round molds we use for hard cheeses.   We like to eat it raw.  A flavorful marinade is oil, vinegar, tamari, ginger, garlic and mustard. Cube up the tofu, grab some chopsticks and dip the  tofu into the ginger sauce.
Ingred: soybeans*, nigari (a salt coagulant).

* marks organic ingredients. 

jigsaw tofu

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