My kitchen appliance/gadget wish list is long and full of tons of things that I need, want, and can only dream of ever having. On this list, at the very top, is an upright freezer to store all the canning jars I want to fill with pies, cheesecakes, meals, and quick-fix snacks. Along with these, I would store all the fruits and vegetables I freeze every year for use during the long Michigan winters.
Right now I have a chest freezer and refrigerator with a freezer in the basement as well as the freezer in the refrigerator in the kitchen. These freezers are constantly full and I am continually needing to reorganize everything inside of these in order to store anything new. It is truly a source of stress that I don’t enjoy dealing with on a daily basis.
Much of the fruit that is stored in the basement freezers are there to be used in canning projects that I have not gotten to either because of lack of time or lack of ingredients. With the stock of cranberries I picked up in October and November of 2014, I am now able to possibly make a dent in some of that fruit and clear out some space. As much as I’d rather just go out and get that upright freezer that I’ve been wanting for so long, it’s still not in the cards.
Hubby and I are at opposite ends of the spectrum on whether or not this is a necessary expense or not. I suppose I can survive without another freezer, and it is a “want”, but no matter if I were to use up all the fruit that is waiting to be canned, the fight for freezer space would continue. It’s one of those unwritten laws I think. No matter how much space I have, it is never enough. So why do I think another freezer would solve all my problems? Well it wouldn’t, but boy it would sure be fun filling that new freezer.
Anyway, seeing as chicken thighs are on sale this week and I want to stock up a bit while the price is good, I pulled out several bags of cranberries, raspberries and blackberries, to try a combination recipe that I thought would be fun.
- 3 Cups Cranberries (12 oz bag)
- 3 Clementines
- 3 Cups Red Raspberries
- 3 Cups Blackberries
- 3 Cups Sugar
- 3 Tbsp. Clear Jel mixed in 1/4 Cup Water
Peel and section the clementines. Combine the clementines with cranberries in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped.
Put processed cranberry mixture in a large stock pot and add remaining berries and sugar. Bring this to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and puree using a stick blender. Strain the puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove cranberry skins and berry seeds.
Return strained puree to stock pot and add Clear Jel slurry. Bring mixture to full rolling boil and time one minute. This thickens very quickly so be careful, it spatters terribly.
Remove from heat and immediately ladle into hot, sterilized 8 oz. jars. Top with hot lids and process in water bath canner for 10 minutes.
This recipe will yield 7-8 oz. jars.
Making a dent in the overflowing freezers in the basement is great, but having this new spread to add to my ever-growing list of tasty spreads is even better. One more cranberry project under my belt, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.