Canada 150 marmalade

Summers are a particularly busy time of year here at Manning Canning. Farmer's Markets start, festival and shows pick up momentum and of course Ontario produce becomes available so you can find us in the kitchen preserving the harvest on the regular. In addition to that, I have been flying back to Alberta on a more regular basis to spend time with my mom who has been undergoing chemotherapy. It's been a balancing act finding time for all of the demands of summer and sometimes something has to give. Since May - that has been the time I have been able to spend writing, sharing and posting here.

But what doesn't tend to slip off the list is the time I spend experimenting in the kitchen with new recipes, techniques and of course developing new products for Manning Canning.

When I was out with my mom in February and her appetite happened to be at an all time low, I found myself flipping through some of her recipe books looking for inspiration for things I could make and fill her freezer with for when I was gone. One book in particular grabbed my attention and as I was looking through it's pages, it was impossible for me not to linger on the section titled 'Preserves'. I took photos of a few recipes that grabbed my attention and I made a note in my calendar when I expected the Ontario produce used in these recipes to be in season. 

So when peach season arrived, I consulted my photos and began to play around with a recipe that I thought would be the perfect Ode to Canada 150. 

Canada 150 marmalade

12 Bosc Pears

12 Macintosh Apples

12 Peaches

2 lemons

8 oranges

Organic Cane Sugar

Finely shredded peel

Finely shredded peel

Start by washing and juicing your lemons and your oranges. Then shred your peel finely and cover with water and soak overnight.

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The next day drain the water from the peel and combine the peel with the orange and lemon juice. Peel your pears, apples and peaches and cut up all the fruit. Once complete add to the orange mixture.

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For each cup of fruit and liquid, add 1 cup of sugar and combine. In a large non-reactive pot over low heat, stir until the sugar fully dissolves and then turn the heat to medium high. Stirring on a regular basis continue to cook until mixture thickens. This will take anywhere between 1 hour to an hour and a half. I found the larger the bottom surface of your pot, the less amount of time this took.

Once it has achieved set (Personally, I prefer the spoon test to determine if I have achieved set.. This gives me the closest relationship with the marmalade. This may sound strange, but I think this is important. When I can see the consistency of the marmalade beginning to change and I think I am getting close to set, I dip my spoon in every 5 minutes or so and check on how the drops are falling off the spoon. I find this visual way of checking gives me the ability to achieve the set I prefer), turn off heat and let the marmalade sit for 5-10 minutes before putting it into jars. Stirring occassionally.

Ladle into previously sterilized jars, leaving 1/4" headspace and process in your water bath for 10 minutes. This recipe yields 12-14, 250ml jars.

Getting ready to preserve - what do you need to know

For the past 4 years I have been teaching preserving classes at The Depanneur the last Monday of every month and this month will be no exception.

With the arrival of Spring and the excitement that the warmth and the sunshine brings I thought the timing was perfect to once again share some of the posts I have written in the past that will help prepare the new preserver for the up and coming harvest.

Preserving recipes - some things in a recipe are more important than others. This post will help you really understand what you need to pay particular attention to, so that each batch of jam turns out perfectly.

Preserving terms - if you are new to preserving some of the terms can be confusing. Headspace, burp your jars....say what?

What if you don't want to use sugar? - Several jam recipes are high in sugar. What is you don't want to use as much the recipe calls for...will your jam still be safe to eat?

Now you can start counting down the days til Asparagus, Strawberries, Cucumbers and so much more are in season.

Perfect February Cocktail Recipe

We asked our lovely friends over at The Ace on Roncesvalles if they would take our Ontario Pear and Ginger Shrub and play around with it for a bit. We wanted to see what kind of cocktail could be created in the hands of a pro.

perfect cocktail

It didn't take them long to create this cocktail which has been available at their place for the month of February. So if you are looking for a little something to shake of the grey days of February head on over to Roncesvalles and give their Jim and Ginger a try! Or pick up a bottle of Shrub from us and recreate this at home.

Jim and Ginger (Created by The Ace)

  • Jim Beam Bourbon (2oz)

  • Manning Canning Pear Ginger Shrub (1.5oz)

  • Fresh-Squeezed Lemon Juice (1oz)

  • Honey Simple Syrup (.75oz)

    Shake with ice and pour into chilled martini glass

    Garnish w/crystallized ginger on a skewer

How to make soup noodles

Growing up, we would spend our summers mostly in British Columbia; either in Kelowna or in Sparwood where my mother was born and raised and where my Nonna, Aunt and Uncle lived.

They were neighbours. My Nonna lived in her house on her own and right next door were my Auntie Dena, Uncle Rudy and their 3 kids. When we would stay in Sparwood, it would be at my Nonna's house. Some days we would all have dinner at my Nonna's and other days we would all be over at my Aunt's. And throughout the day all of us kids would travel between the two houses like we owned them. Doors banging, shoes flying on and off. It was a great time of life. But in all of those years, never once did I get to have my Aunt's home made soup noodles.

So when I went out to visit them in the fall, I insisted that not only did she make them for me, but that she taught me how to make soup noodles, so that I could learn to make them myself. I believe we need to pass these recipes on or they get lost...and for some reason, that thought makes me sad.

Auntie Dena and her recipe book

Auntie Dena and her recipe book

These noodles require very few ingredients, it is just time that they need. They soak up so much of the broth and get nice and fat and chewy. It ends up being more noodle soup that soup with noodles. But trust me, they are worth it.

Now with a lot of these types of recipes, certain quantity of ingredients really depend on feel. So exact amounts are not given. I quite like this type of cooking. It makes you get closer to your food, understand how it works and I believe in time, makes the end product more delicious.

Auntie Dena's Soup Noodles

Ingredients

8 eggs

splash of Canola Oil

1-2 tsp salt

4 cups flour (approximate)

eggs

In a medium sized bowl, beat eggs until yolks are lightly broken up. Then add in the canola, salt and flour one cup at a time. Mixing it thoroughly before adding in the next cup. Now, in my family, mixing anything to do with flour (bread, noodles, etc) all ends up being done in a larger sized silver bowl down on your hands and knees on the floor. Basically kneading the shit out of it. When I was younger and my mom made bread, I always assumed this was a form of stress relief. That she got out all of the frustration that her 5 daughters heaped onto her shoulders. Now I realize it was a combination of that, but also it is just easier to get the leverage when you are working above the bowl.

flour

Once your dough has formed a nice ball, and is no longer sticky to the touch, you are ready to begin rolling it out. For this, you will need a nice sized flat surface. We rolled it on the table as it was too large for the counter top.

Sprinkle your table or counter top with flour, place the dough ball on the flour and roll it out to the desired thickness. You want to roll it in a rectangular shape versus a round shape.

Once you have achieved the desired thickness, lay it out on a towel, and allow it to dry, flipping it half way through so both sides dry (approximately an hour).

dough drying

Once the dough has dried, sprinkle with a little flour and then roll the dough up loosely. You are going to cut the dough on an angle at the end, and then continue cutting on angles so that you are getting short noodles.

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Continue cutting on an angle until you have cut all of the dough and then pile up the noodles loosely and allow to sit. You will boil these in a large pot of water for 20-25 minutes. Rinse with hot water and then add to the broth/sauce of your choice.

Uncle Rudy

Uncle Rudy

Super Easy Cranberry Sauce

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I am literally counting down the days til we head out to Alberta for the holidays. We are spending it on my sister's farm just outside of Edmonton. And while I am not looking forward to the dry cold weather that will greet me, I am very excited to see my sister, brother in law and nephew. But most importantly, I am looking forward to seeing Mamacita Manning. I guess it's true that no matter how old we get, we still love the comfort that our mom's bring to our lives.

Mamacita Manning is on a break from chemotherapy and is feeling really good. 2016 has been a tough year for her so when I asked her what she wanted for Christmas this year and she told me nothing, I decided the best gift to give her would be food. I made this cranberry sauce last year and she absolutely LOVED it. So I decided to get a batch made before we headed out west, so that it could be a part of the gift I give her. Anything to spur on her appetite.

Super Easy Cranberry Sauce with a Kick

Ingredients

4 cups frozen cranberries

1 cup Orange Juice

1/2 cup water

1 tbsp grated orange rind

5 cups sugar

1 jalapeno pepper chopped

1 tsp Damien's Lima Zulu Hot sauce

1 - 3oz package liquid pectin

jalapenos

Rinse your frozen cranberries thoroughly and place in a medium sized non reactive pot over medium heat, adding in orange juice, water and grated orange zest. Stir throughly and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for approximately 8 minutes or until cranberries have softened, stirring occasionally.

Reduce to low heat, add in sugar, peppers and hot sauce and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Return to medium heat and while stirring continuously, bring contents to a full rolling boil.

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Stir in the liquid pectin and continue stirring constantly until it returns to a full rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute and then remove from heat.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally before filling jars. Leave 1/4 inch headspace, wipe rims and threads, apply lids. Process in hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Approximate yield: 5-6, 250ml jars

 

Small Food Biz Tips: How to Successfully Prepare for Shows

Food shows, farmer's markets and trade shows are a great way for small food businesses to increase sales, create brand awareness and meet customers. So how do you ensure a successful show? We talked to three of our booth buddies, all show pros who were kind enough to share what they’ve learned, where they’ll be, and what their best sellers are.

Spice of Life

Show Tips:

1) When getting ready for shows it is hard to predict what the crowd will be like, so err on the side of caution and make sure you have plenty of stock ready to go. It becomes a wasted opportunity if you sell out and have no product left by the end of a show.

2) Make sure you have good signage and a bright booth, as no one wants to approach a dimly lit booth.

3) Also, having a “show special” or a deal for customers to purchase right then and there helps sales because people are always looking for a deal. 

Upcoming shows:  Holiday Market at Nathan Philips Square.

Best Seller: This season it’s our MINI Sample Pack featuring five of our gourmet hot sauces.

Haute Goat

Show Tips:

1) It’s important to have an attractive and inviting stand that welcomes people in. Samples are always popular and often people who don't expect to buy, will buy because they are 'smitten' with something they sampled at your stand. 

2) It also important to be persistent, if you feel a show will be successful, give it a chance to build. In other words, if you go to a show more than once, you will start to build your buyers who come to look for you there, as they expect you to be attending that show. 

3) Most importantly, be well informed, friendly, interested and available to all customers. If you can give customers good information about your products, they’ll become more engaged and interested.

Best Seller: Our skincare line is our most popular goat milk product and of the skincare products the soap has the largest volume of sales.

Cakes By Kristen

Show Tips:

1) The most important aspect of a successful show is to be prepared! Make sure to have all your numbers worked out, and keep a master list of everything you need for that particular show. Sometimes when it gets closer to show time, you can really be distracted and forget important things (like your cash box)!

2) Remember too that you can’t always predict what will be your best seller, it all depends on the crowd, so have plenty of everything.

Best Seller: Our toffee cookies, which are both sweet and savoury, with a rich and deep flavour, almost always win people over!

We have done a few shows ourselves and couldn’t agree more with the input from our booth buddies, but have a few tips of our own.

1) Be sure you have a set up where you can take more than just cash. Square is an excellent resource for small business and even though you pay them a small percentage from each transaction it is better than watching the sale walk on by.

2) Don’t wait for sales to approach your booth. There are a million distractions at a show and sometimes you can miss a customer simply because they got distracted. Don’t be a wall flower. Engage with customers as they walk by – draw them into your booth.

3) If it is more than a one day show be sure to wear different shoes each day. Shows are physically demanding and you want to give your body a fighting chance. Changing your shoes, changes your posture even in the smallest way. Trust me, your aches and pains will thank me.

If you’re a new food business, and you want to learn more about shows, kitchens, suppliers, or anything else, get in touch!

Interested in our products? Shop our selection.

Written by Farhana Choudry, Intern

Try Our Seville Orange Mmmarmalade!

What makes our Seville Orange Marmalade quite possibly the best marmalade you’ll ever have? First, the fact that my mother-in-law taught me how to make it, who in turn learned to make it from her mother. This proves that my gran’s recipe is tried, tested and delicious! Yet, what truly makes our marmalade taste great, is the hand shredding, top quality ingredients and that we take no shortcuts. 

If that doesn’t convince you, my marmalade won a Bronze at the World Marmalade Awards (hosted in Cumbria, UK) and you will find it at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in November.

Why you’ll love it

Our marmalade is made from certified organic Seville oranges and they make all the difference. Aside from the health benefits, organic oranges have a better flavour as they have a slightly chunky peel so you get the sweet and the bitter combined, and set more quickly than non-organic oranges – leading to a better quality marmalade.  

The fresher your oranges are when you make your marmalade the better. Over ripe fruit tend to lose some of their pectin so you will have to cook your marmalade down too far in order to achieve set. Seville oranges are generally in season from January to February, so we spend a bit of time creating our marmalade then to ensure the best quality marmalade is produced.

The Process

We make our marmalade the traditional way, with the peel of the orange being hand shredded. If you are looking to enter your marmalade into competitions, you always want to follow the two-day process.  You will end up with a brighter marmalade that is more appealing from an appearance perspective for the judges, trust me as for the past two years I have had the pleasure of being a judge at the Mad for Marmalade Awards at Fort York.

Our marmalade uses all the parts of the orange. The skin is shredded and softened in water, the membrane and the seeds are added to the marmalade to release the natural pectin of the oranges and achieve the perfect set for the marmalade.

Orange You Glad You Tried It

While we believe there’s absolutely no wrong way to eat marmalade (straight from the jar?), we have a few suggestions for you to try out. Our marmalade tastes fabulous as a cheesecake topping and tastes equally as amazing on toast combined with a splash of butter.  Let your taste buds decide.

Interested in our products? Shop our selection.

Want to grow your food business? Manning Canning Kitchens can help!

Written by Farhana Choudry, Intern

The Road to the Royal

I am not sure what it is about entering preserves contests that I love so much. I think I have Mad for Marmalade, Crazy for Citrus to blame. It was the very first competition I ever entered and to my astonishment I came in 2nd in both categories that I entered and then to top it all off I won the amazing door prize. I left buzzing and smiling, and I have been hooked ever since.

At times, my preserves have placed poorly, but instead of being disappointed, I waited with anticipation for the judges cards to see if there would be some feedback. Something that would teach me more about the art of preserving. And other times I have won in a category that completely amazed me. Not because I didn't think I was deserving, but because it was something that at the time was out of my comfort zone

royalfair

This year, when I received a message from the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair asking if they could highlight my journey on the Road to the Royal, I was so excited I could almost not respond to the email fast enough. I consider it a real honour to have been one of the 4 competitors across multiple categories chosen to be highlighted. 

This year will also be our first year having a booth selling our preserves at The Royal. So if you plan on visiting, be sure to drop by booth #2623 and say hi.

 

Try our perfectly Pickled Silverskin Onions

silverskinonions

 

Our pickled silverskin onions come in two varieties; the white brine version, which uses a recipe passed down from my aunt and the malt vinegar version which was a recipe passed down from my husband’s British grandmother (in the UK, they are often eaten alongside fish and chips).

Our delicious pickled onions will be available at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair individually or in a pickle lovers gift pack perfect for the holidays. 

The Process

Our pickled onions use Ontario grown silverskin onions. What’s more impressive is that we hand peel around 300 pounds of these onions – equivalent to approximately 22,000 onions! These little onions then spent seven glorious days in a salt-water brine, getting rinsed daily. So, when they arrive on your plate they are the perfect combination of crunchy on the inside and tender on the outside.

seven day brine

What makes our onions so special is that we only make them once a year, in August and September, as this is when silverskin onions are in season. Once they are sold out, they’re gone until the next growing session – so make sure to grab them at the Royal Winter Fair!

Why you’ll love them

Our pickled silverskin onions taste amazing in sandwiches and wraps, on a burger or with sausages. They also make a great addition to potato salad. I would even throw them in any salad for an added crunch.

Interested in our products? Shop our selection.

Want to grow your food business? Manning Canning Kitchens can help.

Written by Farhana Choudhry, Intern

Quick and easy Quince recipe

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I love my quince tree in my backyard. In the spring it is covered with the most glorious blooms and in the fall I get to harvest the few quince that the squirrels have not already stolen. And every year with whatever yield I get for myself I make my husband and I a little treat known as Membrillo or Quince Paste. 

It takes a couple of hours to make, but the process is super simple and can be followed very easily no matter how many or how few quince you may have.

weighed quince

This year my yield was super small. I got 1lb of quince, but you can use this recipe for whatever amount you have.

Instructions

  • 1 lb Quince
  • Lemon peel - small sliver of lemon peel, no pith
  • Vanilla bean - half of a bean, cut and seeded
  • 1/4 tsp Lemon juice 
  • 1 cup sugar

Peel and coarsely chop up the quince. Place the lemon peel, vanilla and quince in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook on simmer until quince is soft and can easily be pricked with a fork.

Strain the water and place the softened quince in a food processor and blend until smooth. Measure out how much quince you have (with 1lb of quince, I got 1 cup of puree) and then add equal part sugar (1 cup in this instance).

Place quince and sugar in a small pot over low heat and stir until sugar is fully dissolved. Leave over heat, stirring occasionally until paste is thick and changes colour to a gentle orange. Took 35 minutes with 1 lb of quince.

Then spoon quince out of the pot and place into a small pan lined with parchment paper. Place in oven on low heat (125 degrees) for 30 more minutes to dry it out.

Cut and serve - with a hard cheese from The Pantry in Toronto or from your favourite cheese shop.

Interested in our products? Shop our selection.

Want to grow your food business? Manning Canning Kitchens can help.