Several Things to Do With Green Tomatoes

As the days shorten, those last tomatoes on the vine may stubbornly stay green. But that doesn't mean they're not good eating. Here's seven ways to preserve those green tomatoes.

Pickled Green Tomatoes, found on
Pickled Green Tomatoes
Keep 'em crisp and make 'em zingy and tangy. Pickled green tomatoes make the most of the unripe fruit. (Image via Garden of Eating.)
Green Tomato Salsa, found on
Green Tomato Salsa
Spicy and tangy, green tomato salsa brings a dose of summer in the colder months. (Image via Jane's Adventures in Dinner.)
Green Tomato Chutney, found on
Green Tomato Chutney
Chunky, spicy, sweet-tart chutney elevates your greenies to new dimensions. Great with meats, or alongside spicy foods. (Image via Married ...With Dinner.)

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Three Things Thursday: Prickly, Sour and Boozy

Once again it's Three Things Thursday, where I highlight three things that ran on the site recently that inspired, intrigued or impressed me. This week, I'm going all prickly, sour and boozy.

Harvesting and Processing Prickly Pear Fruit, found on
Harvesting and Processing Prickly Pear Fruit
Don't be intimidated by these spiky creatures. Just grab a pair of tongs to harvest tunas, and then use one of these methods to remove the spiky glochids. Image via Autumn Makes and Does.

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Raspberries! These ripe red berries are fleeting, so grab a flat while you can and whip up some DIY deliciousness.

Raspberry Jam found on
Raspberry Jam
Cook up those raspberries quick to capture their bright flavor. Perfectly delicious on its own, it's also great with vanilla, anise, a splash of booze or anything you like.
Triple Berry Curd found on
Triple Berry Curd
Rich and gorgeous hued, this triple berry curd includes raspberry, strawberry and blackberry. Wonderful as a simple spread on toast, bagels or english muffins, it can also be used as a filling in cakes and as a topping or swirled into ice cream.
Raspberry Liqueur found on
Raspberry Liqueur
You could spend mucho dinero on the stuff in fancy bottle, or you can make your own for pennies on the dollar. Serve some up as an aperitif, drizzle in a glass of bubbly, or use in lique of the commercial stuff in cocktails.

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Get Figgy With It

Figs are summer's last hurrah, and the harbinger of fall. These honey-sweet fruits are both delicious and versatile, eaten out of hand or packed in a jar.

Fig Jam, found on
Fig Jam
Figs' honeyed sweetness are a natural for jams, straight up or enhanced with balsamic, lavender, fennel or even smoky chipotle.
Fig Preserves, found on
Fig Preserves
If you like to retain the texture of figs, put up a chunky preserves instead.
Pollystyle Fig Paste, found on
Pollystyle Fig Paste
Made the right way, fig paste has a more complex flavor than fig jam. This is great as a breakfast spread or eaten with Spanish cheeses such as Manchego.
Fig Chutney, found on
Fig Chutney
Homemade chutneys are a terrific way to amp up either a snack or a meal without adding too many extra calories or salt. Making chutney is easier than most jam recipes, and are a nice alternative to a bottle of wine for your host/hostess gift.

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Giveaway! Win a Kraut Source Double Gourmet Fermentation Kit Set

There's a lot of exciting things happening in fermentation right now. Since launching Punk Domestics in 2010, I've seen DIYfermented foods trend up year over year. Lately there's been an uptick in innovation around tools that aid in fermenting. Recently my friend Nicole from FarmCurious launched her FarmCurious Ferments tool, using the ReCAP; it's a tool I myself use very regularly. Another friend, Ernie Miller of Rancho La Merced Provisions, is producing truly gorgeous lactofermentation kits with fermentation locks built right into the lids of swing-top jars. Yet another friend, Karen Diggs from here in the Bay Area, has designed, engineered and is bringing to market a new tool that is truly interesting and exciting.

Dubbed Kraut Source, it's modeled after the classic Japanese pickle presses, but with a few nuances that set it apart. Kraut Source is a five-part kit that screws on top of any standard wide-mouth mason jar, allowing you to control how much or little product you want to ferment. Made entirely of stainless steel, it features a spring-loaded press that keeps foods submerged under the brine, and a moat and cap on the top that allows gas to escape without letting any unpleasant bugaboos in.

Karen's Kickstarter is already going gangbusters (go check it out!), but she is graciously offering up a gift to one lucky winner to help spread the word. You can win the Double Gourmet & Pounder Kit, which comprises 2 Kraut Source with Mason jars, 2 deluxe wooden pounders, 2 (4 oz.) packets of hand-harvested Celtic Sea Salt®, 4 packets of gourmet organic spice blends for making sauerkraut and pickles, and 2 printed how-to booklets with 30+ recipes. Domestic shipping is included when the product is ready in November. That's a $100 value, people!

So how do you enter to win? We've got options -- lots of options. You can do any or all of the following things:

All entries must be logged in the Rafflecopter widget below to qualify for entry. One lucky winner will be selected at random. You've got until midnight PDT on Friday, August 22, so get subscribing, liking, pinning and tweeting!

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Not Your Grandmother's Blueberry Jam

There's absolutely nothing wrong with straight-up blueberry jam, and if that's what you want, we've got plenty of recipes. But if you've got the blues with the same old same old, here's some inspiration for new flavors with blueberry jam.

Blueberry Ginger Jam, found on
Blueberry Ginger Jam
The fresh kiss of ginger lifts up blueberries and makes them sing.
Blueberry Mint Jam, found on
Blueberry Mint Jam
Many herbs play nicely with blueberries, but mint is a match made in heaven.
Blueberry Basil Jam, found on
Blueberry Basil Jam
Mint's kissing cousin gives blueberry jam a sophisticated twist.
Blueberry Sage Jam, found on
Blueberry Sage Jam
Sage takes the berries into an even more savory direction.

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DIY Condiments for Summer Grilling and Entertaining

Summer grilling is great, but burgers and dogs are only as good as the condiments that dress them up. Step away from the packaged varieties and try your hand at DIY condiments to make haute dogs and hamburgers.

Ketchup, found on
Heinz, schmeinz. Homemade ketchup is easy and delicious, and is open to a world of interpretation. Why stop at tomato? We've got recipes for ketchups made from cranberries, rose hips, figs and more.

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8 Ways to Preserve Melons

Sweet, luscious melons are a treat that can only be truly appreciated at the peak of summer, when they're at their juiciest, gushiest best. If you've been overly tempted and have a glut of melons, here's a few ways to turn them into treats that will last beyond summer's steamy days.

Pickled Watermelon Rind found on
Pickled Watermelon Rind
A Southern classic, these sweet pickles are refreshing with meats or alongside cheeses. Don't throw those rinds away!
Watermelon Jam found on
Watermelon Jam
Capture the fresh essence of the watermelon in a jam (or a jelly). A squeeze of lime helps perk up the flavor.
Watermelon Infusion found on
Watermelon Infusion
You know how you can infuse a watermelon with vodka? Well, you can infuse vodka (or tequila or...) with watermelon for the ultimate summery cocktails. Melontini, anyone?

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Ten Ways to Put Up Tomatoes

Got tomatoes? Here's a rundown of ways to put up your maters, from basic canned tomatoes to salsa, ketchup and more. 

Canning Tomatoes, found on
Canning Tomatoes
Canning your own tomatoes is a great way to economize, but first you need to know a few things to do it safely. Learn how to put up your 'maters.
Tomato Paste, found on
Tomato Paste
Cook down your puree until thick and rich, and can or freeze to use in sauces. Paste on, friend.

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Enter Your Craft Foods in the Good Food Awards

Enter your craft foods in the Good Food Awards, found on

Updated for 2014

I imagine few among us have never considered taking our passion for food craft to the next stage. Perhaps you've mastered a certain jam, or have a secret recipe for a killer BBQ sauce, or have even conquered the holy grails of cheese making, home brewing or charcuterie. Would you take it to market? 

It's not for the weak of heart, which is why I'm always so impressed by those that do. It's also why I'm a big fan of the Good Food Awards. In their fourth year now, they seek out the best craft foods in the nation, aiming to put them on a pedestal for the world to see. 

I know some of you in the Punk Domestics community have taken the leap and turned your perfect creations into market-ready goods. And so I hope that each of you will select your finest products and submit them to the Good Food Awards. The entry period is currently open; simply go here to fill out the entry form before August 1. If you're selected, your product will be up for blind tasting in September. 

I am also proud to announce that I will be one of the judges in the Preserves category this year. As noted, the tastings are blind, so I'm afraid I cannot afford any preferential treatment to Punk Domestics community members.

Want to see an example of a cottage food business who's gone on to bring home the gold? Check out my interview with Julia Sforza of Half-Pint Preserves, herself a Punk Domestics contributor, too. Also check out my interview with Dafna Kory of INNA Jam, who also has won.

The winners are announced at a grand gala in San Francisco in January, and a lavish affair it is. I've had the pleasure of attending on the first and third years. It's such a pleasure to see the hard work of these artisans recognized. And it's an even greater pleasure to taste their handicrafts directly. 

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