Chive Blossom Vinegar

Chive Blossom Vinegar

It is that time of the year when the chives are blossoming profusely.  They are beautiful!

Chive Blossoms
Chive Blossoms

We harvest the blossoms to infuse white vinegar.  The vinegar takes on the subtle chive flavor and its beautiful blossom color.

Harvest the blossoms when they are just open, before they set seeds.  Put the blossoms in a glass jar and pour white vinegar over it. Keep the jar in a cool dark place for two weeks. After two weeks, strain the vinegar through a fine sieve or using cheesecloth. Store the strained vinegar in a glass bottle to add to your dishes.

Chive Blossoms
Chive Blossoms
Chive Blossom Vinegar
Chive Blossom Vinegar

Holiday Spiced Plum Jam

Holiday Spiced Plum Jam
Holiday Spiced Plum Jam

We have a few productive sugar plum trees this Spring.   They are amazingly tasty fresh but we couldn’t eat them fast enough, so we store a fair amount of them in our freezer. Now that things are slowing down in the garden, we have more time to process what we have harvested.

We did a lot of research to find the perfect recipe for the plum since they deserve as much.   Most jelly and jam recipes use too much sugar. We wanted a recipe that let the fruits shine through.  We ended up combining several recipes we have found and adjusted them to our taste.  It came out exactly as we had hoped, sweet, tangy, plummy, warm with holiday spices, and finish with a hint of orange. Here is the recipe we used which makes about 15 half-pint jars.


  • 3 lbs of plums, pitted
  • 4 medium apples, chopped
  • 1 fresh pineapple, chopped
  • 2 oranges, juiced and zest
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zest
  • 1 lime, juiced and zest
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • low or no sugar pectin
  • sliver of butter
  • 4 cup of sugar


  1. Combine plums, apples, pineapple, all the juices in a pot and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes while stirring frequently.
  2. Add all the spices, butter, and pectin (*) and turn the heat to high to achieve a rolling boil while stirring constantly. The butter will keep the mixture from foaming.
  3. Pour in the sugar and  cook for another minute while stirring.
  4. Ladle the hot jam into the hot, sterilized canning jars and seal with lids and rings.
  5. Refrigerate when cool or proceed with canning (**).

(*) Follow the instruction that comes with the pectin you use for the appropriate amount to add.  The key to this recipe is to use pectin that does not require sugar to gel.  We used Ball Real Fruit Pectin for this batch.  We plan on trying Ponoma’s Universal Pectin next.

(**) This recipe has not been tested in a lab for its safety.  We tested the acidity ourselves and found it to be at 3.15 pH which deems safe for canning; however, you should always check it for yourself since real fruits will vary based on many factors. We also use a pressure canner for canning.

Simple Crockpot Tomatillo Chicken Recipe

Simple Crockpot Tomatillo Chicken
Simple Crockpot Tomatillo Chicken


  • 2 lbs of boneless chicken (bone-in is fine too, just remove the bone before serving)
  • 1 lb of tomatillos
  • 5 jalapenos,  seeded and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice
  • 1/2 tbp of salt (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp of black peppers
  • fresh cilantro, chopped


  • Remove husk from tomatillos. Quarter if they are large.
  • Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker except for cilantro. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6
  • Sprinkle cilantro when serving

Simple Pico De Gallo

Pico De Gallo from fresh heirloom tomatoes
Pico De Gallo from fresh heirloom tomatoes


  • 2 heirloom tomatoes, diced
  • 2 jalapenos,  seeded and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice
  • pinch of salt


  • Soak the chopped onion in water for 5 minutes and drain
  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and chill for about 30 minutes
  • Serve with totilla chips

Fresh Marion Berry Syrup


  • 4 cups Marion Berries
  • 2 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice


  • In a large saucepan add berries, crush with a wooden spoon.  Add sugar, water, and lemon juice.
  • Place over medium heat – bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat and let stand at room temperature several hours or overnight.
  • Strain into a clean container and store in refrigerator until needed.

Make 3 cups.

Delicious on pancakes, waffles, and ice cream!

Southern Style Collard Greens


  • 12 hickory smoked bacon slices, finely chopped
  • 2 medium size sweet onions, finely chopped
  • 3/4 pound smoked ham, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 (32oz) container of chicken broth
  • 3 lbs fresh collard greens, washed and trimmed
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tps salt
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbps sugar


  • Cook bacon in a 10qt stockpot over medium heat 10 to 12 minutes or until almost crisp
  • Add onion, and saute 8 minutes
  • Add ham and garlic and saute 1 minute
  • Stir in broth and remaining ingredients
  • Cook for 2 hours or to desired degree of tenderness

Refrigerator Pickled Beets


  • 6 medium beets (cleaned)
  • 2 large shallots (peeled)
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large red onion (frenched)
  • 1 cup tarragon wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2-3 tbsp pickling spices
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water


  • Preheat oven to 400
  • In a large bowl, toss beets, shallots, rosemary and olive oil.
  • Place into a foil pouch and roast in oven for 40 minutes.
  • Remove the skin from the roasted beets and slice thinly.
  • Arrange in 1-quart jars alternating layers with onion.
  • In a small pot, boil the rest of the ingredients and pour over the beets.
  • Tightly lid the jars and place in refrigerator for 3 to 7days before serving.

Sweet Briar Zucchini Relish


  • One 6-quart stock pot with a lid
  • 10 cups Zucchini, shredded, tightly packed, about 5 medium or 9 small. Use only fresh, firm medium or smaller sized zucchini. Wash and dry, but do not peel. Shred, removing any large seeds.
  • 4 cups Onion, about 3 large, chopped, tightly packed
  • 2 Red Peppers, chopped
  • 5 Tbs. Canning Salt
  • 5 cups of sugar
  • 2.5 cups White vinegar
  • 1 Tbs cornstarch
  • 2 Tsp. Pepper
  • 2 Tsp. Dry Mastard
  • 2 Tsp. Celery Seed
  • 2 Tsp Turmeric


  • Mix zucchini, onions, peppers and canning salt in your 6 qt pan, cover.
  • Let this sit in the fridge overnight
  • Rinse, in batches, thru a sieve, and press out as much water as possible
  • Put this mess back in your washed and dried 6 qt pan
  • Now add all of the rest of ingredients
  • Bring to a rolling boil, cook for 10 minutes, just keep it bubbling
  • Pack into 6 sterile pint jars, cover with sterile lids and rims
  • Process for 20 minutes in a boiling water bath


  • Let it age a few days. It only gets better!
  • For a hotter version, blend in a few habanero peppers with the white vinegar just prior to cooking. Careful though…