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Recipes From My Year of Pickling, Jamming and Boozing All The Things

Cordial Recipes

 

Many "traditional" cordial recipes don't use simple syrup. I don't like super sweet things, but I have found that if you don't have the simple syrup in your cordials, it's too bitter. I like to be able to drink my cordials with or without a mixer. Champagne or seltzer are good mixers in general for cordials.
Simple Syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

Boil on medium until it is a syrup. Makes approximately 1/4 cup syrup

Raspberry-Vanilla Cordial

1 pint raspberries
1/4 cup simple syrup
1/4 cup vanilla vodka
Vodka to fill the rest of the mason jar (I recommend Trader Joe's Vodka of the Gods - good enough to drink on its own, cheap enough for cordial making, it costs approximately $13 for a gallon)
Pint and a half wide mouth mason jars (I use Ball, the ones with the asparagus in the jar on the box, it costs approximately $10 for 12)
French Press (I use the Upphetta from Ikea, it costs $13)
Ball Dissolvable Labels (it costs about $5 but it is money well spent)

Make sure your mason jar has been through the dishwasher or boiled. Put the raspberries in a small pot with the simple syrup. Simmer on low for about fifteen minutes. Pour into the mason jar. Pour the vanilla vodka in. Fill the jar the rest of the way with the regular vodka. Put on your kitchen counter where you will see it regularly. Seeing it regularly will remind you to shake it. Shake it as near to daily as you can remember. After two or three weeks, pour it into your french press to strain out the fruit and get the most out of the fruit for flavor. Wash the mason jar. Pour back into the mason jar. Label. Labeling is important because if you have a couple cordials it can be hard to tell what's what. Put in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Pear-Cardamon Cordial

2 nice looking small ripe pears or 1 large
1/4 cup simple syrup
6 cardamom pods, crushed with seeds
Vodka to fill the rest of the mason jar (I recommend Trader Joe's Vodka of the Gods - good enough to drink on its own, cheap enough for cordial making, it costs approximately $13 for a gallon)
Pint and a half wide mouth mason jars (I use Ball, the ones with the asparagus in the jar on the box, it costs approximately $10 for 12)
French Press (I use the Upphetta from Ikea, it costs $13)
Ball Dissolvable Labels (it costs about $5 but it is money well spent)

Make sure your mason jar has been through the dishwasher or boiled. Put the whole pear(s), cardamom and simple syrup in the pot. Simmer on low for about fifteen minutes. Pour into the mason jar. Fill the jar the rest of the way with the regular vodka. Put on your kitchen counter where you will see it regularly. Seeing it regularly will remind you to shake it. Shake it as near to daily as you can remember. After at least a month (you're trying to infuse the whole pear(s) so it will take longer), take out the pear. Pour the rest of it into your french press to strain out the fruit and spices. Wash the mason jar. Pour back into the mason jar with the pear. Label. Labeling is important because if you have a couple cordials it can be hard to tell what's what. Put in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Blackberry Brandy Cordial

1 pint blackberries
1/4 cup simple syrup
Brandy to fill the rest of the jar
Pint and a half wide mouth mason jars (I use Ball, the ones with the asparagus in the jar on the box, it costs approximately $10 for 12)
French Press (I use the Upphetta from Ikea, it costs $13)
Ball Dissolvable Labels (it costs about $5 but it is money well spent)

Make sure your mason jar has been through the dishwasher or boiled. Put the blackberries in a small pot with the simple syrup. Simmer on low for about fifteen minutes. Pour into the mason jar. Fill the jar the rest of the way with the brandy. Put on your kitchen counter where you will see it regularly. Seeing it regularly will remind you to shake it. Shake it as near to daily as you can remember. After two or three weeks, pour it into your french press to strain out the fruit and get the most out of the fruit for flavor. Wash the mason jar. Pour back into the mason jar. Label. Labeling is important because if you have a couple cordials it can be hard to tell what's what. Put in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Lavender-Thyme Lemoncello
3 lemons, juiced and zested
A handful of fresh thyme (still on the stalk)
3 tablespoons culinary Lavender
1/4 cup simple syrup
Vodka to fill the rest of the mason jar (I recommend Trader Joe's Vodka of the Gods - good enough to drink on its own, cheap enough for cordial making, it costs approximately $13 for a gallon)
Pint and a half wide mouth mason jars (I use Ball, the ones with the asparagus in the jar on the box, it costs approximately $10 for 12)
French Press (I use the Upphetta from Ikea, it costs $13)
Ball Dissolvable Labels (it costs about $5 but it is money well spent)

Make sure your mason jar has been through the dishwasher or boiled. Put the lemon zest, thyme and lavender in a small pot with the simple syrup. Simmer on low for about fifteen minutes. Pour into the mason jar. Fill the jar the rest of the way with the vodka. Put on your kitchen counter where you will see it regularly. Seeing it regularly will remind you to shake it. Shake it as near to daily as you can remember. After two or three weeks, pour it into your french press to strain out the fruit and herbs to get the most out it for flavor. Wash the mason jar. Pour back into the mason jar. Label. Labeling is important because if you have a couple cordials it can be hard to tell what's what. Put in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Strawberry Wooddruff Cordial (A traditional May Day Cordial)

1 pint Strawberries, hulled and halved
3 tablespoons wooddruff
1/4 cup simple syrup
Vodka to fill the rest of the mason jar (I recommend Trader Joe's Vodka of the Gods - good enough to drink on its own, cheap enough for cordial making, it costs approximately $13 for a gallon)
Pint and a half wide mouth mason jars (I use Ball, the ones with the asparagus in the jar on the box, it costs approximately $10 for 12)
French Press (I use the Upphetta from Ikea, it costs $13)
Ball Dissolvable Labels (it costs about $5 but it is money well spent)

Make sure your mason jar has been through the dishwasher or boiled. Put the strawberries and wooddruff in a small pot with the simple syrup. Simmer on low for about fifteen minutes. Pour into the mason jar. Fill the jar the rest of the way with the vodka. Put on your kitchen counter where you will see it regularly. Seeing it regularly will remind you to shake it. Shake it as near to daily as you can remember. After two or three weeks, pour it into your french press to strain out the fruit and herbs to get the most out it for flavor. Wash the mason jar. Pour back into the mason jar. Label. Labeling is important because if you have a couple cordials it can be hard to tell what's what. Put in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Sour Cherry-Cardamon Cordial

1 pint sour cherries (or regular cherries if you can't get sour), pitted and de-stemmed
6 pods cardamon, crushed
1/4 cup simple syrup
Vodka to fill the rest of the mason jar (I recommend Trader Joe's Vodka of the Gods - good enough to drink on its own, cheap enough for cordial making, it costs approximately $13 for a gallon)
Pint and a half wide mouth mason jars (I use Ball, the ones with the asparagus in the jar on the box, it costs approximately $10 for 12)
French Press (I use the Upphetta from Ikea, it costs $13)
Ball Dissolvable Labels (it costs about $5 but it is money well spent)

Make sure your mason jar has been through the dishwasher or boiled. Put the cardamom and cherries in a small pot with the simple syrup. Simmer on low for about fifteen minutes. Pour into the mason jar. Fill the jar the rest of the way with the vodka. Put on your kitchen counter where you will see it regularly. Seeing it regularly will remind you to shake it. Shake it as near to daily as you can remember. After two or three weeks, pour it into your french press to strain out the fruit and herbs to get the most out it for flavor. Wash the mason jar. Pour back into the mason jar. Label. Labeling is important because if you have a couple cordials it can be hard to tell what's what. Put in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Cinnamon-Peach Cordial

3 ripe peaches, sliced and pitted
2 tablespoons good cinnamon (*not* sticks. Sticks look pretty but make it taste harsh as will cheap cinnamon)
1 tablespoon allspice
3 cloves
1/4 tablespoon nutmeg
1/4 cup simple syrup
Vodka to fill the rest of the mason jar (I recommend Trader Joe's Vodka of the Gods - good enough to drink on its own, cheap enough for cordial making, it costs approximately $13 for a gallon)
Pint and a half wide mouth mason jars (I use Ball, the ones with the asparagus in the jar on the box, it costs approximately $10 for 12)
French Press (I use the Upphetta from Ikea, it costs $13)
Ball Dissolvable Labels (it costs about $5 but it is money well spent)

Make sure your mason jar has been through the dishwasher or boiled. Put the cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg and peaches in a small pot with the simple syrup. Simmer on low for about fifteen minutes. Pour into the mason jar. Fill the jar the rest of the way with the vodka. Put on your kitchen counter where you will see it regularly. Seeing it regularly will remind you to shake it. Shake it as near to daily as you can remember. After two or three weeks, pour it into your french press to strain out the fruit and herbs to get the most out it for flavor. Wash the mason jar. Pour back into the mason jar. Label. Labeling is important because if you have a couple cordials it can be hard to tell what's what. Put in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Ginger Asian Pear Cordial

1 Asian pear, sliced with the seeds and stem removed
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1/4 cup simple syrup
Vodka to fill the rest of the mason jar (I recommend Trader Joe's Vodka of the Gods - good enough to drink on its own, cheap enough for cordial making, it costs approximately $13 for a gallon)
Pint and a half wide mouth mason jars (I use Ball, the ones with the asparagus in the jar on the box, it costs approximately $10 for 12)
French Press (I use the Upphetta from Ikea, it costs $13)
Ball Dissolvable Labels (it costs about $5 but it is money well spent)

Make sure your mason jar has been through the dishwasher or boiled. Put the ginger and Asian pear in a small pot with the simple syrup. Simmer on low for about fifteen minutes. Pour into the mason jar. Fill the jar the rest of the way with the vodka. Put on your kitchen counter where you will see it regularly. Seeing it regularly will remind you to shake it. Shake it as near to daily as you can remember. After two or three weeks, pour it into your french press to strain out the fruit and herbs to get the most out it for flavor. Wash the mason jar. Pour back into the mason jar. Label. Labeling is important because if you have a couple cordials it can be hard to tell what's what. Put in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Boozy Maraschino Cherries

1 jar maraschino cherries (no corn syrup preferred, in the organic section) with 1/3 of the juice poured out
Southern Comfort

Pour Southern Comfort into the jar. Shake. Put back into the refrigerator.

 

Pickles

Please note that my pickles are "refrigerator" style which means they're good for a week or two. I am sharing what I have learned that I personally like, you may find you like different spices, different ways of cutting your vegetables, different levels of crispness in your vegetables, etc. These are the recipes I have come to like myself after tweaking traditional recipes.

Dill Cucumber Pickles

3 small Kirby Pickles, cut into spears
2 tablespoons ground Dill Seeds (I like Savory's spices in general - they're really fresh and very inexpensive and you can buy a little at a time)
3 tablespoons Citrus & Savory Brining Spices (from Savory) (you can use traditional pickling spices but if you're like me and have eaten commercial pickles for most of your life, I can assure you that you won't be prepared for cinnamon in your pickles. I say this as someone with a wide garbage dumpster-like palate)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon sea salt
Pint and a half wide mouth mason jars (I use Ball, the ones with the asparagus in the jar on the box, it costs approximately $10 for 12)
Apple Cider Vinegar (1/3 of the mason jar)
Water
Make sure your mason jar has been through the dishwasher or boiled. Put everything but the water into a medium sized pot and simmer for about fifteen minutes. Pour into the mason jar. Fill the mason jar the rest of the way with water. Put in the refrigerator. Let brine for at least three days. Enjoy!

Pickled Asparagus

1/2 bunch asparagus, trimmed
2 tablespoons ground Dill Seeds (I like Savory's spices in general - they're really fresh and very inexpensive and you can buy a little at a time)
3 tablespoons Citrus & Savory Brining Spices (from Savory) (you can use traditional pickling spices but if you're like me and have eaten commerical pickles for most of your life, I can assure you that you won't be prepared for cinnamon in your pickles. I say this as someone with a wide garbage dumpster-like palate)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon sea salt
Pint and a half wide mouth mason jars (I use Ball, the ones with the asparagus in the jar on the box, it costs approximately $10 for 12)
Apple Cider Vinegar (1/3 of the mason jar)
Water

Make sure your mason jar has been through the dishwasher or boiled. Put everything but the water into a medium sized pot and simmer for about fifteen minutes. Pour into the mason jar. Fill the mason jar the rest of the way with water. Put in the refrigerator. Let brine for at least three days. Enjoy!

Mixed Pickle

6 small whole radishes
1 small carrot, sliced
6 mushrooms, sliced in halves

2 tablespoons ground Dill Seeds (I like Savory's spices in general - they're really fresh and very inexpensive and you can buy a little at a time)
3 tablespoons Citrus & Savory Brining Spices (from Savory) (you can use traditional pickling spices but if you're like me and have eaten commerical pickles for most of your life, I can assure you that you won't be prepared for cinnamon in your pickles. I say this as someone with a wide garbage dumpster-like palate)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon sea salt
Pint and a half wide mouth mason jars (I use Ball, the ones with the asparagus in the jar on the box, it costs approximately $10 for 12)
Apple Cider Vinegar (1/3 of the mason jar)
Water
Make sure your mason jar has been through the dishwasher or boiled. Put everything but the water into a medium sized pot and simmer for about fifteen minutes. Pour into the mason jar. Fill the mason jar the rest of the way with water. Put in the refrigerator. Let brine for at least three days. Enjoy!

Dilly Beans

1 handful string beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons ground Dill Seeds (I like Savory's spices in general - they're really fresh and very inexpensive and you can buy a little at a time)
3 tablespoons Citrus & Savory Brining Spices (from Savory) (you can use traditional pickling spices but if you're like me and have eaten commerical pickles for most of your life, I can assure you that you won't be prepared for cinnamon in your pickles. I say this as someone with a wide garbage dumpster-like palate)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon sea salt
Pint and a half wide mouth mason jars (I use Ball, the ones with the asparagus in the jar on the box, it costs approximately $10 for 12)
Apple Cider Vinegar (1/3 of the mason jar)
Water

Make sure your mason jar has been through the dishwasher or boiled. Put everything but the water into a medium sized pot and simmer for about fifteen minutes. Pour into the mason jar. Fill the mason jar the rest of the way with water. Put in the refrigerator. Let brine for at least three days. Enjoy!

 

Jams

I know most people would consider using pectin and a bread machine cheater-cheater-pumpkin eater but I don't have much patience to be completely honest.

Ginger-Peach Jam

2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons low-sugar light fruit pectin
4 cups thawed frozen sliced peaches
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

Make sure your paddle is working correctly in your machine. Place ingredients into the bread pan in the following order: sugar, pectin, peaches, cloves, ginger nutmeg, and lemon juice. Close the lid and select jam. When it's done, unplug your machine and wait a half hour before opening. Open with oven mits, it's v. hot. Put in the refrigerator or can. If refrigerating, it's good for about two or three weeks.

Cranberry Preserves

Perfect for a new spin on a vodka cranberry. Put two room temperature spoonfuls of the preserves in a rocks glass. Pour 6 counts of vodka in the glass. Stir until mixed well. Add ice.

1 bag of fresh cranberries
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons low-sugar light fruit pectin
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 cup water

Make sure your paddle is working correctly in your machine. Place ingredients into the bread pan in the following order: sugar, pectin, cranberries, water and lemon juice. Close the lid and select jam. When it's done, unplug your machine and wait a half hour before opening. Open with oven mits, it's v. hot. Put in the refrigerator or can. If refrigerating, it's good for about two or three weeks.

Cardamom-Fig Jam

1 package dried figs, sliced
1.5 cups sugar
1 tablespoons low-sugar light fruit pectin
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3/4 cup water
3 cardamom pods, crushed
1 teaspoon rosewater

Make sure your paddle is working correctly in your machine. Place ingredients into the bread pan in the following order: sugar, pectin, figs, cardamom, rosewater, water and lemon juice. Close the lid and select jam. When it's done, unplug your machine and wait a half hour before opening. Open with oven mits, it's v. hot. Put in the refrigerator or can. If refrigerating, it's good for about two or three weeks.

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Deborah Castellano is featured in the 2015 Llewellyn Herbal Almanac. She is a frequent contributor to Occult/Pagan sources such as Witchvox, PaganSquare and Witches&Pagans magazine.

Deborah's book, The Arte of Glamour is available for purchase on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

Her craft shop, The Mermaid and The Crow (www.mermaidandcrow.com) specializes in Hand-spun hand-dyed yarn in luxe fibers, euphorically scented mason jar beeswax candles, tempting small batch ritual oils, Dream Ambassadors (tiny sheep to help you sleep!), lofty unique nuno felted scarves, airy hand painted silk chiffon scarves and more.

Her Craft shop, The Glamoury Apothecary (www.etsy.com/shop/glamouryapothecary) specializes in handcrafted Occult and Magical items such as gods and goddesses vigil candles, loose incense and hand rolled chime candles.

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