Real Food

Savor the flavors of everyday real food, fresh from the garden or stored on your pantry shelves.

Add to My MSN


Pickled peppers

It may seem way past the season for canning but if you have end-of-the-season peppers like I did, it’s a great time to put them up. And now I have my first entry ready for next year’s State Fair.

Pickled peppers can add a nice pop of color and taste to Thanksgiving dinner, especially if you have holiday guests who aren’t crazy about cranberry sauce. These peppers also make a festive appetizer if you chop them up and use them to top crackers and cream cheese.

Pickled Pepper Recipe

Here’s my tried-and-true Pickled Pepper recipe. Some like to use cider vinegar instead of white, but I like to keep the brine clear so the color of the peppers comes through.


• 4 pounds sweet peppers (red, green or yellow)
• 2 pounds hot peppers (jalapeno, red tomato, banana)
• 6-1/2 cups white vinegar
• 1-1/3 cup water
• 2/3 cups sugar
• 4 tsp pickling salt
• 3 garlic cloves cut in quarters

Nice clean jars are ready

Instructions for Pickling Peppers

1. Wash peppers. Remove the stems, membranes and seeds. Keep whole, but slice along the length of each pepper so the brine can penetrate easily.

2. Wash canning jars, lids and bands in warm soapy water. You’ll need six pint jars or 12 half-pints.

3. Fill a boiling-water canner about two-thirds full with water and put on high heat to bring it to a boil. Turn it down to simmer, and carefully put in your canning jars to sterilize them. Water should be at least 1 inch above jars. Bring a separate pot of water to boil that you can pour over the lids and bands in a bowl.

4. In a large sauce pan, bring the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and garlic to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and gently add your peppers and cook about one minute. Some canners put the peppers in the jars without this step, but I like to heat them through.

5. Remove the sterilized jars from the canner and gently layer peppers, making sure that each jar gets a nice mix of peppers and garlic. Pour the hot pickling brine over the peppers and leave 1/2-inch headspace. Run a sterilized stainless steel knife around the inside of each jar to remove any air bubbles. Use a clean, lint-free towel to wipe the jar rims. Put lids on the jars and adjust the bands.

6. Lift jars into water bath and bring canner back to a rolling boil. Process jars for 15 minutes if you are at sea level. Here in Boise, we are at nearly 3,000 feet, so I add three minutes. Rule of thumb is to add one minute for each 1,000 feet altitude. I always smile, thinking of it as an “altitude adjustment.” Remove the jars from the water bath and wait to hear that satisfying “ping” as each one seals.

For the end-of-the-season peppers, I’ve had good luck reducing the size of the recipe. Just make sure the proportion of product-to-brine is the same as for a full batch.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.


I told Santa that I would like to have an Excalibur Dehydrator for Christmas. Or my birthday, I could wait until the 12th day of Christmas for it.  It's the Rolls Royce of food dehydrators.  I know people who have one and I am jealous as all get out.

You know that I am a canning fool. Right now I have enough food canned to ward off the Zombie Apocalypse. What I don't have is more shelf space. I am full up. Well...I say that., but you can always find more room around your house if you really look. If I recall, that is exactly how I have almost lost my spare bedroom. I filled up the kitchen cabinets. I filled up the shelves that I bought and the ones that we built that are in the walk-in closet of the office. And then, because we really don't have that much company, I thought "Why can't I use some of that wasted space?"  And then I was off and running.

Before I knew what had happened, there was a new shelving unit in the spare room closet — it's also a walk-in closet. There were heavy cardboard sheets that slid under the bed in there for storing butternut squash. There were 3 wooden boxes along the wall that contained about 50 to 60 pounds each of white potatoes, red potatoes and sweet potatoes. And since we don't have a basement or root cellar, why not bring our water storage system in here as well? Understand that our "system" is not really a system at all, but instead a collection of about 35 to 40 heavy duty white vinegar jugs that are filled with the spring water we drink from a local spring. When we first moved here, all we had was a cistern that we had to fill all the time. The good news is that we became water conservation geniuses. The bad news was that you couldn't drink out of it. They've since brought city water out here on our country road, but we don't drink it either, with all the chlorine and fluoride in the water. It doesn't taste good. Weekly we round up the empty jugs, rotate what's left, and drive out to fill the jugs. But...I digress...

Back in the early 70s, when my son was little, I started dehydrating fruits from around our place to fruit leathers and snacks. And I dried the herbs from my garden. That was about the extent of my experience then. It was enough. Back in those days, I dried stuff out in the sun on scrubbed clean old window screens. Primitive, huh? Sometime in the 80s I bought my first dehydrator, a little brown plastic thing with trays in it and a heating element in the bottom. I think it cost about $10.  It took forever to dry things, but was still a little faster than doping it out in the sun.

Fast forward a few years. I picked up a couple of dehydrators at a garage sale for about $5. I gave one to my son. One had a fan in it and, buddy, it worked like a charm! I played around and dried odds and ends of stuff, and kept stretching and drying more things and different things and was having a ball. Then for Christmas one year, my husband bought me a Nesco American Harvest dehydrator. It too has a fan. And settings! You can set the temperature for anywhere from 95 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit. It does a good job, and I have purchased extra trays and silicone liners for the trays, to use when drying some of the messier stuff.

I dehydrate everything from apples that aren't getting eaten quickly enough to chicken jerky to pumpkin puree. I dry herbs — I just finished about 6 pounds of spearmint last week. I dry tomatoes — especially the sweet little meaty Roma tomatoes that I love so much. They are like candy when dried. After drying I can also pulverize them for vegetable bouillon. I dry all manner of fruit — stuff from my own yard (apples, peaches, cherries, strawberries) to fruits that I find great buys on (mangoes at $0.29/each  or bananas for $0.39/lb. I dry corn off the cob to throw in soups. I dry kale, Swiss Chard and wild mushrooms. I dry onions when the garden has blessed us or I find them on a great sale. And it requires so much less storage space that it's mind boggling. Last week I had 2 water bath canner pots full of pumpkin chunks, from my latest insane adventure with pumpkins. I peeled them after steaming them, and mooshed them up and spread out on the silicone liners in the dehydrator. When it was all dry as a bone, I put the pieces in my Vitamix and pulverized them. Voila! Pumpkin powder. And it all fit in a 1-quart jar. Measure it out, add water and stir.  In a few minutes — pumpkin puree.

The more important it becomes to me to be less dependent on the power grid, the more I appreciate the stability and  usefulness of dehydrating.  I lost a freezer last year from a malfunction and lost a fair amount of food.  Most of it was bell peppers and other vegetables that I had spent a whole summer growing, tending and getting into the freezer. But for me, losing any of the stuff I worked so hard for was way too much, no matter what it was.  A little manual labor cutting up vegetables is all it takes to preserve some of your produce for a long long time. I sometimes use my foodsaver, but more often I just put the dehydrated goods into quart sized ziplock bags and then store them in appropriate containers.   I use 1 gallon jars and 5 gallon food grade buckets.  I was gifted a LOT of rainbow chard last year just before the first hard frost, and I mean a LOT, like 5 or 6 big grocery bags full.  I dried every bit of it.  I use it  to sprinkle into soups, rice dishes, scrambled eggs, smoothies--you name it. Same with the kale that I grow. Same with the dandelion roots and leaves and flowers. Same for the yarrow.  Mints for teas and other concoctions.  Fruits for snacks, granola bars, granola and desserts.   Herbs that I use for spices...rosemary, basil, oregano, sage, lemongrass.

So when I tell you that my best friend is a dehydrator, I'm not kidding. But I think he needs a high class friend, so I'm still asking Santa for that Excalibur.  It's a little costly for most of us, but I look at it like a really good investment when you dehydrate as much as I do.  We'll see...but maybe I haven't been a good enough girl this year. Even if I have to wait another year, I still have my old sidekick Nesco and his cheaper version with the heating element in the bottom.  It takes a little longer, but still does the job. You can start wherever you are. You can get the $20 one, you can build a solar dehydrator, or you can ask Santa for one. Jump in!

Happy Dehydrating!

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.


Grandma’s cold remedy — chicken noodle soup — may be warming and nourishing, but it’s not the best soup for a cold. An even better soup for colds is one that is actually therapeutic in the medicinal sense. This means it contains proven, immune-boosting foods like medicinal mushrooms (such as maitake and reishi) and astragalus root.


Astragalus membranaceus is one of the most extensively studied herbal medicines and has been used as part of traditional Chinese medicine to treat infections and other ailments for thousands of years. The dried roots of Astragalus contain compounds that possess immune-modulating, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral properties, among others.[2,3] Astragalus and herbal formulas that contain it can prevent upper respiratory infections in people whose immune systems aren’t functioning optimally.[1] (Read more about astragalus at the Natural Health Advisory website.)

Astragalus has firm, fibrous roots that are light yellow in color and have a sweet, pleasant taste. Dried astragalus root can be purchased in long slices, small pieces, or as a powder. The type most often used in soups is the sliced, dried root which is typically added to soups during cooking and then removed before eating. Since the bioactive compounds in astragalus are soluble in water, they are extracted into the broth while the soup is cooking.

Medicinal Mushrooms for Immune Enhancement

Of the approximately 130 healing actions of medicinal mushrooms, they are perhaps best known for their ability to boost immune function.[4] Even white button mushrooms, the most commonly eaten variety, enhance immune function.[5]

But certain mushrooms have more potent immune-modulating activities.[4,6] The medicinal mushrooms with the most powerful effects on immune function include:

• Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)
• Maitake (Grifola frondosa)
• Shiitake (Lentinula edodes)
• Oyster (Pleurotus ostreatus)
• Turkey tail (Coriolus versicolor)

In addition to improving a number of aspects of immune function, some of these medicinal mushrooms, like reishi, have antimicrobial actions, especially against viruses.[7,8]

Both fresh and dried mushrooms can be used for soups. Some medicinal mushrooms, like reishi, are difficult to find fresh (unless you grow them yourself). Plus, reishi are tough and therefore you’ll likely want to take them out of the soup before you eat it. Others, like shiitake, are more widely available in their fresh form for culinary use and are delicious to eat as part of the soup.

You can find dried mushrooms and organically-grown, dried, sliced astragalus root for sale online. Many western herbalists, acupuncturists, and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners carry dried astragalus root in their dispensaries.

The best soup for a cold is one that contains fresh or dried versions of these mushrooms along with astragalus and other immune boosting foods like garlic and ginger. Try the chicken soup recipe below, and feel free to add or adapt it to your liking.

Chicken Soup Recipe for a Cold


• 5 pounds organic chicken (If using a whole chicken, remove chicken meat just after stock is brought to boil and reserve.)
• 12 cups fresh water
• 3 carrots, cut into thirds
• 2 parsnips, quartered
• 2 celery stalks, cut into thirds
• 2 onions, quartered
• 1 oz astragalus root
• 2 oz dried medicinal mushrooms of choice
• 3 bay leaves
• 1 to 2 tsp sea salt


1. Bring all ingredients to a boil. Skim the top layer of the stock and discard. Then cover and simmer for at least 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Strain and keep stock. Discard veggies, astragalus, mushrooms, and chicken carcass.

2. To the homemade chicken broth, add:

Reserved chicken
• 2 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms (or fresh, if available)
• 2 inches grated ginger root
• 6 to 8 cloves garlic, crushed
• Additional vegetables and grains as desired

3. Simmer 15 to 30 minutes, or until all ingredients are tender. Serve immediately.[9] Eat throughout the cold and flu season and up to three times per day during active upper respiratory infections. (If you like this recipe, find more at the Natural Health Advisory website.)

4. Another key element of preventing and treating colds is keeping your immune system in top shape by following healthy living practices. For a quick look at basic Natural Health 101 principles, download a free report from the Natural Health Advisory.


1. Evid Bas Comp Alt Med. 2013; 352130.
2. Phytother Res. 2014 Sep;28(9):1275-83.
3. Int J Biol Macromol. 2014 Mar;64:257-66.
4. Biomed J. 2014 Sep 2. [Epub ahead of print]
5. Nutrition. 2012 May;28(5):527-31.
6. Trends Biotechnol. 2013 Dec;31(12):668-77.
7. Int J Med Mushrooms. 2013;15(2):127-43.
8. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nded;Ch.9.
9. BACHA News. 2006 Winter;1(4). Adapted from a recipe by Kara Sigler.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.


Turkey Stuffed Poblanos with Cranberry Mole Recipe

Thanksgiving means leftovers. At my house the turkey can sometimes take up a whole shelf-worth of space in the fridge! But transforming the leftover bits into something wonderful can be a challenge, especially when you tire of sandwiches. My answer to turkey leftovers is Mexican stuffed poblano peppers.

Poblano chiles are those dark green, hand-sized peppers you often find in the Mexican produce section. They have a dark, rich pepper flavor that is not hot. They hold up beautifully when roasted and stuffed. If you can’t find these peppers, feel free to use green or red bell peppers, just don’t peel them as they are more delicate than poblanos.

The best part about this recipe is that you can make each component ahead of time and assemble them a half hour before dinner. All the parts will hold for several days in the fridge. The topping is perfectly fine stored in a sealed container the cupboard. So relax and enjoy your post-Thanksgiving time. And when you’re tired of leftovers, you can hit them with this recipe. They’ll never know!  

Turkey Stuffed Poblanos with Cranberry Mole Recipe


• 4 dried poblano chiles or 6 dried pasillo chiles
• 1/2 cup dried cranberries
• 1 cup turkey or chicken stock
• 1/2 onion
• 1 tbsp tomato paste
• canola or olive oil
• salt

Stuffed Poblanos:
• 4 fresh poblano chiles, medium sized
• 2 cups cooked turkey, (preferably dark meat), finely chopped
• 2 slices bacon
• 4 cloves garlic
• 1/2 onion
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• 1 cup crumbled goat cheese or other shredded cheese
• canola or olive oil
• salt & pepper

• 1 cup corn cereal or crushed corn tortilla chips
• 1/2 cup almonds, chopped
• 2 tsp smoked paprika
• 1/2 tsp salt
• canola oil
• cilantro


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring the stock to a boil and pour over the dried poblanos and cranberries. Let steep for 15 minutes. Finely dice half an onion and sauté in a little oil until they just turn brown. When the chiles and cherries are soft, remove the chile stems and seeds. Add the chiles, cherries, stock, onion and tomato paste to a blender and blend until very smooth. Season to taste with salt. In a sauce pan, heat a tablespoon of oil till almost smoking, then add the mole sauce (careful, it sputters). Sauté briefly in the oil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Roast the fresh poblanos over a gas flame or under a broiler until the skin is charred all over. Place in a bowl and cover with a towel to steam. When cool enough to handle, remove the skin. Gently slit open one side of each chile and remove the seeds, being careful to keep the stem and chile intact for stuffing. Set aside.

3. Finely dice the bacon and onion. Mince the garlic. Sauté the bacon and onion until soft. Add the garlic, chopped turkey and cumin. Salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat. Reserve a 1/4 cup of cheese for the topping, then blend the remaining cheese into the turkey mixture until creamy. In a sauté pan, heat the canola oil until hot. Add the crushed cereal or tortilla chips and almonds and sauté until fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat and add the smoked paprika and salt, tossing quickly to combine. The paprika may smoke a bit. Empty the topping into a heat proof bowl.

4. To assemble the dish, pour the mole sauce into a casserole dish big enough to hold the four poblanos. Carefully stuff each poblano with 1/4 of the chicken filling, then lay them on top of the mole. Top each chile with the topping, then with a sprinkling of goat cheese. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees until the mole is bubbly and the goat cheese is light brown on top. To serve, lift out the stuffed pepper onto a plate, spoon mole around the pepper. Sprinkle with any extra cereal mix and a bit of cilantro.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.


A few years ago, while planning the Thanksgiving menu, I came up with this stuffing bread recipe. Like many of us, I had followed the family stuffing recipe most of my adult life. Stuffing that was almost a meal in itself with mashed potatoes and lots of toasted bread. Let’s just say it probably wasn’t on any Adkins diet plan. But I almost always purchased bags of ready-made toasted bread cubes instead of making them myself.

But then I decided to “shake up” my traditional Thanksgiving meal and chose to make a vegetarian stuffing, I wanted nothing but the best. So homemade bread it was. You don’t have to use this bread to make stuffing, it would also be good sliced with a hot bowl of soup. But it makes a great stuffing. I have included the stuffing recipe below – the combination of tangy sourdough, sweet apple, and fennel is a winner. And while this stuffing mix may please the vegetarians in the family, meat-eaters will find it tangy and delicious too.

Stuffing bread starts with a sourdough base. It really isn’t difficult to make your own sourdough starter. You can use the method I prefer, found on my website Make Your Own Sourdough Starter. Or follow the methods found in earlier Mother Earth News articles, including Creating Homemade Sourdough Bread From a Starter Mix, and a previous blog post, A Beginner’s Guide to Sourdough.

Sourdough Stuffing Bread Recipe


• 2 cups sourdough starter
• 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1-1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
• 1-1/2 tsp salt
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tsp sugar
• 1 tsp dried parsley
• 1/2 tsp each dried rosemary and sage
• 1/2 cup milk


1. In a large bowl or stand mixer bowl, combine the starter with all ingredients. Knead until the dough is smooth and shiny. Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl 3 to 4 hours. Shape into a round, cover and let rise on a parchment lined bakers peel for another 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

2. Preheat oven and baking stone to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Slash the top of the round and slide onto the hot stone. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the internal temperature is about 205 degrees.

3. Move bread to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Slice bread and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Lay the cubes out on a large baking sheet.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden. Yield about 12 cups of cubes.

Apple Sourdough Stuffing Recipe

• 12 cups sourdough bread cubes, toasted
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 large fennel bulb, chopped
• 3 stalks celery, chopped
• 3 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped
• 1 shallot, diced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage
• 1-1/4 cup vegetable broth
• 1/2 cup apple cider
• 2 eggs, lightly beaten

1. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add celery, shallot, and fennel and sauté until crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.

2. Add the garlic and the apple and continue cooking for 5 more minutes.

3. Add sage and cook for another minute. Add skillet mixture and parsley to the bread cubes. Toss to combine.

4. Combine the broth, cider and eggs. Add to bread mixture, stirring lightly to combine.

5. Spoon into a greased, 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until top is browned.

You can find additional photos of the bread and stuffing on the original post, Sourdough Stuffing Bread.

Note: This recipe is adapted from one found in the November, 2012 issue of Cooking Light.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page. 


Enchilada Sauce FixingsIt’s that time of the year – garden clean up time. For those of us who love to garden, it’s a sad time of year. I always wait until the last possible minute, hoping against hope that the plethora of green tomatoes will turn sweet and red, as if it was August. It’s not August. But I can’t just throw away buckets of green tomatoes either, can you? A few years ago I started chopping and freezing the tomatoes, hoping to come up with some creative recipes. This recipe for green enchilada sauce did the trick. It has consistently been one of the most popular posts on my Seed to Pantry blog.

Green Enchilada Sauce

Green enchilada sauce is most commonly made from green chillies or tomatillos, but green tomatoes can be turned into a killer sauce also. Since so many of these ingredients are to your particular taste, feel free to either increase or decrease to your liking. When you first start cooking, the sauce will be bright green and reminiscent of a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake! Don’t worry, once it simmers for a while it will become a more familiar olive-green color.

I use my trusty Vita-Mix for this recipe, but you could also add all ingredients to the saucepan, start cooking, and then combine with an immersion blender or use a food processor.

You will find that this sauce has much more flavor than the purchased kind, along with no fat and low sodium. It is the perfect combination of citrus, spicy hot, and herbs. Plus, the whole house smells great while the sauce simmers. Yield 9-12 cups of sauce.


• 1 gallon bag frozen, chopped green tomatoes (about 4 cups)
• 1 cup water
• 3 large jalapeno peppers, washed and seeded
• 1/4 cup lime juice
• 2 bunches fresh cilantro, washed
• 2 bunches fresh parsley, washed
• 2 cups white vinegar
• 1 clove garlic, peeled
• 1 large shallot, peeled
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1/2 tbsp salt
• 1/2 tsp ground cumin
• 1/2 tsp dried oregano


1. Thaw tomatoes.  Working in batches, add tomatoes, water, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, parsley, garlic and shallot to a blender and puree until liquid.

2. Pour into a large saucepan. Add lime juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, cumin, and oregano. Simmer for about 40 minutes or until sauce reaches desired consistency.

3. Sauce may be portioned into 3-to-4-cup containers and frozen for future use.

What To Do With Green Enchilada Sauce

Green enchilada sauce can be used to make enchilada casserole, your favorite enchiladas, spooned over grilled chicken, added to a green chili recipe, tucked into a Mexican-inspired lasagna, or served with scrambled eggs.

Preserving Enchilada Sauce For Future Use

You notice that the directions suggest freezing the leftover sauce. I get lots of requests for canning directions. My answer is always the same – there are no directions. Since this recipe includes lots of low-acid foods (cilantro, parsley, peppers, garlic, shallot), and allows you to tweak the amounts of those ingredients to fit your personal tastes, and since the recipe has not been tested by a lab, I am not comfortable saying it is safe to can. It might be, but it might not be also. I have had readers argue with me that it is perfectly safe because of the tomatoes and vinegar, but I don’t necessarily agree. I am a Master Food Preserver and a Home Economist with a background in Food Science and I am not comfortable canning the sauce. It goes into the freezer for me and my family.

But, who knows, if you all keep requesting the canning directions, I may just have the recipe tested for canning safety!

What do you do with your green tomatoes? Check out some other MOTHER EARTH NEWS green tomato recipes:

Green Tomato Tart
Green Tomato Cake with Apple Cider Glaze
Green Tomato Mincemeat

They all sound great. Soon we’ll be wishing for even more green tomatoes from the garden.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page. 


Making Cranberry Mustard Sauce

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Every year do a little something different with the cranberry sauce, adding fruit, nuts, spices and libations. With a big bag of jeweled Wisconsin cranberries in the fridge, I need to get moving. While I love cranberries, I want them to be more purposeful than just sauce. I want a little spice or zing or some flavor to put it beyond jam, so I can enjoy it beyond the holidays.

I made a rustic cranberry sauce with only half the sugar, wine, and mustard seeds soaked in wine vinegar. Instead of blending the mustard seeds I left them whole, which adds great texture and flavor, somewhere between a chutney and a mustard. This sauce pairs perfectly with tangy goat cheese on crackers, and makes an excellent turkey sandwich. Who wants leftovers?


• 1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds (or combination of brown, black and yellow for extra zing)
• 2/3 cup wine vinegar
• 1/2 cup red wine
• 2 c whole cranberries
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/4 tsp salt


1. In a glass jar, soak mustard seeds in vinegar overnight. They should swell to almost a full cup. Add more vinegar if they seem dry.

2. The next day bring the cranberries, sugar and wine to a simmer on the stove. When cranberries begin to pop, cook for another 5 minutes. Add the mustard seed mixture and a pinch of salt. Taste the mixture.

3. If it seems to sour or bitter, add a couple tablespoons of sugar. When the balance suites your taste, remove from heat and return the mixture to a glass jar. Store in the refrigerator, where the flavors will meld. And try not to spread it on everything in site.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.