The September 2010 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by John of Eat4Fun. John chose to challenge The Daring Cooks to learn about food preservation, mainly in the form of canning and freezing. He challenged everyone to make a recipe and preserve it. John’s source for food preservation information was from The National Center for Home Food Preservation.
I started this month thinking that I'd make the recipe John gave us for Oven Roasted Tomatoes. Just halved or thirded tomatoes, sprinkled with salt, olive oil, minced garlic and basil (which I skipped because I was out of it). Slowly roasted at a low temp. They were fabulous, and although I had intended on preserving them, in the spirit of the challenge (freezing), they were so good, I ate a third of them before they'd finished cooling, and then used the rest in a pasta sauce for dinner that night.
While that would have fulfilled the challenge technically, I decided I could do a bit better.
I was looking at the recipe given for Apple Butter, thinking it would be great in the slow cooker, when I came home with a discounted 1kg tub of strawberries. Bingo. This was the easiest thing in the world to make. I halved or quartered what was left of the strawberries, after the kids had some for afternoon tea, and in their lunchboxes - it came to 5 cups of pieces.
Then I put them in the crockpot and cooked them on slow for 19 hours, mashing after 3 hours, and stirring occasionally.
It could have definitely done with a shorter cooking time, as parts of it did scorch a little, and made the overall product a little bitter, but it wasn't yet done when I went to bed after 11 hours cooking, so I had to make do. Quite possibly I'd have had better results if I'd pureed the strawberries first. Ah well, live and learn. May be I should try with apples....