Gifts to make during summer
POTPOURRI. Create a potpourri mix with dried flowers, petals, herbs and fruits from your garden. Add essential oil to intensify the fragrance. Package the mix in glassine bags or jars. Embellish with a pretty ribbon.
FREEZER JAM. Mix 2 cups smashed, fresh strawberries with 4 cups sugar and let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir one package dry pectin into 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 1 minute. Stir the boiling water into the strawberries. Let the mixture stand for 3 minutes before pouring into jars or other storage containers. Seal the containers and leave them for 24 hours before putting them in the freezer. Store frozen until gift-giving time. Makes 5 pints.
FREEZER SALSA. Finely chop 20 pounds tomatoes, 2 cups fresh cilantro, 2 large onions, 10 cloves garlic, 10 seeded jalapeños, 6 habanero peppers and 2 green peppers. Place all chopped vegetables in a large pot. Add 2 tablespoons cumin, 1/4 cup salt, 1/4 cup white vinegar and the juice of 6 limes. Bring to a boil, lower temperature and simmer for 2 to 3 hours. Drain excess liquid. Fill 3-cup plastic containers with salsa, leaving 1/2 inch of head space. Let the salsa cool. Seal the containers and keep them in the freezer for up to one year. Makes 18 cups of salsa.
ZUCCHINI PICKLES. Place 2 pounds sliced zucchini and 2 sliced medium onions into a large, nonreactive pot. Add 1/4 cup salt and enough water to cover the vegetables. Let stand for 2 hours, then drain well. In a 2-quart saucepan, bring 2 cups white vinegar, 2 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon each celery seed and turmeric, and 2 teaspoons mustard seed to a boil. Pour over the squash and onions. Let stand for 2 hours. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Pack pickles in hot, sterilized jars and seal . Makes about 3 pints.