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DIY Liqueurs for Holiday Gifting

Many people enjoy receiving a bottle of a nice liqueur as  a holiday gift. When it's handmade, it makes it both delicious and personal. Here's a bunch of our favorite DIY liqueurs perfect for gifting. 

Citric Liqueurs:

Limoncello, found on
The classic lemon liqueur of southern Italy is a ray of sunshine during the dark winter months. It's easy to make, too.
Crema di Limoncello, found on
Crema di Limoncello 
Or try this twist on the classic Italian lemon liqueur, with cream and vanilla. The cream mellows the sweetness and gives it a richer mouthfeel.
Arancello, found on
Citrus liqueurs are not limited to lemon. Try it with oranges, be they standard navels or sanguine blood oranges.
Orange Liqueur, found on
Orange Liqueur 
Triple sec, Gran Marnier, Cointreau ... try your hand at making orange liqueur at home, and give your margaritas a DIY zing.
Vin d'Orange, found on
Vin d'Orange 
Vin d'Orange, a bitter liquor made with Seville oranges, is easy to prepare, requiring the mixing of a few ingredients and allowing it to sit for two weeks to allow the spices and orange zest to infuse the wine and vodka.
Whatevercello, found on
Think outside the lemon box and make liqueurs from whatever citrus you like -- bergamots, grapefruits, pomelos, and kumquats all work great.
Grapefruit Bitters, found on
Grapefruit Bitters 
Mix the natural bitterness of grapefruit with spices like pink peppercorn, cardamom or juniper to make an intriguing bitters that enhances many cocktails.

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Plenty of Ways to Put Up Pumpkins

Are you pumped for pumpkin season? Think beyond the Jack-o-Lantern and put up pumpkins and winter squash. You'll be living the gourd life.

Pumpkin Butter, found on
Pumpkin Butter
Smooth, creamy and seasoned with warming spices, pumpkin butter is a delicious autumnal condiment. You can't can it, but you'll go through it so quickly, it won't matter. (Image via Dash of East)
Why Can't I Can Pumpkin Butter, found on
Why Can't I Can Pumpkin Butter?
So how come you see pumpkin butter in mason jars from local farms and preserves makers, but you're not supposed to can it at home? We did a little digging.

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Keen on Peaches

Peaches -- can there be a more perfect fruit? When these fuzzy friends are in season, you gotta get all over them. How many ways will you put up peaches this year?

Canned Peaches
Canned Peaches
Can up those fruits in syrup and be ready to make a pie that tastes like a summer's day in the dead of winter. Better yet -- make them brandied (oh, yes!) (Image via Little Miss Cruciferous)
Peach Jam
Peach Jam
The sweetness of peaches shines in a sunny orange jam. (Image via Turntable Kitchen)
Peach Preserves
Peach Preserves
Left chunkier, preserves can be used like a jam on morning toast, or becomes a dessert with the simple addition of ice cream. (Image via My Man's Belly)
Peach Jelly
Peach Jelly
Extract the essence of peachness and set it in a jewel-like jelly. (Image via A Box of Stolen Socks)

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Give up the funk at these fermentation festivals

Fermentation Festivals

Photo: Boston Fermentation Festival, by Mary BrackettRead More >

Cherries Are the Bomb

Cherries! Early summer's best drupe is finally in season, and there are just oh so many things to do with them. Grab a bushel or 10 while they're abundant, and tuck into these DIY projects, from jam to sauces to drinks and more.

Cherry Pitters: The Right Tool for the Job
Cherry Pitters: The Right Tool for the Job
First things first: There's a wide variety of tools to pit cherries, from the Cadillac model to the humblest DIY tricks. Here's a few options.
Cherry Jam
Cherry Jam
Jam up those cherries for a sweet spread that tastes of summer all year long. (Image via Shockingly Delicious)
Cherry Preserves
Cherry Preserves
Preserve whole or chunked fruit for more texture, perfect for desserts. (Image via Kitchen Apparel)
Cherry Pie Filling
Cherry Pie Filling
Can your own sweet cherries for those holiday pies and treats. (Image via Delectable Musings)

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Cherry Pitters: The Right Tool for the Job



Ah, the cherry pitter. That oft-neglected kitchen gadget that takes up room in your already full kitchen drawer. But if you are a canner and faced with 20 pounds of cherries that need to be pitted in a hurry, this little gadget can be your best friend.

Like most kitchen gadgets, there are plenty of styles across a broad price range. Which one is right for you is really a matter of personal preference, but here are a few choices to get you pointed in the right direction if you are considering a purchase.

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What Are You Smoking?

Fire up the grill and bust out the wood chips. Summer is smokin' hot, and we've got a variety of hot smoking projects for your Smokey Joe. What are you smoking?

DIY Hot Smoker, found on
DIY Hot Smoker
You can turn that charcoal grill you probably already have into an effective hot smoker. Here's a few tips. (Image via Well Hung Food)
Bacon, found on
Everything is better with bacon, and making your own is surprisingly easy. Go with the traditional, or branch out with variations like French ventreche, Sichuan spiced, or made with wild boar or lamb belly. (Image via Eat Live Travel Write)
Smoked Ham, found on
Smoked Ham
Brine up a leg and then smoke it low and slow for a tender, flavorful ham. (Image via And Here We Are...)
Canadian Bacon, found on
Canadian Bacon
Or go for the loin to make the classic Canadian bacon, more like ham than its American counterpart.  (Image via Smoke Cure Pickle Brew)

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16 Ways to Put Up Strawberries

Strawberries! Everybody's favorite bright red berry is finally in season, and there are just oh so many things to do with them. Grab a flat or 10 while they're abundant, and tuck into these DIY projects, from jam to sauces to drinks and more.

Strawberry Jam
Strawberry Jam
Kick up the jam with fresh, ripe strawberries, straight up or paired with vanilla, herbs or its best friend, rhubarb. (Image: Sean Timberlake via Cooking Channel)
Strawberry Freezer Jam
Strawberry Freezer Jam
Making freezer jam never cooks the strawberries so you get the most fresh tasting strawberry jam ever. And it's easy, to boot. (Image via Tikkido)

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Eggs Come First

The ultimate symbol of spring, eggs are the harbinger of spring and renewed life. Think beyond the breakfast plate, and use eggs in these interesting and creative DIY ways.

Mayonnaise, found on
Backyard Chickens
For the best eggs, nothing beats freshly laid. You don't need a farm; chickens can be kept in urban and suburban homes.
Mayonnaise, found on
The creamy white stuff in the jar is a pale imitation to the real mayonnaise, an emulsion of eggs, oil, and vinegar. Simple yet elegant, it dresses up everything from fries to spring vegetables.
Curd, found on
Curd is the word! Eggs, butter, and acidic fruit come together in a magically indulgent spread.
Pickled Eggs, found on
Pickled Eggs
Hard-boiled eggs take on flavor and color when immersed in brine. Try it in beet brine for brilliant pink eggs.

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We Heart Beets

Jewels from the ground, beets delight with their earthy sweetness. Whether you like ruby red, golden, or candy-stripe Chioggia, here's a bunch of ways to put up these gemlike roots.

Pickled Beets, found on
Pickled Beets
Sliced or chunked beets pickled in a sweet brine enhances their natural flavor. Delicious as part of a cheese plate, or with salads. (Image via San Diego Foodstuff)
Beet Pickled Eggs, found on
Beet Pickled Eggs
Don't chuck that brine! Use it to pickle hard-boiled eggs for a colorful, and very delicious, treat. (Image via This American Bite)
Kabees el-Lift, found on
Kabees el-Lift
When fermented with turnip, they become a mustardy, pink pickle known as kabees el-lift, the classic condiment for shawerma. (Image via The Domestic Man)

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Recipes - Techniques - Tools