Homespun Seasonings

Here at Canarella we do everything we can to locally if not West Coast source our Fruit and Berries. The seasoning we get comes to us in its natural form or as close as possible. I do admit I love spending time at Oaktown Spice in Oakland the variety plus the customer service is superb.   We love to grind our own spices the time it takes is worth it when you are able to smell the quality of the spices in their true form.

Grinding them is truly half the work.  So many of our jams are laced with some pretty special spices.

Keep in mind that is not because they are different or exotic it is as simple as pure cinnamon ground fresh and added to our jam makes it the taste of the spice something you just savory on your palate.

Today we are getting ready to prepare some Apple Pear Butter with the help pf some freshly ground Allspice.

Here is a quick and simple lesson on grinding your own spices. We will add to the list as we grind in the future.

My Mortar and Pestle
You need a few tools. A mortar and pestle is a great tool to have in your kitchen even for other uses.

This is my most valued tool for spices. Yes, you use so many other tools let us name a few so we can get over that issue right away. A coffee grinder (to be used only with spices unless you like spice infused coffee)

For Allspice the easiest way is to use a coffee grinder. I do start them off in my mortar and pestle. Then to the grinder to fine tune the spice. I have included pictures to help you get a sense of how to do this. You will learn as you go with regards to spices.

Next I have to sift the ground spice. I do this with my old sifter from my grama. It is so wonderful to use tools from family members especially the ones from days gone bye-bye

As you grind the aroma of the fresh spices are heavenly.

I will then funnel the ground spice into a small jar. I save all the glass jars I get from sauces to spices. I always seem to find a way to re-use them all.

Please take the time to try a little grind ! The taste and smell of freshly ground spice is amazing.

To order any of our Gourmet Jams just visit us at our on-line store at Canarella Jams.


Orange Marmalade Glazed Chicken Thighs

Canarella has been very busy and with the Kitchen being revamped we found a little break to try out some new Recipes for this Website. This recipes uses our Blood Orange Marmalade to take your regular chicken thighs up a notch. Simple and Delicious.


  • 4 skin on or off chicken thighs
  • One 8 ounce jar of Blood Orange Marmalade
  • Seasoning of your choice

* we use hand selected spices from Oaktown Spices

Use a oven safe baking dish. 
Place the thighs into the baking dish
Season the thighs

Now it becomes so simple. Make sure your oven is set at 350 degrees. Cover your thighs with Canarella Orange Marmalade. You can put a light coat of the jam below the thighs prior to putting the into the baking dish. They will not need to be turned over when baking. And you do not need to coat your baking dish with any sprays or oils. Let the thighs do their magic!

This recipe is so simple. You probably can't believe it But yes you can prepare, cook and just leave this leave it to develop a great meal for your family.

Bake the chicken for approximately 45 minutes to one hour at 350 degrees uncovered. Depending on your oven give or take.

Set your timer so you do not forget your thighs.

Once they are cooked bring them out of the oven. You can set them directly o the kitchen table for dinner or cover and let them sit. Hot, warm or cool they are heavenly. this is a great dish you ca also do the same thing on a BBQ but that is another recipe.

Thank you for joining us in Canarella's Kitchen and thank you for your continued support for Small Local Business.


Bring on Spring 2019 with New Flavors

May what a nice time of year. Spring is still here and the bountiful fruit is beginning to pop up all over Ventura County. Do take the time to come visit us at the Simi Valley Farmers' Market every Friday from 11 am until 3:30 pm. We have some wonderful new flavors to share with you .

We are always looking for a good combination of flavors. Canarella never wants to bring more to the jar then needed. With that said two flavors is enough for the palate to discover one bite at a time. So many jam's today are filled with so many ingredients you get lost and do not get the true meaning of a great jam. Here at the Canarella Kitchen we want you to savor the flavor you are searching for. Be it memories of a once shared flavor with a loved one or simply that flavor you can not get enough of. Our job is to give that to you in the simplest form possible. With that said .......

We are proud to present to you our newest additions 
to the 
Canarella Family of Gourmet Jams!  
  (it is very exciting to us!)

Blackberry met Nectarine and it was flavor at first bite!

The tang of blackberry and the sweet of nectarine is such a great combination for our low sugar concoctions. This is surely going to be one of your go to flavors for more than just plain ole' toast!

Next we gave a lot of thought to the next jam.Yes yes yes we do agree that Cranberries are so Winter but those little berries can go with you year around. For our tangy jam lovers we have brought
together a wonderful  .....

Cranberry Jam this jam is beyond wonderful. We have taken half of the batch and made it into a creamy butter added a touch of apple cider, beautiful dark brown sugar and a snip of organic cinnamon. This was then combined with whole cranberries and within our copper kettles they danced the night away until their little cranberry hearts we happy. This Cranberry Jam out did itself.

And as if we could do any better then those two we still did a little experimenting with Southern California's  Star fruit The Strawberry we are blessed to have an abundant amount of strawberries all year around although the summer gives us the juiciest ones the rest of the year they do not let us down.

We have taken two of our favorite flavors and made two new Strawberry starz.

Welcome to our family

Strawberry Raspberry
  Strawberry Peach 

I know this is a lot to take in but just wait next week I am going to start giving you more recipes. Did someone say Blueberry Bread Pudding ????

Remember you can find out where we are every week by following us on 

FB @ Canarella
Instagram @ CanarellaJams

Oh Heck we have a Store www.canarella.com


The Season is Upon Us

With Spring right around the corner and all that wonderful rain we were blessed with this Winter we are just imagining all the wonderful, delicious fresh local fruit we will be blessed with right here in Ventura County.  As start to warm up and get ready for the sunshine our pots are simmering with all the wonderful flavors you have come to enjoy. At Canarella we adore the little break in the ripe season to embrace our friends, family and community.

Each year we are so honored to be a part of the Forever Found Family of Simi Valley. We partner with them to help local children that have been involved in human trafficking. Please support us while supporting a local Not for Profit Company helping keep our children off the streets while helping those that were involved have a safe way out and a peaceful way to re adjust in our community.

Spring Boutiques are a great way to get some gift giving done while stocking up on some of our delicious jams for your kitchen shelves.

We have a new item for you to enjoy our cute little gift
boxes. You choose 2 of your favor gourmet jams and we will gift it up for you. You can buy at our Local Boutiques , Farmers Market or order on line at our store.


Rounding Out 2018 and Hello 2019

Well goodbye 2018 and Hello New Year 2019. Staring a new business is not an easy task yet it does give you so many way to discover what you want and what others expect.

We here at Canarella have put our Copper Kettles aside these last few weeks and taken a well deserved break. Hanukkah and Christmas were quite a wonderful time in our home as well as our neighborhood.

The end of the season brings so many Boutiques our way and we are so very grateful that we have this wonderful County. Thank you everyone for all your support this last year as we took this little business to the next level. Meeting you all is a wonderful blessing.

All our Events are posted on our Facebook Page at Canarella.

The New Year of 2019 bring our newest addition some pretty cute little gift boxes. We offer two of our seasonal jams wrapped up in a recycled box ready for any occasion in 2019.
We here at Canarella know the little box is not a fancy box but we do everything on our power to stay as close to nature as possible thus the recycled boxes with recycled craft paper works for us and it keep the cost down for you!

We are hard at work to get the latest product on the shelf for you in Spring of 2019. Did someone say Mustard?

Bless you all and Happy New Year !


Fall is coming .. Did someone say Soup?

With Fall just around the corner. September 22nd is the big day this year. The days get shorter we think of the warmth of hot cocoa and that good ole' comfort food. On this site we like to give you more than just talk of our delicious Jams. We like to guide you though the season's with other things to learn. Cooking soup is one of them. Each year we look forward to the bounty of soups we have cooked and the new recipes we have come up with. Here is one of our all time favorites. Nanny Rosie gave us the inspiration and knowledge to create this wonderful Cabbage Soup.


Soup is a number one target this time of the year and it warms the kids and family after a long day. Here in Southern California our cold day's have become farther and fewer as the year go by but that does not make a need for all those wonderful Fall items to falter.

Cabbage Soup 

*You make the stock first, Note this may seem like a lot of stock but beef stock is used in so may soups and recipes you will find that you can freeze or pressure can any you wish to use at a later date. 


For the stock:

4 pounds bone-in beef shank
12 cups water
2 onions, peeled chopped or whole
4 stalks celery with leaves
1 bay leaf
16 peppercorns

Combine the beef shanks and water in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a very low simmer. Cook on low for at least 4 hours we want the meat soft and to peel right off the bones. Use a strainer to skim off any foam on the surface of your pot. 

Add the whole/chopped onions, celery stalks, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Skim the surface occasionally. Use a strainer to skim off any foam on the surface. 

Now you need to separate the beef from the stock. Strain the stock. Discard the vegetables but reserve the meat and the stock. Allow the stock to cool to room temperature, then transfer to a covered container and refrigerate. When the beef shanks are cool, remove the meat from the bones. Discard bones and gristle. Dice the meat and place in the bowl holding the stock.

I do realize this is a bit of work but the stock is so important to the taste of the soup. The beef is so tender and delicious it melts in your mouth.  Now let us move on to the ingredients to get the soup made. Get your stock going the day ahead it will cook all day and then the next day the soup ingredients can be added and it will simmer for the flavor you want.

For the soup:

1 onion peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon Sweet Paprika
1 head savoy green cabbage coarsely chopped
2 large fresh diced tomatoes with juice
1 lemon juiced you should have a least 1/4 cup more or less depending on your taste
1/4 cup brown sugar – original recipe call’s out for white I like the rich taste of the brown
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Now you need to take your stock pot and add all the remaining ingredients.  Cook the soup until the cabbage is soft and the flavor is just what you want. This soup brings back so many fond memories that it has become a Winter must on our table.

I pressure can this soup to have it ready and on hand all Winter long. Not a hard thing to do I have instructions on pressure canning on my Canarella Recipe Blog. Here go check it out


Homemade Red Wine Vinegar

At least once a month I like to give you a DIY recipe to make and create your own foods. This is one of the easy let it sit because it really makes itself. I am going to post two recipes for you to make your own vinegar. The essential of any vinegar is the Mother of Vinegar.

"Mother of vinegar is a slime composed of yeast and acetic acid bacteria that develops on fermenting alcoholic liquids, which turns alcohol into acetic acid with the help of oxygen from the air."

You can buy Mother of Vinegar at any Preserving Supply Store. I have my favorite which up in Oaktown.  I am up there once a month to play Yaya with my little Bean.

You can also go to the store and buy Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar it says on the label With the Mother. It is the slim on the bottom.

Let us get started. Grab your stuff which is not much here is the list of stuff.


Small Crock
Rubber Bands
Mother of Vinegar
Liqud Ethanol (Alcohol - Merlot makes great Balsamic) 

The ratio for vinegar is simple it is a 1 to 3. One part Mother and Three parts Alcohol.

So proportionally most vinegar's use identical portion's from one to another. So once you get started and get the results you want you can just copy your recipe with the appropriate Vinegar Mother and Alcohol (Ethanol).  I use a dark Merlot 2 Buck Chuck from Trader Joe's to be exact. I also picked up a small but mighty book that has several recipes I adore. 


Let us get started I took  an 8 oz jar of Red Wine Vinegar Mother. I put this into my vessel
and added one bottle of Merlot wine. This filled up my little crock just fine. I gave it a little stir. I then cover it with a double layer of cheese cloth then secured it with a rubber band. 

Make sure you keep your vessel in a cool dark place.

A few tips here.

  • A dark area is because to much light can slow and even stop the process.
  • The cheese cloth keep the air flow and keep out any fruit flies that may want to find a home.
  • I keep most all of my homemade recipes as simple as possible I find to many tools just get in the way.     

Alright-y you will let this sit for three weeks. Then bring it out and check if it is what you want. Take a small piece of white bread and put a few small drop on the bread and taste. The bread takes the harsh taste away letting you taste the flavor and avoid the acid or throat burn. It can happen if the acid is to high.

If it taste good then it is time to strain it. If you want a more pungent vinegar just put the cheese cloth back on and let it sit longer. Test it each week.

Once you have the taste you like it is time to strain. You can strain it using something as simple as a coffee filter, cheese cloth or paper towel. I have a strainer I use for my Pomegranate Jam. I left my vinegar to drain for a few hours in a strainer it is a longer process. I do not mind this because of the purity of the strain no cloudy stuff. And just a note do not smooch it. If you smooch it you will ruin your original mother and get cloudy. Nothing wrong with that but the mother is good forever when it comes to making more vinegar.

Once your vinegar has strained take the cheese cloth from the original jug and rubber band it back on the crock. Dump the mother and liquid onto that cheese cloth and then return it to the original jar with added liquid for your next vinegar.  You do not want to squeeze the mother.

I know looks disgusting but it is the mother and we must respect our mother's. I put my mother back into the original jar using a funnel add enough liquid from the batch I made to keep it happy. It is like a sourdough starter it is going to make you endless vinegar.

There you have it a beautiful Balsamic (red wine) Vinegar. I found that the Merlot makes the tastiest Balsamic Vinegar and it really brought my Strawberry Balsamic Jam up a notch.

I sure hope this help if you have any questions just leave a comment or email me at canarella@sbcglobal.net

I just ordered two new Vinegar Mother's to experiment with. I ordered a Cider Mother, Plain Vinegar Mother. I will be making the Champagne Vinegar and an Apple Cider Vinegar with those. I hope this has inspired you to take on another simple DIY project. Nice thing is this one you can make leave and go on with your business for a few weeks. Love that!

Homespun Seasonings