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Anna N

What Are You Preserving, and How Are You Doing It? (2016–)

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I have done lots of dried tomatoes.  I usually slice my Early Girls and Cherokee Purples thickly after I have skinned them.  Works for me.  I dry them very well.  I often make tomato powder out of them.

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On 9/2/2018 at 9:10 AM, Auspicious said:

What do people use half-gallon jars for? When I see them I want to buy them for no  reason I can put my finger on other than being a boy. *sigh* What would I do with half a gallon of pasta sauce? What do y'all use them for? Big families?

 

I've been reading up on dehydrating, and apparently some folks store their dehydrated produce in mason jars.  I could see the half-gallons coming in handy for that, in addition to the aforementioned fermentation.  

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17 hours ago, SLB said:

 

I've been reading up on dehydrating, and apparently some folks store their dehydrated produce in mason jars.  I could see the half-gallons coming in handy for that, in addition to the aforementioned fermentation.  

Oh, hadn't thought of using mind to store dried tomatoes. Good idea! They're also good for preserving lemons, if you're using big grocery store lemons. I've fermented kimchee in mine; a half-gallon of kimchee lasts a LONG time.

 

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On 8/31/2018 at 11:40 AM, Toliver said:

You could always make Parmesan Tomato Chips (click) unless you really just don't like the taste of tomatoes, period. These chips sound like dehydrated tomatoes which shouldn't go bad on you.

 

I tried those chips yesterday. Meh.

 

The initial slicing, drizzling with olive oil and seasoning, then roasting, was very promising. The aroma of those roasting tomatoes drifted upstairs and down, and made the house smell gob-smackingly, drive-you-crazy-to-eat-RIGHT-NOW delicious. Perhaps I should have stopped there. I tried to get the dried crisp texture described in the original recipe, and decided to stop while most of the tomato slices still had some juice because others were getting too dry. Nonetheless the tomatoes looked and smelled delicious before I added the parmesan and put them under the broiler for a brief melt. After that, I had a dubious mix of tomato slices charred to a crisp and tomato slices that were juicy but too tart, as though their acids had been concentrated. I tried a few of both types and was unimpressed. It was especially disappointing because the original smells had been so promising.

 

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They didn't go to waste, however. I chopped the lot up with fresh basil, and at the last minute added it to a sheet pan dinner of sliced and roasted potatoes, cauliflower and Andouille sausage, tossed with yet more olive oil (and the pan scrapings) and roasted until browned.The crispy tomatoes gave a croutonesque crunch and the juicy tomatoes added a piquance that livened everything in the dinner. All I can show is a meager portion of leftovers. It looked better in the bowl last night, before the basil had lost its bright green color.

 

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So: this treatment of tomatoes wasn't a loss, but I won't do it again unless someone else posts a win on it. The simpler treatment of oven-roasting with olive oil, basil and salt per @ElainaA's recipe seems more foolproof. (And yes, her recipe uses cherry tomatoes but I've used the treatment to good effect with chunks of larger tomato also.)

 

 


Edited by Smithy Word change: "browned" for "brown" (log)
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1 hour ago, kayb said:

I've fermented kimchee in mine; a half-gallon of kimchee lasts a LONG time.

 I don’t think two weeks is a long time.😂  and I bet @HungryChris would agree. 

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2 hours ago, Anna N said:

 I don’t think two weeks is a long time.😂  and I bet @HungryChris would agree. 

And you would be correct, madam!

HC

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I daresay that kimchi aficionados can be roughly divided into two camps: Those who, given the chance, would balk at that prospect of buying a container of kimchi big enough to require a handle, and those who would not. I crossed into the kimchi promised land of 'handle people' some years ago.

HC

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30 minutes ago, HungryChris said:

 I crossed into the kimchi promised land of 'handle people' some years ago.

Yup. I’m a “handle person”. 

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Maybe I'm an aspirational handle person. I do have to admit my Brussels sprout kimchee is pretty awesome.

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2 hours ago, kayb said:

Maybe I'm an aspirational handle person. I do have to admit my Brussels sprout kimchee is pretty awesome.

 

 And you really haven’t lived until you’ve tried this.

 

 

Edited to add:

Damn. When I made the link it was accessible!  It is a kimchi potato salad recipe from the New York Times. Perhaps you can find it elsewhere on the World Wide Web


Edited by Anna N (log)
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@Auspicious...The half gallon jars are good for canning juices, or dry canning.  My Mom used to do three juices: grape, apple and tomato.  

For my half gallon jars, I went the dry canning route with oats, rice, pasta, dry beans, lentils, peas, and flour. A 50 lb bag of rice or oats can get infested pretty quickly with critters. The dry canning method preserves all those goods beautifully and for a long time. 

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I've posted about this on the zucchini thread, but I'll throw it here this year.  As soon as I have a glut of squash I thaw out about 5 lbs of venison burger and make meatballs to freeze.  Takes a little while to do--especially since I bake them in the CSO (but I like to do them in there).  It's worth it when you need something quick to pull out of the freezer for dinner.

 

I mix the venison with grated squash, about 4 eggs, torn up bread and/or crushed saltine crackers, black pepper, Lawry's salt, garlic and a bit of worcestershire sauce.

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All bagged up and ready for the freezer (I got to use my Vacmaster...always a good thing :) )

 

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Also been drying a lot of jalapeños in the dehydrator.  Don't know if I'm going to give them a spin in the food processor and make a salt/seasoning or what yet.

 

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@Shelby

 

do you freeze ( on a sheet pan ) the MB's before you vac-bag them ?

 

to keep their shape ?

 

Im not that sure about the zoo's , but have you considered making some venison ' ragu ' ?

 

I use the iPot and ground turkey ,but the idea is the same :

 

make it in the iPot after a little ' greying ' in a skillet , then use a jar / lbs of meat in the

 

iPot.   it easily holds 2 lbs of meat + two jars of sauce + some bentons bacon

 

then I freeze into ' bricks ' 

 

the vac the frozen bricks right out of the mold , a semi-disposable rectangular food container

 

which of course I never through out

 

the Fz bricks hold their shape and are easy to ' brick up ' in the freezer


Edited by rotuts (log)
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1 minute ago, rotuts said:

@Shelby

 

do you freeze ( on a sheet pan ) the MB's before you vac-bag them ?

 

to keep their shape ?

Yes--I put parchment paper down on a cookie sheet and after the MB's are baked, I pop them in the freezer over night.


Edited by Shelby (log)
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Bear with me. Long post coming up.

 

I'm getting ready to sell my parents' "home place" up in West Tennessee, if I can bear to do so. So I gathered up my brood of children and grandchildren to go up there, spend a night, and make up our minds what we wanted out of the place. 

 

One thing I knew I wanted was pears. There's a wonderful old pear tree, probably 50+ years old, down by what was once the garden. It's a pineapple pear, and the hard, dry fruit makes the best pear preserves known to modern man. My father ate them with his scrambled eggs for breakfast every day of his life except Sunday, when breakfast was cereal. And pear preserves with scrambled eggs, bacon and a biscuit is a breakfast I'll still choose above all others.

 

So I dispatched the Thundering Herd out to pick pears.

 

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The old tree only bears about once every three years now. This year, it was loaded. I brought home about 30 pounds of pears.

 

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This is about half of them. Lucy was unimpressed.

 

Peeled, sliced and sugared a Dutch oven and a stock pot full and set them to simmering. A cup of sugar to a pound of pear slices. A quarter-cup of water per pot. That's it.

 

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After about three hours at a low simmer, they're a beautiful reddish brown, and ready to can. I canned eight pints. Still got a bucket of pears to go. Will be back up there in two weeks, and will get more pears then.

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They taste like home. And I plan on making enough to last me for a long, long time.

 

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A simple "like" or "delicious" or "thank you" isn't enough for that tale, @kayb. I know well the pang of letting go the old family place, even when it's the right thing to do, and how difficult it can be to arrive at that decision. I thought perhaps you were going to get a cutting or three from that pear tree to start a new one by grafting it at your current abode. Have you thought of that? 

 

At any rate the outing, the harvest and the preserves have the makings of wonderful memories. Thank you for the post, and for sharing your pear preserve recipe.

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It IS tough to let it go, @Smithy, but I won't ever move back up there, and I don't want to see the house set empty or fool with leasing it and the attendant headaches that brings. Selling it is the smart thing to do, but I will admit to being sentimental about my home for the first 18 years of my life. But it'll make a good home for someone who wants a little land outside of town, and I actually have a cousin who's interested in it, which would be nice because it would still be in the family.

 

Be assured when I light somewhere -- to avoid the tax hit, I plan to take what I get out of that place and put it into a new home here in Jonesboro -- one of the first things I plan to do is plant some fruit trees. One will be a pineapple pear. I tried preserves last year with Bartletts from the market, and they're but a pale imitation of the real thing.

 

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My mom's going to connect me with the young gent who bought their place in the country after my father died. The one thing I wanted to carry on was my great-grandfather's rosebush, which is growing in a corner of the property near the house. I took a few cuttings before the house sold, but none of them made it.

 

It's just a scraggly old thing of no particular distinction, but it was my great-grandfather's rosebush, right? They'd trained it up an arbor at their old house in Halifax, and I have photos of my grandmother as an infant standing underneath it. The picture of my great-grandfather in uniform, the day he headed off to the Great War, is taken in front of that arbor. So is the photo from when he returned home, six months after the terrible Halifax Explosion, to find the arbor intact but the house somewhat damaged and patched. Communications left a lot to be desired in those days, especially in Halifax after the explosion, so for that entire half-year - despite his best efforts - he'd been unable to learn whether his wife and children were among the casualties.

 

So yeah, I'd like to keep it going.

 

 

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