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


Anna N
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The HC pickle factory opened it's door briefly yesterday for a modest production run consisting of pickled zucchini ribbons, marinated zucchini ribbons, pickled onions and pickled cukes. These are all refrigerator pickles for what I refer to as the four S's, sandwiches, salads, sides and snacks.

HC

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On 7/27/2017 at 11:57 AM, Shelby said:

Thank you!  Yes, these are ours from our garden. :) 

 

@Shelby  since you have given me a glimpse of your tomatoes, I thought I would show you mine.  Now don't laugh at what appears to be three tomatoes - there is a fourth lurking in there somewhere!

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10 hours ago, ElsieD said:

 

@Shelby  since you have given me a glimpse of your tomatoes, I thought I would show you mine.  Now don't laugh at what appears to be three tomatoes - there is a fourth lurking in there somewhere!

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I see great potential there :) 

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11 hours ago, ElsieD said:

 

@Shelby  since you have given me a glimpse of your tomatoes, I thought I would show you mine.  Now don't laugh at what appears to be three tomatoes - there is a fourth lurking in there somewhere!

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It's further ahead than mine, if that's any consolation. 

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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2 hours ago, chromedome said:

It's further ahead than mine, if that's any consolation. 

 

Somehow, that doesn't make me feel any better.  When I bought it it had the same 4 little tomatoes on it.  The tomatoes grew a little but but the plant part hardly at all.  But, we are getting three whole days in a row of "summer" so maybe that will spurt some growth.  Hope springs eternal and all that.......

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Yeah, much the same boat here. We had an overnight low of 7 the other night, but are (allegedly) in for several days in a row of actual summer-like conditions. 

 

I may just give up and get a near-mature patio tomato plant or two from the local garden centre.

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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My tomatoes are similarly puny. I haven't checked our farmer's markets yet, but the neighbors' plants seem behind schedule as well. Am I simply impatient this year, or is our summer weather really later than usual? The latter, I think. 

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I tasted my commercial onion powder after reading about using it more often to enhance flavours.  It tasted vaguely of onion. >:(  So I decided to dry some onions sliced to 1/4 inch for about 4 to 5 hours at 155F.  They were then processed to a powder in my spice grinder.  Unbelievable taste.  The jar is right next to my salt. :D

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8 hours ago, ninagluck said:

I did trahana or tarhana

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Please tell us more about what this is, and how it's to be used.  My (admittedly cursory) Google search came up with rock groups and a Wheel of Time O.o reference.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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As noted in the Gardening thread, mine isn't doing well, so my preserving has tailed off. I've found a new source of figs, closer to home, and will work on replacing the lost ones for fig jam next week. I've also found a produce market with "canning tomatoes" (overripes, bad spots, split skins) for 10 bucks for a half-bushel box, so will be canning tomatoes next week after I get back from my upcoming road trip. Have put up plenty of corn, and a good many purple hulled peas; need to do more peas as the summer continues, and am on the annual search for Kentucky Wonder pole beans (had seed, never got those planted). Will be driving across the northern, very rural, part of the state tomorrow, and will keep a sharp eye out for produce markets to scope out and stop on the way back through on Friday.

 

Latest road trip was a family-centric one, visiting kids in Nashville and other family/friends in West TN en route home. On that trip, I scored both a free pressure canner that had been my Mama's (stepmother no longer uses it), and the recipe for my "other mother's" fried peach pies. Now I am in the market for dried peaches....

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Canned some of the zucchini filling from Deep Run Roots.  The recipe uses 6 cups of zucchini so I did about 1 1/2 times that and used 16 cups (I had two HUGE ones that must have matched @HungryChris 's rafts).  This filled up a huge pot and I figured I had at least 4 quarts to can.  But, by the time it cooked down, I only had enough for 2 quarts, with a smidge left over that I used to make a couple of crisps.

 

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The garden is pretty slow to produce this year, as the temps have been below normal, and we've only had about 1/2 the sunny days we need. However, I did snatch some decent sized potatoes out a couple days ago, and cooked through 6 pretty meaty soup bones from our last butchered cow.  Then, added in carrots, onion, barley and seasoning, pressure canned, and ended up with: Beef Barley Soup

 

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-Andrea

 

A 'balanced diet' means chocolate in BOTH hands. :biggrin:

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I am here to retract my above statement regarding canning tomatoes in the pressure canner.  

 

I wish this wasn't the case....it's so much cooler in the kitchen using this method, but my failure rate has skyrocketed.  I've done several different batches and I've had a jar not seal each time.  Yesterday I did 6 quarts and 2 did not seal.  Using the water bath method I rarely ever had a fail--like years without a fail.  The pressure canner forces the tomatoes under the seal...I'm not talking just a seed, I'm talking a wad of tomatoes.  I'm following the instructions to a "T"...leaving the correct amount of head space etc.  My green beans did perfect in the pressure c....I guess tomatoes, for me, do not.  

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Timely to read this. Having given up hope on my tomatoes, and having happened across two boxes of "canning tomatoes" at a produce market today, I bought them. So tomorrow I can a bushel of tomatoes and tomato juice, along with some roasted cherry tomato-garlic sauce from the gallon or so of cherry tomatoes I bought at the farmers' market on Friday. Then Wednesday I should have figs, so it'll be fig jam time.

 

Am still on the hunt for Kentucky Wonder green beans. Have a line on some, actually IN Kentucky. As I will be "up home," which is just 40 miles south of the Kentucky line, in 10 days, I may be making a pilgrimage. Called one market and two farms up that way today, and wound up talking to one nice old gentleman for 20 minutes about who "my people" were. He decided he knew my great-uncle. Gotta love the rural South.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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It's much the same in Atlantic Canada. I've met distant relatives many times in random circumstances, and it always starts with the stranger triangulating on the last name and point of origin. 

 

In Cape Breton, the heavily Scots-inflected region at the upper (Eastern) end of Nova Scotia, there's a specific formula still used in some places: you'll be introduced (or referred to) as "John Angus' Robbie's Malcolm," neatly providing both your name and two generations of your line in one succinct mouthful. 

 

"Your people" is a phrase that's used up here as well, but the same thought is also expressed as "Who are your relations?"

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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 Pickled red onion. 

 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I am canning tomatoes. I have been canning tomatoes for approximately eight hours. I expect to be canning tomatoes for the next two to three hours.

 

Oh, and I'm drinking more wine-from-the-box. These may be some interesting tomatoes.

 

Completely outdone by the fact my tomatoes, all 40 plants, have up and quit, I bought two 30-pound boxes of "canning tomatoes" for 10 bucks apiece at the produce market yesterday. The first box produced 16 pints of tomatoes, and three quarts of tomato juice. I'm now out of pint jars, so the second box, which is currently on the stove cooking, will go all in quarts. I also canned six pints of roasted cherry tomato garlic sauce, which caused my daughter, when she got home from work, to announce she was certain the entire neighborhood was safe from vampires this evening.

 

Don't even SAY tomato to me for a week or so after tonight.

 

 

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Talk about getting the most out of 60 pounds of tomatoes -- I consider I've done that with this batch, though I'll think twice about trying to work through TWO boxes of tomatoes in one swoop. My kitchen, and stove, just aren't big enough.

 

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Just before the final water-bath last night was finished. The total: 17 pints, 11 quarts of tomatoes, 5 quarts, two pints of juice. Not shown, the four pints of roasted tomato-garlic sauce.

 

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On the other counter: The final quart of juice that didn't make it to the other side, the tomato-garlic sauce, and part of the 16 half-pints of tomato sauce made from the skins and cores.

 

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All that was left of the two boxes of tomatoes, less the waste I cut off in the form of bad spot, and the one or two tomatoes I just chunked completely. Learned this trick last year. You save your skins and cores (I had about 6 quarts) and simmer them for three or four hours. Then you hit them with your immersion blender, and run the resultant puree through the finest plate on the food mill. 16 half-pints of sauce. 

 

I started to toss the skins onto the compost heap, but remembered vaguely I'd heard something about using skins to make tomato powder. Thought, h'mmm.

 

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So i spread the skins, a thick paste at that point, out on parchment in the oven, set the oven on warm (170F) and I plan to leave them at least until bedtime, and possibly overnight. Once they dry out significantly, if they need further drying, I'll break them up into smaller pieces and stick them in the dehydrator for a day or two, until they're completely dry and crunchy throughout, and then run them through the food processor. It may not be worth a damn, but I thought it might be interesting on top of eggs, or maybe gratins, with some smoked paprika or otherwise added in. I will report.

 

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. And all I've got to lose is a few hours of electricity.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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That is an amazing amount of work, and what riches you have to squirrel for the  winter months.

IIRC someone here, perhaps Shelby made tomato salt last year ?? 

Edited by caroled (log)
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And this old porch is like a steaming greasy plate of enchiladas,With lots of cheese and onions and a guacamole salad ...This Old Porch...Lyle Lovett

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Shelby, it sounds to me like your tomatoes are siphoning. Siphoning can happen if you increase or reduce heat too fast while the food is processing, or if you release pressure too abruptly.  Let the canner cool on its own, don't move the canner until it is cool.  Also, leaving the heat on high during canning can cause siphoning, but turn it down gradually.  

 

I got a new stove a couple years ago, and had a lot of siphoning, especially with tomatoes until I learned that while I can start the processing on max heat, as soon as the canner reaches pressure I need to gradually turn the flames down until the weight jiggles slowly.

sparrowgrass
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2 minutes ago, sparrowgrass said:

Shelby, it sounds to me like your tomatoes are siphoning. Siphoning can happen if you increase or reduce heat too fast while the food is processing, or if you release pressure too abruptly.  Let the canner cool on its own, don't move the canner until it is cool.  Also, leaving the heat on high during canning can cause siphoning, but turn it down gradually.  

 

I got a new stove a couple years ago, and had a lot of siphoning, especially with tomatoes until I learned that while I can start the processing on max heat, as soon as the canner reaches pressure I need to gradually turn the flames down until the weight jiggles slowly.

Thank you so much for your advice.  I think you are probably spot on.  I don't know why I didn't have trouble with my green beans, though.  Maybe because they are pints...I dunno.

 

So, maybe you can help me a bit more.  I have gas burners.   After I screw the lid of the canner down, I turn the burner on high, wait for the steam to come out of the vent thingy for 10 mins and then I put the weight on --I am at about 1,300 ft. so I do 15 lbs. for 25 mins.   I keep the heat on high until the first weight jiggle and then I turn the heat down to medium.  Is that too big of a change?  I thought I was supposed to do that because it says to turn the heat down until the weight jiggles 1-4 times a minute.  Or should I turn the heat down slower?  If I turn it down more gradually, then the weight jiggles a lot more than 1-4 times a minute.  Is that ok?  Should I be more looking at the gauge that shows the pressure and keeping it at 15 lbs rather than worrying so much about the number of times the weight jiggles?

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Picked blueberries Sunday morning (before doing hay), and ended up canning a good portion of them. I think this batch has 14 pints, 1 pint and half, and 2 quart jars.  Just added some lemon, and simple syrup. 

 

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-Andrea

 

A 'balanced diet' means chocolate in BOTH hands. :biggrin:

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