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


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I've been ordering vegetables from a NYC service called "Chef's Collective," which thus far has been sending really high quality vegetables; it's one of these services that sprung up to redirect product that would've gone to restaurants to individual homes. 

 

Well, the shishitos are, apparently, dominating the garden right now because I got two quarts.  I have no idea how a person eats two quarts of shishito pepper, so . . . I pickled them. 

 

IMG_0205.thumb.JPG.84e3c1a69d5d5b4be8128683af3d9c09.JPG

 

Actually, the recipe entailed blistering them first, and them vinegar-pickling them.  

 

 

Meanwhile, I recently watched a webinar on "atmospheric steam canning" from the UMaine extension school.  I may be a complete convert.  It just seems like so much less hassle.  Also?  The kitchen is going to get WAY less hot.   

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10 minutes ago, SLB said:

"atmospheric steam canning"

 

Yes.  So much less everything, heat, water, weight, mess.   I have the Victorio steam canner/mult-use  which is (!)induction(!) friendly also.  I just do high acid juices and preserves.   It works with my old Burton induction hob on the patio.  No more water bath for me.

Edited by lemniscate (log)
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11 minutes ago, SLB said:

Meanwhile, I recently watched a webinar on "atmospheric steam canning" from the UMaine extension school.  I may be a complete convert.  It just seems like so much less hassle.  Also?  The kitchen is going to get WAY less hot.   

 

Oh dear, another rabbit hole. I've bookmarked a few sites to look at, sometime when I'm not (ostensibly) working.

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"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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25 minutes ago, lemniscate said:

Yes.  So much less everything, heat, water, weight, mess. 

 

Also?  For blanching, I now basically only ever want to steam-blanch.

 

**Admittedly -- you DO have to, uh, actually be more thorough when washing your vegetable, which I've been known to slack on when boiling-blanching. 

 

But not having to deal with all that boiling water.  

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Not a huge pickle-eater but the grandkids are, and it's that time of the year, so I made up a couple of batches. Three pints of bread-and-butter and eight pints of a quick dill pickle, both from my dad's copy of The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving (this is my first time trying anything from the book, so no personal feedback, but 87% of the reviews on Amazon are 4- and 5-star).

Also I turned 6 lbs of IdaReds into slightly more than three pints of applesauce, one of which is now opened and in the fridge. Not shown, 400g of garlic scape pesto frozen in bags.

 

IMG_20200817_092136.thumb.jpg.127a9664a1662c6ce1e1beaefaf9ea64.jpg

 

IMG_20200817_092146.thumb.jpg.e5eaf24128fea6c9914d32109d41d908.jpg

 

Since I rarely post photos, I've included a gratuitous second shot to give you a look at the heart of my kitchen. This is my only meaningful prep area, with the sink just out of frame to the right and the stove just barely in frame at the lower left. The induction hob is a Kuraidori (basic cheap crap with a couple of extra features, but serviceable enough), which I use because the (24-inch) stove has three small burners and one medium. I do most of my cooking on the induction, as a consequence. The other side of the stove has a small piece of counter space, with another magnetic knife rack plus two tins holding utensils, a bottle each of vegetable oil and olive oil, my salt pig, pepper grinder and - at the moment - a dehydrator full of herbs from my community garden.

Edited by chromedome
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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"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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Scored figs at the farmers' market Saturday. Made them up into 12 half-pints of jam Sunday afternoon. 

20200823_181019.thumb.jpg.aed79206375de3403ef78749ab9ba016.jpg

 

Guess I'm going to have to buy apples for apple butter, since my apple tree that was LOADED last year boasts nary an apple this year. I'm also looking for some pineapple pears to make pear preserves.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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9 minutes ago, kayb said:

Scored figs at the farmers' market Saturday. Made them up into 12 half-pints of jam Sunday afternoon. 

 

 

So good cheese and bread with the jam or how do you use it?

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I love to spread Brie or homemade ricotta on bread or a cracker and top with some jam. I'll also use it as a "dip" for cheese; it's really good with an aged Gouda. I've also used it in cooking, as part of a sauce for pork tenderloin. And it ain't half bad in place of the Welch's in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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This summer I went mad, foraged lots of fruits and made TONS of jams. No photos, I'm a neanderthal without a camera.
These are the flavors:


strawberries
strawberries + elderflowers
strawberries + black locust flowers (robinia pseudoacacia)
wild amarene cherries
black mulberries
black mulberries + lychees + hawthorn flowers
purple mulberries
white mulberries
apricots
apricots + lavender
wild cherry plums
wild cherry plums + fennel seeds
wild elderberries
wild elderberries + elderflowers
wild elderberries + juniper berries
wild elderberries + chamomile
wild elderberries + mustard seeds
wild elderberries + cucumbers + sichuan pepper
zucchini + mint
wild pears
wild pears + cassia
wild pears + ylang ylang
wild pears + red wine (Valpolicella ripasso)
yellow peaches
yellow peaches + ylang ylang + ginger
yellow peaches + cassia
wild blackberries
wild blackberries + orange zests
wild blackberries + cinnamon
wild blackberries + chamomile
wild blackberries + rose
wild blackberries + ginger
wild blackberries + black locust flowers (robinia pseudoacacia)
wild blackberries + lavender + tonka beans
pineapples
pineapples + carob pod + ginger
watermelons
watermelons + parsley
wild cornelian cherries
wild cornelian cherries + savory herb
wild cornelian cherries + cumin
wild cornelian cherries + fenugreek
wild grapes
wild grapes + bay leaf
wild grapes + juniper berries
sangue di drago (dragon blood) plums
sangue di drago (dragon blood) plums + tarragon
figs
figs + anise
figs + saffron
figs + cinnamon
figs + pineapples
figs + savory herb
figs + rosemary + chestnut honey
prickly pears
prickly pears + pumpkin seeds


I strained so many seeds out of fruits that I see them even during sleep. I'm over 20 kg of figs now and my tree will produce even more. Not counting about 30 kg of blackberries, 20 kg of cornelian cherries, 20 kg of elderberries, 20 kg of mulberries.

 

 


Teo

 

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Teo

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@teonzo those flavors sound delicious and intriguing. That is a lot of fruit to forage and jam! How many jars of  jam did you make? Will you go thru them all or are you selling or gifting jam jars? 

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Thanks!

I haven't counted the jars, should be in the 250-300 zone. Sizes are 0.5 litres on average (0.7 l, 0.5 l, 0.25 l), about 200 kg of jam in total. I'll keep one of each kind to taste the result after some months. The rest are meant to be gifted, I already gave away about 80-90 jars (I made these at home to try new stuff, I don't sell what I make at home).

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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10 hours ago, teonzo said:

prickly pears + pumpkin seeds

This one is intriguing to me.  Do you make a jell of the prickly pears and add shelled pumpkin seeds?  Is it all pureed?  or is there chunks of fruits with the seeds?    Maybe a picture of this?

Edited by lemniscate (log)
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26 minutes ago, lemniscate said:

This one is intriguing to me.  Do you make a jell of the prickly pears and add shelled pumpkin seeds?  Is it all pureed?  or is there chunks of fruits with the seeds?    Maybe a picture of this?

 

 

I am not the person you asked but there can be confusion about pumpkin seeds. We use the term pepitas which are a hull-less variety. Those cute green guys. https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/pepitas/

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23 hours ago, lemniscate said:

This one is intriguing to me.  Do you make a jell of the prickly pears and add shelled pumpkin seeds?  Is it all pureed?  or is there chunks of fruits with the seeds?    Maybe a picture of this?

 

 

 

You got it in your first question.


I proceed in this way.
Buy the purple prickly pears, so their pulp is red, the most appealing color in my opinion (I'm not a fan of the orange/yellow ones).
Wearing gloves, cut away the two poles, then cut the skin along a meridian. Peel away the skin, then put the pulp in a tall container.
Blitz the pulp with an immersion blender, then strain it to discard the seeds. The puree is almost liquid, so straining is really quick.
Cook the jam/jelly. Quantities are: 1000 g pricly pears puree; 600 g sugar; 10 g lemon juice; 3 g pectin NH. I add some pectin to give more body and get something more similar to a jelly, if you want something soft and spreadable you can avoid it.
When the jam reaches the final temperature (105.5°C) add the hulled pumpkin seeds (the green ones, like Heidi wrote, the quantity depends on your taste), bring back to the boil, then pour in the jars.


Here in Italy we can get two different types of pumpkin seeds: the ones with the white hulls, which are salted (really really salted), they are meant as a snack but after 5 or 6 your mouth is pure salt; the green ones, no hulls, no salt, only the inner seed. If you like the green ones then try making a hard caramel: cook the sugar to the caramel stage, add the green pumpkin seeds, then pour on parchment paper and spread it. I much prefer this one than the traditional one with almonds.


At this current moment I don't have a camera, so I can't take a picture, sorry.
This is a photo of a pie I made years ago when I borrowed a camera:

 

crostata_fichiindia_semizucca_macis.jpg.4f379ee8c4cd7583660724790eeec029.jpg


No photoshop, it really looked like this, the pectin helps giving a shiny surface. The pumpkin seeds were added over the jam, laying on it. So they are more beautiful on this pie than in the jar. But they look pretty nice in the jar too, they give a nice visual contrast.

 

 


Teo

 

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Teo

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@teonzo, Beautiful, Thank You.   I have the deep red/purple prickly pear fruit growing wild local to me, and there is seemingly plenty of fruit right now.   Not sure of the this year's flavor though.  Pepitas (hulled green pumpkin/squash seeds) are also very common in the Hispanic/Indigenous cooking in the SW US.   I think I will try this jam, it sounds so unusual and easy and visually appealing.   

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If you can get them directly from the plant then all the better! Fresh fruit has always a better taste. I buy the ones that are cultivated in Sicily, so they were harvested at least 2 days prior, I envy you!

 

You can prepare the puree and freeze it for the rest of the year. It's tasty to drink as it is, but you can use it for lots of stuff, like sorbets, mousses and so on. If you use it with gelatin then remember to boil it, it has protelotic enzymes that dissolve gelatin when the puree is not cooked. I think they are an under-appreciated fruit, they have lots of potential. I especially like how they pair with warm spices (cloves, mace, cinnamon...). You can try them with lime and chile, or with some herbs like bay leaf and rosemary.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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Usually when I ask for beets from the grocery store I get a measly bunch of perhaps three or, if I’m lucky, four beets. This time however the bunch was quite generous. Too many, in fact, for me to eat fresh. So I reserved two to be eaten fresh and  with the remainder I made a quart of pickled beets. It’s very simple pickle that I inherited from my Danish in-laws. 1:.5 white vinegar and white sugar (volume  or weight, doesn’t seem to matter much) heated until boiling with a generous sprinkling of cloves. Pour this over sliced beets and you’re done. No fussing about sterilizing since they will be in the refrigerator and eaten long before they can grow nasties. 

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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

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I do a single jar of marmalade at a time.. Oranges still on trees though unfortunately all the the easy pickers are gone and can not reach  much higher.  Got in middle of orange  and lemon and got a few. Thin sliced and chopped. Added some craisins for interest, boiled up and let sit after salting just a touch. Then added sugar and more water, got a nice little jar that will  do me for weeks on home made bread. Very empowering. Tastes lovely. 

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@heidih I tried this recipe Oven dried tomatoes, and they were great. Only issue is I left them in to long, and some were a little too crispy. I blame our stupid oven 😑. But, I'm going to make them again and I'll know not to leave them in as long. I put them olive oil with a garlic clove and a few herbs, very tasty. 

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4 hours ago, RWood said:

@heidih I tried this recipe Oven dried tomatoes, and they were great. Only issue is I left them in to long, and some were a little too crispy. I blame our stupid oven 😑. But, I'm going to make them again and I'll know not to leave them in as long. I put them olive oil with a garlic clove and a few herbs, very tasty. 

 

I do those all the time with tasteless mini tomatoes and can not get to Farmers Market now. I do use olive oil and my nose is pretty good so I can smell when they are"getting there". I tend to go less than fully dried - still a bit of give and juice. Such a lovely transformation. A little pasta, Mexican oregano (the most fragrant I find here abouts) an a grassy olive oil.  No dairy/cheese even needed.

 

Oh and the images from my marmalade finally showed up. Rolling blackouts...  Looks swamp murky but just the balance of sweet and bitter I was hoping for.

jam1.JPG

jam2.JPG

Edited by heidih (log)
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18 hours ago, heidih said:

I do a single jar of marmalade at a time.. Oranges still on trees though unfortunately all the the easy pickers are gone and can not reach  much higher.  Got in middle of orange  and lemon and got a few. Thin sliced and chopped. Added some craisins for interest, boiled up and let sit after salting just a touch. Then added sugar and more water, got a nice little jar that will  do me for weeks on home made bread. Very empowering. Tastes lovely. 


Perhaps look into getting telescoping shears? Perhaps attach a little basket underneath to catch the goodies before they fall to the ground.
 

I was thinking of something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Fiskars-7-9-12-ExtendableTree-Pruning-92406935K/dp/B00004TBMV/

 

Edited by jbates
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13 minutes ago, jbates said:


Perhaps look into getting telescoping shears? Perhaps attach a little basket underneath to catch the goodies before they fall to the ground.
 

I was thinking of something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Fiskars-7-9-12-ExtendableTree-Pruning-92406935K/dp/B00004TBMV/

I was thinking the same....but along the lines of what I know as an "avocado picker" (click).

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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5 hours ago, RWood said:

@heidih I tried this recipe Oven dried tomatoes, and they were great. Only issue is I left them in to long, and some were a little too crispy. I blame our stupid oven 😑. But, I'm going to make them again and I'll know not to leave them in as long. I put them olive oil with a garlic clove and a few herbs, very tasty. 

Please be careful with this combo of a garlic clove in olive oil. It can be a thriving environment for botulism. Read more info here (click).

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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