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


Anna N
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The podcast connected to "Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook" -- a site I learned about from @Shelby, and which I know several of us enjoy --  has resumed episodes with a season devoted to preserving.  I thought it would interest the folks who follow this topic; but recognize that if the Mods think it more useful in the "Media" thread, that it will be appropriately moved.

 

But, gah.  They're nice and long; and so far the guests are lovely.  

 

https://honest-food.net/hunt-gather-talk-podcast/#season4

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I had a pile of jalapenos and a pile of suggestions for what to do with them, and in my haste to deal with them did something else entirely. It was most nearly connected to @Shelby's and @FauxPas's quick hot pickle ideas.

 

I had been keeping the brine from a jar of dill pickles, and couldn't bear to toss that brine. I used it as a base for the hot-pack liquid: pickle brine (about a cup), 1 cup of mixed cider vinegar and rice vinegar (mixed because I ran out of the cider vinegar), 1 cup water; salt; pickling spices. I cleaned the pickle jar, packed it with the seeded and deveined and minimally sliced jalapenos, boiled the brine / vinegar / salt mixture, and poured it into the jar atop the chiles. Now I don't remember whether I poured the pickling spices into the jar atop the peppers or into the brine prior to heating.

 

Result: not bad at all. I'm not crazy about cloves, and the pickling spice mix has them in abundance, but otherwise the flavors are good. I'll show better pictures elsewhere as I use them.

 

20230126_143401.jpg

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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7 minutes ago, Smithy said:

Result: not bad at all. I'm not crazy about cloves, and the pickling spice mix has them in abundance, but otherwise the flavors are good.

 

I did wonder about the composition of the pickling spice mix. But I like the re-use of the pickling brine!!!!  🙂

 

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Somebody in another topic who lives way north posted about fresh cherries the other day. Now? I thought. Well at market this morning $3.99/lb. No great source or type info. Dark red. I caved and they re pretty good so I used most to pickle. I so enjoyed the ones I did couple months ago - both the fruit and the liquid. Today one jar with balsamic (cheap stuff), crushed black peppercorn and rosemary. Another with orange zest and fresh ginger with apple cider vinegar. I did keep a bowlful for snacking. 

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I have a question that maybe someone could help with:

 

I have some Hungarian hot peppers that are ripe and want to make some pickled "pepperchinis" but don't have enough for a big batch. What is the deal with refrigerator pickles? Do they keep as well as ones I've processed in the water bath? Is the texture different without the heating? I usually slice them thinly then water-bath can.

 

Thanks for any insight. 

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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On 1/29/2023 at 6:46 AM, heidih said:

Somebody in another topic who lives way north posted about fresh cherries the other day. Now? I thought. Well at market this morning $3.99/lb. No great source or type info. Dark red. I caved and they re pretty good so I used most to pickle. I so enjoyed the ones I did couple months ago - both the fruit and the liquid. Today one jar with balsamic (cheap stuff), crushed black peppercorn and rosemary. Another with orange zest and fresh ginger with apple cider vinegar. I did keep a bowlful for snacking. 

 

Where are your cherries coming from at this time of year? Bing type cherries are marketed heavily for Christmas here (red and festive) but this year the weather and flooding wiped out a lot of the crop.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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4 minutes ago, haresfur said:

I have a question that maybe someone could help with:

 

I have some Hungarian hot peppers that are ripe and want to make some pickled "pepperchinis" but don't have enough for a big batch. What is the deal with refrigerator pickles? Do they keep as well as ones I've processed in the water bath? Is the texture different without the heating? I usually slice them thinly then water-bath can.

 

Thanks for any insight. 

I've kept my pickled jalapeños (not canned) in the fridge for at least a year with no problems at all.  

 

I bring the brine to a boil and pour the hot brine over the sliced peppers in the jar.  Put the lid on, put them in the fridge and don't eat them for at least a week.  My jalapeños might be a tiny bit less "soft" than when I water bath them, but not so much as you'd care IMO.

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50 minutes ago, haresfur said:

 

Where are your cherries coming from at this time of year? Bing type cherries are marketed heavily for Christmas here (red and festive) but this year the weather and flooding wiped out a lot of the crop.

Like I said - poor source info on packaging. The distibutor is in the Central Valley California but who knows where grown. Website no better. called no answer and I don't care enuf to email.

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I ended up with an incovenient 3 pints and went ahead and processed them since refrigerator space is at a premium. These were all from one plant and I don't know what I will do when the others really get going, too. Didn't do anything fancy for the brine, just vinegar and water.

image.thumb.jpeg.05d5398d11bd4e9de69c81a4b5c21542.jpeg

 

image.thumb.jpeg.2f573789718e091f8f9b0cf63073bf3f.jpeg

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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On 1/30/2023 at 3:36 PM, haresfur said:

 

Where are your cherries coming from at this time of year? Bing type cherries are marketed heavily for Christmas here (red and festive) but this year the weather and flooding wiped out a lot of the crop.

My local Fred Meyer in Washington state has them coming from Chile.

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Another option for a glut of peppers is to freeze them if they are going to be cooked and the texture doesn't matter.

Top and split down the middle, deseed, freeze on a sheet then store in a ziplock. I've done this with bell peppers as well as 

thai, jalapeno and scotch bonnets (although I freeze the thai and bonnets whole).

 

Edited by Senior Sea Kayaker (log)
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7 hours ago, Senior Sea Kayaker said:

Another option for a glut of peppers is to freeze them if they are going to be cooked and the texture doesn't matter.

Top and split down the middle, deseed, freeze on a sheet then store in a ziplock. I've done this with bell peppers as well as 

thai, jalapeno and scotch bonnets (although I freeze the thai and bonnets whole).

 

 

Peppers do freeze well! I've even frozen bell peppers whole a few times when I was really rushed. But I prefer to cut them in strips and dices and then freeze. The strips can be easily used in fajitas, which we make fairly often with leftover steak or chicken. The diced ones go into veggie lasagne, chili, soups or casseroles. 

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7 hours ago, Senior Sea Kayaker said:

Another option for a glut of peppers is to freeze them if they are going to be cooked and the texture doesn't matter.

Top and split down the middle, deseed, freeze on a sheet then store in a ziplock. I've done this with bell peppers as well as 

thai, jalapeno and scotch bonnets (although I freeze the thai and bonnets whole).

 

 

17 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

 

Peppers do freeze well! I've even frozen bell peppers whole a few times when I was really rushed. But I prefer to cut them in strips and dices and then freeze. The strips can be easily used in fajitas, which we make fairly often with leftover steak or chicken. The diced ones go into veggie lasagne, chili, soups or casseroles. 

 

I was wondering about this and just the other day, I spotted a note in I Dream of Dinner (it's on p 96) that says that fresh chiles keep for up to a year in the freezer.  She says to just grate or chop from frozen.  I need to try that with some of the chiles that aren't in every store like the skinny red ones where I just use a few slices. 

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1 hour ago, FauxPas said:

 

Peppers do freeze well! I've even frozen bell peppers whole a few times when I was really rushed. But I prefer to cut them in strips and dices and then freeze. The strips can be easily used in fajitas, which we make fairly often with leftover steak or chicken. The diced ones go into veggie lasagne, chili, soups or casseroles. 

 

For bell peppers strips are the way to go. They're the largest size I'll use and can be easily cut into smaller pieces.

 

46 minutes ago, heidih said:

Re freezing them. I have had gluts and frozen. I never froze on sheet pan first. Just into a bag. In my experience, left whole, they don't stick together

r. 

 

Agreed. Small hot peppers can be frozen that way as I generally use a whole pepper or more for whatever I'm doing.

 

@blue_dolphin

 

The chilis will keep in the freezer. I have in previous years, and hope to grow next summer, sufficient bonnets, serranos and thais  to last over the winter.

 

 

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I have some vacuum seal pouches of Thai peppers in the freezer that seem to last forever and a few birdseye in ziplocks. I only have the fridge freezer so tend not to do too many.

 

I may get a small deep freeze but have been trying to keep my energy footprint low and they have terrible energy ratings. Some new freezers seem better but they may be gaming the system. Probably another topic.

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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16 minutes ago, haresfur said:

and a few birdseye in ziplocks

I found empty pill bottles did a fine job of storing these tiny peppers. 

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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

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On 2/1/2023 at 7:12 PM, heidih said:

Re freezing them. I have had gluts and frozen. I never froze on sheet pan first. Just into a bag. In my experience, left whole, they don't stick together

r. 

Exactly the same here, chillies are easy to snip into a dish straight from the freezer.  We probably have enough for a couple of years after a good crop in summer 2022.  Growing milder chillies this year but hope to do the same with these.  

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