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


Anna N

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1 hour ago, ElsieD said:

We used to eat pickled herring on bread.  Love the stuff except now I just eat it straight up.

 

That's how it works in Northeastern Minnesota. I think it's a Scandanavian thing: pickled herring at every buffet and salad bar. I've never thought about trying to pickle it myself! I'd try @Baron d'Apcher's version in a heartbeat, if I were nearby! It's beautiful!

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"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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7 hours ago, Baron d'Apcher said:

Preserving the harbinger of the cusp of late winter and spring. Pickled Long Island Sound herring courtesy Fresh Fish Crew. 
 

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What water/vinegar ratio do you use?  How much salt?  Do you salt the fish prior? 

 

Very cool!

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28 minutes ago, TicTac said:

What water/vinegar ratio do you use?  How much salt?  Do you salt the fish prior? 

 

^^ This.  We need the details!

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  • 2 months later...
19 minutes ago, RWood said:

Picked and pickled the garlic scapes this morning.


 

 

IMG_5144.jpeg

IMG_5145.jpeg

 

How will you use the pickled scapes?

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

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"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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5 minutes ago, Smithy said:

 

How will you use the pickled scapes?

Dunno yet. We do a lot of meze, charcuterie type meals, so probably with cheese and such. And my mother is a fiend for anything pickled or garlicky, so I’m sure they won’t last.

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I'm probably going to be arrested by the Kraut Police for abuse of innocent foodstuffs, but after all this time I finally got around to checking on the batches of kraut I started in this post (higher up on this page). That was 3 months ago. Life got in the way, and those jars sat as you see them, at room temperature and sometimes with a slight boost from the pilot light of the oven, until today.

 

To recap the situation: I shredded red cabbage and mixed batches of kraut with 1.5%, 2.0% and 3.0% by weight salt. I had a combination of pint jars and quart jars available. Since I'd been happy with an earlier batch of 3% salt, I added shredded carrots to one of the 3% jars.

 

Then they sat. And sat. And the time to start checking them came and went. I noticed that juices bubbled out the top of one or two of the "Pickle pipe" tops, and I was glad the jars all sat in containment pans. (One of those pans had been slated for a rummage sale donation. No longer!)

 

20240218_162149.thumb.jpg.9e09882736ae6952003cc79e12a58510.jpg

 

Two days ago, I finally found the time and gumption to open those jars and begin testing. Here's what I had to work with:

 

20240505_184356.jpg

 

See those pint jars in the back? My first lesson is that for some reason, too much head space is Not A Good Thing. Granted, the shredded materials were all submerged, but who wants to dig down through that black stuff to get at it? I don't know what kind of mold or other undesirable it was, but I opened and dumped those jars outside. The smell was not appealing. If I hear a bear bellow from our brush/compost pile, I'll know it shared my opinion.

 

20240519_155736.jpg

 

20240519_155638.jpg

 

20240519_155523.jpg

 

It's important to note that the pint jars contained two salt percentage batches, both of which were also in quart jars. The quart jars, which were packed much more fully, did not develop that black stuff. I think it has to have been due to too much air in the jar.

 

Then I turned to the good-looking jars, and began testing and tasting.

 

20240519_174741.jpg

 

It doesn't show up as well as I'd hoped in this photo, but the top layers of the kraut were darker than the lower layers. I think it must have been oxidation. More to the point, the stuff was mushy. I had to get down to the bottom layers, where there was still a lot of liquid coverage, to find crunch. This was true of all 3 batches.

 

Now for the tasting notes: 

 

1.5% -- Light, krauty smell. Good crunch once I got through the dark, oxidized material. 

2.0% -- This had been the most active of the bunch, bubbling up through the pickle pipe. Same issue with mush on top, crunch on the bottom. Not much flavor difference that I noted.

3.0% -- The top mushy layer was thinner than with the other too, but the kraut was too salty for me. It had almost a metallic flavor.

 

I tossed the mushy stuff from all three batches and combined the crunchy stuff into a mixing bowl, then bundled it all into a 1-gallon Mason jar. That jar's now sitting in the refrigerator.

 

20240521_134042.jpg

 

No doubt a shorter fermentation time would have been better, but it was interesting to see how well some of this survived, given all it's been through. It would be interesting to see whether the 3% ferments more quickly and reaches the same point as the 1.5% but needs less time. Maybe I'll try that someday. In the meantime, I have a large jar of crunchy, beautiful sauerkraut that may need rinsing to tame the salt. There's less of the 3% than of the other two, so it may not be necessary.

 

Unless I choose to run more side-by-side experiments, I'll be going with 2% or less by weight salt in future batches. I'll probably end up splitting the difference at 1.75%. just as @FauxPas did. 😀 

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

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"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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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Getting pesto in the freezer. Arugula Basil and tried Cilantro with lime, garlic, roasted pepitas and avocado oil. Tasty, but I might add a little jalapeño next time. 

 

IMG_5226.jpeg

Edited by RWood (log)
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 5/22/2024 at 5:23 AM, Smithy said:

I'm probably going to be arrested by the Kraut Police for abuse of innocent foodstuffs, but after all this time I finally got around to checking on the batches of kraut I started in this post (higher up on this page). That was 3 months ago. Life got in the way, and those jars sat as you see them, at room temperature and sometimes with a slight boost from the pilot light of the oven, until today.

 

To recap the situation: I shredded red cabbage and mixed batches of kraut with 1.5%, 2.0% and 3.0% by weight salt. I had a combination of pint jars and quart jars available. Since I'd been happy with an earlier batch of 3% salt, I added shredded carrots to one of the 3% jars.

 

Then they sat. And sat. And the time to start checking them came and went. I noticed that juices bubbled out the top of one or two of the "Pickle pipe" tops, and I was glad the jars all sat in containment pans. (One of those pans had been slated for a rummage sale donation. No longer!)

 

20240218_162149.thumb.jpg.9e09882736ae6952003cc79e12a58510.jpg

 

Two days ago, I finally found the time and gumption to open those jars and begin testing. Here's what I had to work with:

 

20240505_184356.jpg

 

See those pint jars in the back? My first lesson is that for some reason, too much head space is Not A Good Thing. Granted, the shredded materials were all submerged, but who wants to dig down through that black stuff to get at it? I don't know what kind of mold or other undesirable it was, but I opened and dumped those jars outside. The smell was not appealing. If I hear a bear bellow from our brush/compost pile, I'll know it shared my opinion.

 

20240519_155736.jpg

 

20240519_155638.jpg

 

20240519_155523.jpg

 

It's important to note that the pint jars contained two salt percentage batches, both of which were also in quart jars. The quart jars, which were packed much more fully, did not develop that black stuff. I think it has to have been due to too much air in the jar.

 

Then I turned to the good-looking jars, and began testing and tasting.

 

20240519_174741.jpg

 

It doesn't show up as well as I'd hoped in this photo, but the top layers of the kraut were darker than the lower layers. I think it must have been oxidation. More to the point, the stuff was mushy. I had to get down to the bottom layers, where there was still a lot of liquid coverage, to find crunch. This was true of all 3 batches.

 

Now for the tasting notes: 

 

1.5% -- Light, krauty smell. Good crunch once I got through the dark, oxidized material. 

2.0% -- This had been the most active of the bunch, bubbling up through the pickle pipe. Same issue with mush on top, crunch on the bottom. Not much flavor difference that I noted.

3.0% -- The top mushy layer was thinner than with the other too, but the kraut was too salty for me. It had almost a metallic flavor.

 

I tossed the mushy stuff from all three batches and combined the crunchy stuff into a mixing bowl, then bundled it all into a 1-gallon Mason jar. That jar's now sitting in the refrigerator.

 

20240521_134042.jpg

 

No doubt a shorter fermentation time would have been better, but it was interesting to see how well some of this survived, given all it's been through. It would be interesting to see whether the 3% ferments more quickly and reaches the same point as the 1.5% but needs less time. Maybe I'll try that someday. In the meantime, I have a large jar of crunchy, beautiful sauerkraut that may need rinsing to tame the salt. There's less of the 3% than of the other two, so it may not be necessary.

 

Unless I choose to run more side-by-side experiments, I'll be going with 2% or less by weight salt in future batches. I'll probably end up splitting the difference at 1.75%. just as @FauxPas did. 😀 

 

Nice report. I think it is important to keep the sauerkraut completely submerged. I never have enough liquid come out of the cabbage and top up with brine.

 

I just gathered up the courage to check a batch I started a couple of months ago. Bad timing for here but It is a balance of finding cabbage at a reasonable price and getting too far into winter. I was going to do it in quart jars but the maker of my fermenting lids said to use larger ones and I didn't have any. So opted to use my crock - which was only about 1/3 full. With the cold house, I was worried about it not bubbling much. Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised that the liquid surface was very clean with no strange things growing. The cabbage tasted more or less like sauerkraut but not sour enough. I opted to leave it and see if it improves with even more time. Decent crunch. I may have added too much caraway seed.

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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