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What Are You Preserving, and How Are You Doing It? (2006 - 2016)


The Old Foodie
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Raspberry jelly. This is the only jelly/jam/preserve that I make using commercial pectin. I find it very difficult to get a set otherwise. But I forgot how MUCH more sugar it takes. Also some little jars of fruit paste (fruit cheese) - two of plum paste, one of peach. I love these with cheese and somehow, only just realized you could can them (duh!). I only canned a little because most of the rest went with us as part of a cheese plate to a gathering last night. They disappeared very quickly. This is the first time I have made the plum version. 

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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1 minute ago, Shelby said:

Elaina and Okanagan, I'm pea green with envy.  I know how much work that all is and ya'll did great!  So beautiful.

Thanks, Shelby. For me, it is more fun than work. No matter how much I give away, we still have way more than we can eat here. Although I will say that after the fourth or fifth canner load of tomatoes I get a bit tired of it. 9_9 And i do much less than you. I'd crown you the canning queen here.

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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2 minutes ago, rotuts said:

@ElainaA  

 

love those labels !

I was a psychology prof for most of my working life - the labels are a reflection of that. (I was NEVER a Freudian!)

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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16 minutes ago, ElainaA said:

Thanks, Shelby. For me, it is more fun than work. No matter how much I give away, we still have way more than we can eat here. Although I will say that after the fourth or fifth canner load of tomatoes I get a bit tired of it. 9_9 And i do much less than you. I'd crown you the canning queen here.

Oh you do more jelly and things than I do for sure.  And, I get tired of canning 'maters....but I remind myself how much we love them come winter.

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49 minutes ago, Shelby said:

 I get tired of canning 'maters....but I remind myself how much we love them come winter.

Absolutely. I didn't can them for many years, Then 2 years ago, when I retired (well, semi-retired) I started again and remembered how much better they are than store-bought. My goad is to do enough to get through until the next crop ripens. This year I ran out in April although I still have a couple of quarts of puree in the freezer. The tomato marathon doesn't usually start here until September.

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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Thanks Shelby.  I am in awe of your tomato canning marathons.  I'm not that keen so I usually skin them, slice them and dry them.  They don't take up much room and they do hydrate quite well.  The rest get frozen after they have been skinned and seeded.  The juice from that operation is reduced and added back into the package with the tomatoes.  This year I dialled back my garden so I am not a slave to it.  Much better.

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On 7/15/2016 at 3:59 PM, Shelby said:

Elaina, your pesto has me drooling.  I wish my husband liked it.....I don't know how one doesn't like it, but he's one of them lol.

 

First crock of pickles started today :)  No pictures because you've seen it a million times from me.

@Shelby, I think you've posted that recipe before, but would you mind either reposting it or PM'ing it to me?

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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12 hours ago, Wayne said:

 

Cheers.

You don't really need any specialized equipment to produce lacto-fermented foods. If interested I can post what I use and why.

 

 

Yes please, I am very interested.

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10 hours ago, sartoric said:

Yes please, I am very interested.

 

Okay.

 

I'll lead off with the caveat that my methods satisfy my requirements. I make smaller batches due to lack of storage space and my interest in experimenting with different or new ingredients and flavours. It's also well suited for a small home garden.

 

You'll also need a dark spot with a temperature range between 60-75 F. however 65-70 F. is ideal (15.5-24 C. and 18-21 C.).

 

Not shown below is the need for a means of de-chlorinating if you use typical municipally supplied water and a kitchen scale if you're formulating brines.

 

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The ceramic crock is an insert from an old slow cooker good for doing a large batch of kosher dills. I only really only use it as a second choice.

 

Next is a 2.5 L. Mason type jar. I do most of the ferments in the two of these I own. The lid and metal fittings are removable since contact with the brined contents would quickly corrode them. I like glass as it is non-reactive and I can monitor the progress of the

fermentation.

 

1 L. standard Mason jar. Great for doing hot pepper mashes for fermented hot sauces. Since I'll be making 5-6 types I don't want large quantities of any.

 

Next is a set of ceramic pie weights. I use them because I have them. Cleaned pebbles would work equally well. These are used if it's necessary to weight down the follower. I've only used these 2-3 times.

 

And last: food grade plastic bags. These are classed as 5 lb. food bags and can be usually be found in 100 count boxes. Easy to find substitutes. I use these as followers. They also function quite well as airlocks. I got the idea from an old Good Eats episode on making kosher dills.

 

Here's an old photo of the follower in place over a fermenting batch of kimchi.

 

Kimchi 004.JPG

 

Hope this gives you some ideas.

 

 

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I know it's stew. What KIND of stew?

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Today, I am knee-deep in Old South Lime Pickles. These are a tangy sweet pickle that make an excellent accompaniment to cold lunches or dinners, and are great chopped up in potato or egg salad, should you be a fan of sweet pickles in those preparations. They're also a two-day process.

 

Day 1, you cut up your cucumbers (either chunks or, because mine were sizeable, I did short spears, and soak them overnight in a solution of water and pickling lime. I'm grateful for my laundry room sink, where such soaks can take place.

 

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Day 2, which would be today, you drain them, rinse them through three changes of cold water, and then soak them in ice water while you make a brine of water, vinegar, sugar, salt and pickling spice. The drained cucumbers soak in that for 5 to 6 hours to overnight, and then boil in it for 35 minutes before being put in jars and processed.

 

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I've somewhat screwed myself over because I had so many cucumbers my only option was to make the brine in my water bath canner, in which the cucumbers are currently soaking. Seems to me like an inordinate amount of brine, but I went by the recipe. While they're soaking, I'll work up the 50 ears of FREE corn I got when I bought tomatoes the other day, and put that in the freezer.

 

Next week will be tomatoes. I am making sauce with my back-yard Romas, but am having to buy tomatoes for canning plain, as my other plants just aren't producing that much. Will change varieties and fertilize better next year.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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It is clearly pickle time. I am at day 3 of 4 day sweet gherkins, The picture is from yesterday, day 2. I bought the cukes at a farm stand - i don't have enough plants to get this many small ones. These are bigger than I wanted but the smallest I could find.

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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Rhubarb and vanilla freezer puree (compote might be a better descriptor). The ultra fresh rhubarb that I got in my CSA box was slow-cooked for about 40 minutes with a bit of sugar and water, and a split vanilla bean. Now normally this would go into the freezer, but since it is a small batch it's just going to reside in the fridge because it will disappear very quickly.

 

Rhubarb and vanilla freezer puree

 

Rhubarb and vanilla freezer puree

 

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I now have two crocks of pickles going on the counter.  I have one more crock in the basement that I can drag up but my dill has gone to seed in the garden so I'll have to source some from the big city soon.  

 

My eggplants have never done this well.  I guess they liked the hail lol.  Lots of pretty purple hanging down.  I think they are such a cool looking plant.  Anyway, I decided to pickle some...well, it's more marinated I guess.  Years ago I used to go to an Italian restaurant mainly for their salads.  They always put strips of marinated eggplant on them and OH they were good.  I think these match what I remember them tasting like perfectly.  Not so pretty to look at, though, lol.

 

Here is the recipe I used.

 

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Well done Shelby.  Those look like they belong on a crusty roll with a glass of red.  Your home grown eggplant is huge.  I have stopped trying to grow them.  They never got really big.  And, I can get lovely ones at the local Farmers Market.

 

We did coal roasted eggplant in the coals from our pig roast this year.  In Bon Appetite July 2013 they have three sauces to go with:  yogurt & Sumac Sauce; Lemon-Mint Sauce (I'm making that one tomorrow to go with our rack of lamb) and Smoky Tomato Sauce.

You just put the naked eggplant in the coals, cover and cooked for 10 to 15 minutes.  Ours took longer than that, more like 20 to 25 but they were very large eggplants.  Once cooked let them cool until you can peel off the charred skin.  Set the eggplant on a rack to drain for 30 minutes.  When ready to eat, split them down the middle.  Very smoky flavours.  The recipe is online at BA.

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1 minute ago, Okanagancook said:

Well done Shelby.  Those look like they belong on a crusty roll with a glass of red.  Your home grown eggplant is huge.  I have stopped trying to grow them.  They never got really big.  And, I can get lovely ones at the local Farmers Market.

 

We did coal roasted eggplant in the coals from our pig roast this year.  In Bon Appetite July 2013 they have three sauces to go with:  yogurt & Sumac Sauce; Lemon-Mint Sauce (I'm making that one tomorrow to go with our rack of lamb) and Smoky Tomato Sauce.

You just put the naked eggplant in the coals, cover and cooked for 10 to 15 minutes.  Ours took longer than that, more like 20 to 25 but they were very large eggplants.  Once cooked let them cool until you can peel off the charred skin.  Set the eggplant on a rack to drain for 30 minutes.  When ready to eat, split them down the middle.  Very smoky flavours.  The recipe is online at BA.

That sounds really good.  I have roasted them over the flames from my gas oven...messy, but good and they even tasted a bit smokey--I like to add them like that to spaghetti sauce.  

 

If I ever get some tomatoes I'll be doing that for sure.

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52 minutes ago, Shelby said:

I now have two crocks of pickles going on the counter.  I have one more crock in the basement that I can drag up but my dill has gone to seed in the garden so I'll have to source some from the big city soon.  

 

My eggplants have never done this well.  I guess they liked the hail lol.  Lots of pretty purple hanging down.  I think they are such a cool looking plant.  Anyway, I decided to pickle some...well, it's more marinated I guess.  Years ago I used to go to an Italian restaurant mainly for their salads.  They always put strips of marinated eggplant on them and OH they were good.  I think these match what I remember them tasting like perfectly.  Not so pretty to look at, though, lol.

 

Here is the recipe I used.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shelby that looks SOOOO good. I'm printing out the recipe immediately. I have no luck growing eggplant (in most years the flea beetles simply devour them) but, like @Okanagancook I can get lovely ones at the farmer's market.

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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5 minutes ago, ElainaA said:

Shelby that looks SOOOO good. I'm printing out the recipe immediately. I have no luck growing eggplant (in most years the flea beetles simply devour them) but, like @Okanagancook I can get lovely ones at the farmer's market.

Oh good!  I think you will really like it.  It hasn't even flavored up yet, but I'm sitting here snacking on them as we speak.  I need to put them out of my sight.

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@Shelby, another thumbs up for that beautiful looking marinated eggplant.  I remember the first time I had caponata.  It was homemade by a friend and served as part of a shared antipasto platter.  I just wanted to eat the whole bowl myself! I was terribly disappointed by the jarred stuff at the store but never thought to make my own.  Guess I should try, huh?

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I'll be tackling @Shelby 's marinated eggplant today. However, I would caution against storing it as long as stated in the recipe. According to many sites, vegetables preserved in oil are prime environments for botulism and should not be stored (refrigerated) more than 4 days. The advice on this site is typical: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/fch/sites/default/files/documents/sp_50_701_herbsandvegetablesinoil.pdf   I'm a bit of a food safety fanatic. I know many people would disagree but at least you should be aware of the risks. 

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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I got some pickling cucumbers last week in my CSA, so I made a (small) batch of cold process pickles!

 

Pickles

 

Pickles

 

I covered them in salt and left them at room temperature for 24 hours.

 

Pickles

 

The next day I rinsed them, added slices of shallot, some garlic, peppercorn & coriander seeds, a bay leaf, and topped the whole thing with white vinegar.

Now the tough part - waiting a few weeks for them to be ready!

 

Pickles

 

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I'm pickling today as well. Sweet-spicy horseradish pickle chips. Cucumbers soaking in ice water now. Must make a quick run to store and get more horseradish. I do not run out of horseradish at this house.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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