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


The Old Foodie
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Thanks girls!

I've sometimes allowed lemons to just dry out by themselves over a couple of summer's weeks. They shrink and go hard, but don't spoil. Later on, you can just rinse one and pop it into a stew (old-fashioned, heavy stews like cholent are the better for the lemon, I think), or break it up and add half to a pot of tea. Persian dried lemons and limes are available in the shouk, but they are very expensive, and these home-dried ones are just as good.

Miriam

Miriam - I dont think the lemon-drying would work here in Qld without a drying gadget - summer is too humid, we'd just end up with mouldy lemons. I do "pickle" them in olive oil (in slices), after prior salting - it is very quick and easy, and you can only do a small amount at a time if thats all you need - will post the full method if you want.

[...]I have not had much experience cooking quinces, although I love them - I think I am a bit intimidated by them.  I wish someone would start a "Things to do with quinces" thread! [...]

You mean like this? Quinces, What to make with them :smile:

Pam - thanks for this, I'd better get on with it, the quince season is almost over.

Janet

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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Janet,

Yes, I'd like to see the recipe for pickled lemons. My building has one tree, it produces abundantly every fall. No one else harvests the fruit much, so I do. It would be nice to have something else to do with those lemons besides squeezing & freezing the juice.

And you're right, dried lemons wouldn't work in a really humid climate. Even along the more humid coast, the weather here allows us to fool around with home drying.

Miriam

Miriam Kresh

blog:[blog=www.israelikitchen.com][/blog]

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Janet,

Yes, I'd like to see the recipe for pickled lemons. My building has one tree, it produces abundantly every fall. No one else harvests the fruit much, so I do. It would be nice to have something else to do with those lemons besides squeezing & freezing the juice.

And you're right, dried lemons wouldn't work in a really humid climate. Even along the more humid coast, the weather here allows us to fool around with home drying.

Miriam

Here it is:

6 ripe unwaxed lemons, scrubbed (thick skinned ones work best)

3 tab sea salt

about 500ml olive oil

other flavourings if you wish - roasted garlic cloves, tablespoon or so of paprika, bay leaf, a chilli etc.

Slice the lemons thinly, removing the pips as you go

Spread them on freezer trays and sprinkle generously with the salt

Freeze 24 hours (or as long as you like ...).

Thaw out, drain off the salty stuff, rinse quickly if you wish, and drain them well.

Put in your jars, cover with oil by at least 1/2 inch, and leave at least 3 weeks.

Great thing No. 1: You can slice any leftover lemon from other dishes, sprinkle with a bit of salt, and put in a freezer container - when you have enough, you put them in oil. No more lemon halves going grungy in the fridge. (Of course you can freeze them unsalted and use them to make marmalade too, and I do this by choice as the freezing softens the rind so easier to cut up and less cooking needed so more flavour in the final product.) I guess it could be done with the lemon halves left over from squeezing too - the pulp is not necessary, it is the rind that is the thing here.

I did it with limes once - good flavour but the colour was unappetising - went a sort of murky green.

Great thing No. 2 - the oil is fantastic in salads or anything. It is almost worth making just for the oil!

Great thing No.2 They keep for ages - I keep mine in the fridge because we live in a sub-tropical climate, but it is probably not necessary in cool places.

Great thing No. 4 Makes a great gift - and can be prepared well in advance of the gift-giving occasion.

Janet

P.S edited to add another lemon preserving idea: you could crystallize the rinds of your excess lemons (not the pre-salted ones of course!) , maybe dip them in chocolate and give them as gifts, or serve with coffee.

Edited by The Old Foodie (log)

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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  • 2 years later...

Thanks to a long, cool summer, my garden has produced more kale, collards, mustard greens and raab than my family can possibly eat fresh. I've blanched and frozen many quarts of greens for use in soups, and given bagfuls away to friends and family. I can't bear to see what's left go to waste, but I can only eat so much soup.

I was contemplating making sauerkraut out of the kale and collards. Has anyone ever tried this? Any other ideas? A variety of recipes would be nice.

April

One cantaloupe is ripe and lush/Another's green, another's mush/I'd buy a lot more cantaloupe/ If I possessed a fluoroscope. Ogden Nash

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Many cultures -- including the Acadians in my neck of the woods -- traditionally salt the herbs and greens from summer for use over the winter.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Thanks, Kerry, for the link to the other thread. There are good ideas in there.

Peter--Are the green just salted and then stored, or are they fermented as well?

Karen--I honestly hadn't considered a food donation. I was under the (probabably false) impression that the food bank mostly wanted canned goods and other store-bought foods. It's worth checking into.

Thank you everyone,

April

One cantaloupe is ripe and lush/Another's green, another's mush/I'd buy a lot more cantaloupe/ If I possessed a fluoroscope. Ogden Nash

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French Canadians in Quebec also preserve herbs and vegetables in salt. We call this "herbes salées" and it is usually added to soups and stews. Many people add Kale to their recipe, it stays green. Recipes varies from region to region. Remember that when making your own recipe, the technique is more important than the recipe itself.

If you read French, here are a few recipes:

http://www.recettes.qc.ca/recettes/recette...=2828&rdj=&pub=

http://www.banlieusardises.com/delices/archives/001682.html

http://www.servicevie.com/01Alimentation/R...2500/2542b.html

http://recettes.ameriquebec.net/archives/r...alees-de-zet.qc

Here are a few recipes in English:

http://homecooking.about.com/od/allherbrecipes/r/blherb6.htm

http://www.rona.ca/project/~?sort=2&page=1...887+4294964771+

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you can make a slaw with 2 parts thinly sliced raw collards and 4 parts shredded napa( can add a bit of grated carrots for color). just add salt, pepper and make some marinade/dressing: rice vinegar with mustard seeds or powder, grated fresh ginger and sugar and cayenne to taste. let it stand overnite or more in the fridge.

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  • 4 months later...

I use a lot of zucchini in my cafè, and right now I grill daily, finished with a bit of lemon juice. I would like to grill them, and pack them in olive oil so I can do maybe a month's worth at a time. Can I just pack them in a jar and treat them as if they were a preserve or curd?

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Nope. Zucchini is low acid, so you would have to pressure can, and I'm guessing that would result in jars full of mush. You would have to have enough acid for a pickle to do a fridge preserve, and I'm guessing "a bit" of lemon won't do it. There was also all that brouhaha about olive oil and garlic a few years back. I didn't follow it to it's conclusion, but you could probably find things online. Wow. That's really not helpful, is it? :unsure: I wonder if freezing would work? And it may be worth trying them in a pressure canner - I just don't know how it might alter the texture.

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I've sliced and blanched zucchini and other summer squash, (with grilled eggplant) spread them on a sheet pan for freezing, then storing in the freezer in vacuum bags.

When needed, they go into a frying pan or in a grill pan on the barbecue (one of the pans with holes to keep small stuff from falling onto the burners) and they are ready to serve in less than a minute.

Ratattoille is practically instant this way.

I don't see why you couldn't grill them until nearly done, and do the same process - they have to be frozen individually (spread on a sheet pan or tray) so they freeze quickly and there is less damage to the cells.

Much safer than canning and the squash is not as altered as it would be with the pressure canning.

I have in the past canned summer squash in the pressure cooker but I started out with washed, and cut raw squash and it was partially cooked in the canning process, 15 minutes under pressure, so when used needed only to be heated.

Experiment with a small batch and see how it works.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Just try it, but I'd be very skeptical. Usually when I read about recipes that put things in oil it's not for a month. The commercial things might be treated in all kinds of ways that you won't have handy. I'd also think that the zucchini will get very oily over time and probably turn into something less than appetizing.

Maybe reduce your plan and make just enough for a couple of days at a time? Covered and cooled they should last for some days. I sure use left overs over a couple days at home.

Preserving in vinegar would also be an option, but it will change the taste of course. I actually just made pickled zucchini after then Zuni Cafe cookbook and they are simply fantastic. It would be worth trying it with lightly grilled zucchini, though I'd not coock then all the way through, I think they might turn into mush.

I also just looked at my preserving books and they all use fresh zucchini. You cold probably turn them into a nice relish of some sort, but I guess you want to keep them as pieces?

Freezing might work, though I'm not sure you'd save much time if you have to freeze them separate on cookie sheets or something like that.

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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HERE are a slew of grilled zucchini packed for sale.  Some are in jars and some are in plastic tubs.

I don't know what to tell you except I know that commercial canneries and packing plants have machinery that is not available for home use. Food safety is one thing if you are going to eat it yourself, but feeding it to others brings in an entirely different set of issues. You can always contact your local extension office and see what kind of information they have available. Here is an example page from the Missouri extension. It's from a Google search for preserving zucchini.

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Just try it, but I'd be very skeptical.

(Emphasis mine.) I'm sure gfron1 already knows this, but this is really bad advice. The risk with canning low-acid foods is botulism, which is not detectable to the naked eye. You won't know you've got it until you get sick. So if you "just try it," you run the risk of death.

My guess is that most commercial products like this include citric acid or other acidifiers to prevent botulism. Pressure canning is another option, but I'm not sure what effect that would have on the texture.

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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But you can buy the exact same thing in the store, so is it because they are using preservatives that they're able to do this?

I can't tell you how they do it, but in the middle eastern stores near my house they have a whole slew of courgette (zucchini, whatever!) packed in jars, and looking at the ingredients I can tell you that they aren't full of preservatives.

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Just try it, but I'd be very skeptical.

(Emphasis mine.) I'm sure gfron1 already knows this, but this is really bad advice. The risk with canning low-acid foods is botulism, which is not detectable to the naked eye. You won't know you've got it until you get sick. So if you "just try it," you run the risk of death.

good point, I guess I needed some more coffee...

Don't try it, make sure you find instructions somewhere.

I wish there'd be a simple home test kit for botulism...

Oliver

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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Just try it, but I'd be very skeptical.

(Emphasis mine.) I'm sure gfron1 already knows this, but this is really bad advice. The risk with canning low-acid foods is botulism, which is not detectable to the naked eye. You won't know you've got it until you get sick. So if you "just try it," you run the risk of death.

good point, I guess I needed some more coffee...

Don't try it, make sure you find instructions somewhere.

I wish there'd be a simple home test kit for botulism...

Oliver

And I wish we could have irradiated produce (and eggs) to insure safety. They have the technology and it is used in other countries, as soon as the produce arrives from the fields.

Unfortunately, there are too many people who equate irradiation with radioactivity and are against anything as radical as preventing illness and death if it means radical change in food processing.

Gah!

Several years ago a friend, who was working on the irradiation process, treated a dozen of my home-grown tomatoes. They remained fresh and as perfect as when picked, on my kitchen counter, for six weeks.

I roast garlic in oil and store it (at room temp) but the process brings the oil and the garlic above the critical temperature that destroys the botulinus organism, in the oven and holds it there for an extended period to make sure there is no possibility of toxin development.

This also means that I "perfume" the kitchen and the area immediately adjacent, including outdoors, but I don't mind and so far my neighbors have never complained....... :rolleyes:

Earlier today I asked the people at the local middle-eastern cafe how they prepare the grilled eggplant they have in oil in their deli and she told me they have the oil hot, but not boiling (she guessed 80 C., which I looked up and it is close to 180 F.) and transfer the grilled eggplant into the hot oil and allow it to cool before refrigerating it. They have it in a hotel pan so I would estimate there is close to a half-gallon of oil in the pan with the eggplant and there is a heavy china platter on top to keep the eggplant from floating.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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