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


The Old Foodie
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I'm going to avoid all of this idea with the cafè, but let me ask this question anyway...I think in the first post I mentioned that I give a good coating of lemon juice to my zucc right now. Do you think that addresses the acidity issue? Not that I'm going to do it, but I'm trying to understand the role of acid since I do almost no canning.

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There is a threshold pH of 4.6. If your food is more acidic, it can be water-bath canned. More basic (higher on the numeric scale), you have to pressure can to kill any botulism spores. Here's a Michigan site. The entries on acid and low-acid foods may be helpful.

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There is a threshold pH of 4.6.  If your food is more acidic, it can be water-bath canned.  More basic (higher on the numeric scale), you have to pressure can to kill any botulism spores.  Here's a Michigan site.  The entries on acid and low-acid foods may be helpful.

Agreed... And just a note that pH is not the only factor... Density also matters, which is why as far as I'm aware winter squash purees are not safe to home can, even with a pressure canner.

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I prefer to use fresh zucchini but sometimes when my father bring too much then i first peel and cut them into pieces. After that just half boil them for 5 minutes and then freeze them in a box. In this way you can use them any time and you may use for months as well.

Edited by Talat_kas (log)

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  • 3 months later...

I've accumulated a batch of Canadian Crown preserving jars and need a little advice before I fill them.

I expect there is something similar in the US. These are glass jars with round glass tops that are held in place by a screw-down metal rim (different from Mason jars that have a metal cap with a rubberized underside.)

None of these about 2 dozen Crown jars came with rubber seals. But I would have thought that glass-on-glass would not give an airtight seal. Maybe I'm wrong. But I don't want to waste the time and materials doing a batch of preserves that won't keep because I didn't chase down the rubber seals I need.

does anyone have any experience with these glass-on-glass jars?

Peter

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Yup, Lisa is correct - you need the rubber rings. Most hardware stores, department stores or even grocery stores will have them this time of year. Take the glass cap with you to make sure you get the right size.

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  • 8 months later...

Just picked up an English book on preserving at the thrift store--and one of the recipes is for salting green beans in layers to preserve them--has anyone done this?

It sounds as though it might be a good thing to do--I'm thinking of Szechuan green beans--all wrinkly & crispy-- & with concentrated flavor

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

For the first time I have some basil, lemon basil, marjoram, rosemary and thyme that are worth preserving.

I would prefer not to dry them as they turn drab colors. Is there a way to save them without losing the great colors they have right now? I was wondering if there was someone out there with a great tip on vacuum preserving to keep the coloring or if someone had another way for me to try.

I would love to be able to use them in the winter!

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Here is something that shows a few ways to preserve herbs. Notably the microwave drying of small quantities. I've used that method before with good success.
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Is there a way to save them without losing the great colors they have right now?

You could try doing a Herbe Salée. The traditional Acadian way involves filling a mason jar with alternating layers of herbs and salt. Some plants take to this treatment better than others but in the end you get a preserved flavour and colour combo, albeit a salty one.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

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

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Is there a way to save them without losing the great colors they have right now?

You could try doing a Herbe Salée. The traditional Acadian way involves filling a mason jar with alternating layers of herbs and salt. Some plants take to this treatment better than others but in the end you get a preserved flavour and colour combo, albeit a salty one.

Excellent suggestion! I think the other herbs will fare better than the basil. I've only had soups made with Herbes Salee but they were lovely, especially in the depths of winter in the days before fresh herbs were common at the grocery store.

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Wash them, spin them dry, put them in a zippie and freeze them. I do that for everything from bay leaves to kaffir lime leaves to winter savoury. You are never going to retain the great color, but freezing is better than drying, at least in our kitchen :smile:

If you are a pesto person, you can whiz up the basil olive oil portion of the recipe and freeze that in small containers or zippies. When you want pesto sauce, you thaw the basil, run some garlic and pine nuts through your press, grate in some cheese and bob's yer uncle.

Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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Pesto freezes very well, and you can also do a non-pesto herb puree. Just herbs, oil and a little water in the blender. Freeze in ice-cube trays, then transfer to zipper bags.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
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I am with Badianne, I freeze them in quart or gallon Ziploc freezer bags. I bet I have 30 bags of frozen herbs in the freezer right now. They retain their color and flavor, and some of them even their texture (which is creepy). When you thaw sage, it springs back to it's original turgor and totally looks fresh. Weird.

Cilantro is the only herb that won't freeze that I've found. It just doesn't taste like anything, it loses all it's flavor. I chop leafy herbs (like basil) to the size I use most often. I freeze thyme on the stem and then just crinkle the frozen bag when I want some, the leaves fall right off the stem. Same with rosemary.

While this method won't give you a fresh basil leaf, it will have most of the flavor of fresh if you use it in a cooked dish. I will use it in a salad dressing, too.

I've tried freezing herbs in ice cubes with water, but I like the flavor frozen dry in a bag much better. Herbs freeze well in oil, but for the amount of herbs I freeze it's WAY easier (and more space saving) just to chop them and pop them in a bag. Plus I don't want to use that much oil in my cooking always. And I can use frozen herbs in rice without making it all greasy from the oil cube if I freeze them in the bag.

Call me the bag lady.

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