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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Jessica's universal refrigerator pickle juice

cauliflower picklesThis can be used to make refrigerator pickles of just about any sort: cucumbers, cauliflower (shown), green beans, peppers ... Just add a tablespoon of pickling spices of your choice to the bottom of the jar, pack in the veggies, and ...

(makes enough for one quart of pickles)
1.5 cups water
3/4 cups white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons kosher or pickling salt
Combine ingredients in small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Uncover, stir to dissolve sugar and salt and boil for two minutes. Pour over vegetables and pickling spice in canning jar.

Let cool, then close jar and store in refrigerator for at least one week before eating. Eat within two months, if you can manage to keep them that long. This recipe can be doubled or tripled or quadrupled. If you make too much, just keep it in the fridge until you want to make more pickles.

You can vary the the type of vinegar, as long as it's at least 5% acidity. You can up the amount of sugar if you like sweeter pickles. Vary the pickling spices*, either by buying a commercial blend or making your own (both Penzey's and McCormick's are both good).

For dill pickles, put one tablespoon of pickling spice and one dill flowerhead (or one teaspoon dill seed) to a quart jar, then pack jar with either whole canning cucumbers or cucumber slices. Pour pickle juice in and then try to wait a week before eating!

* for a very simple version, try...
5 peppercorns
4 allspice berries
1 tsp whole yellow mustard seeds
1/4 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
for dill pickles, add a dill flowerhead or one teaspoon dill seed

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Labor day weekend canning

Remember when I said I was going to try to relax this weekend? Yeah, I didn't.

Labor day weekend canning

This is one of each of the ten (!!!) things I canned, plus one more that is in the freezer already. Starting from the top left...
  1. Tomatillo salsa
  2. Butterscotch peach jam
  3. Stanley plum jam
  4. Apricot jam
  5. Apple plum jam
  6. Melon orange preserves
  7. Tomato basil pasta sauce
  8. Roasted veggie pasta sauce
  9. Pepper salsa
  10. Leftover fruit chutney
Only two major issues: the apricot jam over set and the melon orange preserves under set. As these things go, not too bad. I think the apricot jam will be good cut up in homemade ice cream, and the melon orange preserves will make a tasty syrup.

I'm pretty much done with the canning now, though I've got a few more little things, and we'll see what we see at the next few farmers' markets.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mango chutney

I made mango chutney last weekend, and even fresh out of the preserving pot, it was tasty! I significantly changed the recipe I used (because I didn't have everything), so I wanted to write down what I did so I didn't forget...

Mango Chutney Recipe
(makes about 4-5 cups)

6 cups chopped just-ripe mango (about 4 mangos)
1.5 cups peeled, chopped apple (about 3 or 4, depending on the size)
1.5 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup Turbinado sugar
1 cup diced red, orange, and/or yellow sweet pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup sultanas or mixed raisins
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup non-crystalized candied ginger (found at Trader Joe's)
2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp. dried hot pepper flakes (I used Aleppo pepper because it's what we had)

mango chutney before
(mango chutney before)

  1. Prepare your preserving jars and lids.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together in a large preserving pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Be sure to use a large, tall pot since it will start to spit near the end.
  3. Simmer, stirring frequently for 45-60 minutes, until the mixture is thick and reduced to about a third of its original volume. I take a bar stool and sit next to the stove, stirring, and read a book. Squish up the apples when they get soft enough if they don't break up by themselves. Near the end, when it's spitting the most, you'll need to stir it constantly so it doesn't burn.
  4. Spoon it into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. I like widemouth pint jars, but anything but really big jars will work. Put anything that won't fill a jar into the fridge and make some curry to go with it. Yum! Put on the lids and seal.
  5. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
  6. Try to wait at last a couple weeks before you try it!
mango chutney after
(mango chutney after)

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Friday, August 29, 2008

More canning

Over the weekend, I did some canning.

More canning

That's mango chutney, pickled cabbage, and spiced pickled apples. I also made plum jam, but but the cans away before I took a picture. Plus slowcooker applesauce.

A busy weekend! I'm taking the day off today to give me a four-day weekend; maybe I'll actually get to relax this time ... but probably not, knowing me ...

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Monday, August 18, 2008


I've started the canning already this year.


That's pickled cherries, pickled onions, and peach and sweet pepper relish.

Close up of the onions:

pickled onions

Close up of the relish:

peach & sweet pepper relish

While those jars are pretty, they don't stack, much to my annoyance. Don't get them!

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