While I am in the process of establishing my farm as a business, I also recognize that others might be interested in my methods of storing produce when you just have too much. So on that note, I’m sharing my canning log with you. I hope it inspires you to get into the kitchen and start experimenting with your food. Trust me, anything that can come out of your kitchen will definitely be fresher and most likely healthier for you than anything you could find at the supermarket.
I had a lot of spare produce from this weeks’ activities. There were red raspberries that were picked in order to restock the jam cupboard. There were string beans, which we had three pounds remaining even after we gave some to the neighbors. There was the daikon radish and carrots, which just couldn’t wait any longer for the cabbage to hurry up and ripen, thus dashing my hopes for an early kimchee. Finally, there were store-bought strawberries, which were headed toward funkytown, being outshined in the refrigerator by the raspberries.
So the log:
Pickled Carrot and Daikon, refrigerator method
First I peeled and Julienned the carrots (approximately 5 carrots) and daikon, (about 4 good pieces) then put them into two clean and sterile half pint canning jars. Secondly I mixed a cup of water along with two T of rice vinegar, 2 T of sugar, 2 T of Diamond kosher salt and 5 peppercorns. I poured the pickling liquid on top, put the lids on and stuck them in the refrigerator. I’m really wishing I’d had some fresh cilantro on hand; I would definitely put that in the jars too. A sample taste led me to actually add a handful of coriander seeds in one jar. Very mild flavor. I might have to up the rice wine vinegar. (Inspiration from http://whiteonricecouple.com/recipes/vietnamese-pickled-carrots-daikon/ )
Rinsed 2 pounds of fresh raspberries, and sprinkled them with 1/8 C of Sugar In The Raw. Gently tossed them in the sugar and left them overnight in the refrigerator. This morning, set them in a wide shallow pan on high heat and let the liquid evaporate until the berries started to thicken, about ten minutes? I tasted and added another 1/4 C sugar, plus a sprinkle of grated lemon peel, a squeeze of lemon wedge, and a nice slug of Creme de Cassis. Tasted, and had to add another 1/4 C sugar. *I kind of hate that. I really don’t like adding sugar to fruit. It just seems daft to me* Well, that pretty much did the trick, so I jarred those up into 2 sterile half pint jars plus 1 4 oz jar, and gave them water bath treatment for ten minutes. Let them rest in hot water another ten. (Inspiration comes from a no-pectin blogger, see it here: http://www.nwedible.com/2012/08/how-to-make-pectin-free-jam.html
Spicy Dilly Beans
I took 2 pounds of my french filet beans (Calima beans, purchased from Comstock Ferre Seed Co.), cleaned off the stem end and snapped each one into a nice straight piece that would fit inside of a pint canning jar. I ended up filling three pint jars, plus one more with the little snapped off tiny ends. I put a clove of garlic, a handful of peppercorns, a handful of dill seeds, and 1 dried chili from last years garden, and stuffed the jars full of beans. Mixed 3 C of H2O with 3 C of distilled white vinegar and 4 T of Diamond Kosher Salt, and boiled that until the salt was dissolved. Poured the mixture into the sterile canning jars and gave them water treatment for ten minutes. ***I also had a handful of green cherry tomatoes which I saved after pruning my plants, so I pickled them as well, exactly as the dilly beans except that I added 1 dried bay leaf and 1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper. *This online recipe seemed delicious to me, it was my inpiration: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/06/spicy-dilly-beans-recipe.html
Pickled Strawberries – refrigerator method
I had a large container leftover of store-bought strawberries, which I was afraid would spoil before we got to them. So in an attempt to prolong their shelf life, I found a recipe online for pickled strawberries so I figured, “Why not.”
On the stove top, I put 1/2 C water, 1/4 C white distilled vinegar, 1 cinnamon stick, 1/4 C vanilla sugar, 1 vanilla pod, and 2 pieces of fresh Thyme. Simmered all those ingredients together, while hulling and cutting the strawberries into quarters, filling them into clean 1/2 pint jar. When all the sugar was dissolved in the stove top mixture, I strained the hot liquid and poured it onto the berries. I had some fresh basil in a jar on the counter, so I stuck a few springs into the jar and sealed it, and popped it into the fridge. *Inspiration : everything these women do looks so cool: http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2013/07/sweet-pickled-strawberries-shortcakes.html
All in all, my pantry looks much fatter, especially since there are five new half pints of honey in there from this weekends’ harvest. So that’s what I’ve been up to, while waiting for the tomatoes to finally ripen up!