Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pre-vacation preservation

The rescued harvest from yesterday's early snow

A counter full of produce and we leave in 36 hours
But already, I have made my first Sweet Green Tomato Pickles!  I've enjoyed fried green tomatoes before but pickling them is something completely new and different.  I used Lianna Krissoff's recipe in Canning for a New Generation, with one significant modification - I traded out an overnight soak in pickling lime for Ball's Pickle Crisp.  Honestly, I'd have happily used the lime but I can't find it anywhere.
sliced heirloom tomatoes from my garden
Like many of the canning and preserving recipes I have followed, I was amazed at how simple it actually was when you got right down to it.  I sliced tomatoes and removed woody cores - hence the PacMan look of a few of them - while watching the morning news, mixed up the witches' brew these Sisters of Elphaba were headed into, and prepped my canning supplies.
don't laugh, organization is good!

The slices bubbled away for 15 minutes while my sinuses cleared every time I stirred the pot.  Six pints and 25 minutes later (10 for processing plus altitude adjustment)...
I sampled a few extra bits from the pot - delicious!
I think lack of time dictates the red peppers will be diced or sliced and frozen in one cup packages.  How handy is it that they don't need to be blanched first, yes?!  The herbs will be a bit trickier as I don't seem to have ice cube trays to freeze their pureed goodness into.  That's the bad part about moving so much - sometimes useful items get donated away because they are not useful right now.

Sour pickle and Sauerkraut update - the kraut has been in the refrigerator for a week or so and tastes perfectly sauerkraut-y.  The pickles make the stairs headed to the basement, their fermenting hideout, smell divine and they do seem to be successfully souring, as occasional slices confirm.  Two pickles have bit the dust because they had moldy white stuff ON them and  I just could not get a clear read on what that meant.  I know the yummy ones from the big barrels of cloudy brine I ate in my childhood did not have moldy white stuff on them, though, so off they went. 

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