In our home we love the process of making passata. From grinding them down to bottling.
We also love to try out new things like olives, and anti pasto. Jams and pickles too.
What is your all time favourite thing to preserve and do you have a favourite recipe for it or a way of preserving it?
Sauerkraut. No frills version, cabbage and salt. It is not so much that I need a way to preserve cabbage, I just like ’kraut.
My hubby is attempting to make that at the moment. But I think he used a brine. Do you simply mix the cabbage and salt together and pack into jars or mix together and leave it for a while before canning it?
My family would vote for Sweet Pickles. We put them on hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, and chop them for tartar sauce. We go through a pint a week around here. They’re addicting. My kids won’t eat beets, but if I slice and pickle them with the same brine, they’ll devour them like candy. I even pickle green beans.
Oh gosh, I don’t know if I could pick a favorite. We do love making various pickles (cucumbers, peppers). My husband is the jam maker. Forced to pick a favorite, it would probably be hot pepper jelly. We get a lot of requests for that.
Will share recipe later from my PC.
My new favorite may be mixing my own chili powder from home grown and dried peppers, garlic and onion. I have to purchase the cumin and salts, buts it’s still damned good.
Making goulash with my own dried paprika was sooooo freaking good – but I’m always shocked at how much fresh produce/herb it takes to make an oz. dried. Now I understand high prices of spices!
We are still searching for the perfect cucumber dill pickle recipe. We almost had it last year but my husband didn’t record it.
Gardener 80, I shred the cabbage very finely (v-slicer/mandoline) and layer with salt, packing down well at each layer. I use the end of a bit of dowel usually used as a rolling pin and give it a good pounding. Usually this will make enough liquid to cover the cabbage, but check after a couple of hours and if not covered, add brine. Sometimes over the life of a crockfull I will need to add brine as the liquid evaporates.
It doesn’t really need a recipe, unless you add in other things and want to remember how much and if you liked it or didn’t. It is more of a technique than a recipe and is pretty simple.
I don’t can kraut because I want all the living goodies and raw kraut tastes better to me. If you want to use it in a recipe, canned or fresh will probably have the same taste and texture. I tend to put it on sandwiches or just have it as a side dish, like a pickle.
This was the first winter in years that was cold enough to make really good ‘kraut. When made in warmer weather it ferments faster and I don’t think it tastes as good.
This is a good page to read. http://www.wildfermentation.com/resources.php?page=sauerkraut
I hope your husband’s batch turns out well. I don’t know about using brine, but can’t see any reason it wouldn’t work. Just make sure to get all the air out from between the layers as it is an anaerobic fermentation.
Basically, any lacto fermented vegetable is my favourite! I haven’t been able to make fermented dilled cucumbers because I can’t buy the right sort of cukes. Guess what I’m growing next year ;-)
As well as sauerkraut, Kim Chi is also a favourite, prepared with all sorts of different inclusions as the mood and availability allow. Last summer I made one with the cubed, white part of a watermelon rind as the basis. Absolutely delicious and the texture was quite firm. I ended up using some of it in cooking and it added a lot of flavour and piquancy to several slow cooked pork and beef dishes. I had to cook it because even using the rind of just one small melon, it made quite a lot!
I made lactofermented pickles for the first time this fall. My family will eat them, but I think we all prefer pickles canned in brine (still looking for the perfect recipe).
I have made saurkraut successfully with brine in a mason jar set in a cool, dark cabinet for several weeks. I’ve tried making lacto-fermented kraut twice and failed twice. Maybe the third time will be a charm.
Creme, kraut IS lacto fermented, even the commercial kind. All brine is is water and salt. So if you are using brine, you ARE lacto fermenting! Using salt only without the water is simply using the water from the veggies.
Maybe you just need to can the pickles you made to have them suit the family tastes. At least your family will eat them. My husband is more challenging :-/
Tell me how the kraut failed you?
A twist on the process of preserving, but my favorite is raspberry-infused brandy. It takes the longest (3-4 months) but that means that it is done just in time for holiday gifts. We had enough berries to make 3 gallons this year. Yeehaw!
mcav0y, sounds delicious! do you put in berries then strain? Are the brandied berries used for anything?
I fill a large mason jar 1/2-2/3 full of berries, then fill with brandy to the top. Let them sit for 2 months, then strain using a coffee filter. Mix with a simple syrup, a hint of lemon and a bit of food grade glycerin (to thicken it slightly). Bottle it, then let it age for another 2 months (it mellows it a lot).
Unfortunately, after sitting in the brandy for a few months, the raspberries are spent. See pict: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcav0y/5205729297/
My compost worms seem to like them, though!
WOW! Great jobs guys!!!! SO many ideas getting thrown around in our home now. My hubby loves the whole fermentation process and yeast based goodies.
I love to do sweet things, things with fruit and drying. Also tomato goodies too. We use Fowlers Vacola and a dehydrater. We do all our herbs in our shed in paper bags.
Thanks guys for all you recipies and idea’s. Keep them coming!!!
mcav0y, that really is spent. I’ve never seen worms in their cups, but since they can’t link arms arms and sing I guess they must at least snore really loudly (for worms). Thank you for the recipe. I can’t grow enough raspberries to spare any, but the basic recipe might be worth trying with other berries and fruits? I am hoping to finally get fruit from my Jaboticabas and the Davidson Plum next summer.
Gardener80, I think you have struck a vein. Care to share your passata and olive techniques?
The first time I tried just cabbage and salt in a food grade plastic bucket. I tamped it down and put plastic wrap on top, weighted with a plate. It seemed to start off well enough, but I had to leave town for an extended time. I totally forgot about the bucket and by the time I asked my husband to check, it had gone moldy. I figure this happened either because I didn’t tamp the cabbage down enough, or because it didn’t get skimmed.
Same probably happened with my second attempt. That time I used water filled baggies to weigh down the cabbage. That time it looked nasty on top fairly quickly. I checked it a few times for skimming but it didn’t ever seem to make foam, then one day I checked and it just didn’t look right so I tossed it. Again, I suspect that I didn’t get enough oxygen pressed out of the cabbage.
I did scald the bucket before use both times, but it’s possible the buckets need to be cleaned better.
Do you use antibacterial detergent? It is death on a lot of good organisms too, so if you use it you have to rinse it very, very well.
You are probably right about the air. If the cabbage is shredded very fine, it is much easier to get the air out. Using a mandoline is easier than hand slicing. Maybe try a large glass jar for a smaller test batch. At least you can see any air that is against the glass.
When we do our passata we use a red plastic hand cranked machine that we got from our local deli, from memory I think it was around $50. It seperates the skins and seeds and a beautiful red juice is left. We then put it all in a big pot on the stove for a few hours at low heat and then we bottle it using Fowlers. It then gets used for pizza sauce, in pasta sauce and soups.Although it can be messy, it is rewarding to see all those jars waiting to go into the pantry.
As for the olives, we hung some in salt to cure them and then they went into a oil and vinegar brine. I have put garlic and herbs and chilli in too. With the green ones I tried to get the flavour you get from the ones in the supermarket deli. Sadly I never got there. I just couldn’t find the taste I wanted.
Mind you we made the olives 2 years ago and we have a huge jar left over. The people we got the from had a bad season with them this time round, so we didn’t do them this year.
Has anyone got a good way of preseving or using up zuchinnis? We are getting 2 every few days. I have 3 different varities in and although they look great in the garden, my fridge is starting to fill!!!! They all seem to have a different texture and water content too. The yellow seems to be sweeter and the white is very watery.
I read in The Resilient Gardener by Carol Deppe that drying squash has revealed some new favourite foods for her. She did say that most zucchini dried to a less than pleasing blandness, but some were delightful and worth growing just for drying which brought out an entirely different flavour. She slices some squash very thinly to use as eat-out-of-hand chips, others are dried in more substantial pieces to use reconstituted.
Unfortunately, the varieties she talks about are mostly not grown here, but the idea has me interested enough to want a dehydrator! See if your library has the book.
Well, I didn’t grow the plums, but I did pick them. Small handwritten sign led me to a little orchard on the way home from Crow’s Nest last Sunday. All of the plums are bird pecked, so I’m not saving any in pieces but pulping/saucing the lot, bit by bit as they ripen more.
Chili Plum Sauce is a favourite of mine and this recipe is easy and good. If you don’t want to crack the stones, possibly add a few drops of almond essence to replace that flavour. Use chilli to taste.
October 18, 2011
1.5kg plums, halved
1 1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp whole allspice
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
3 cups white-wine vinegar
1 hot chilli, seeded and chopped (optional)
…an outstanding all-purpose barbecue sauce and a splash in the roasting tin after cooking a leg of lamb, before a quick bubble-up with a glass of wine, creates an instant sauce. This sauce keeps for months. I have a bottle in my own cupboard that is two years old. The sauce has become a bit darker over time but still tastes great.
Stone plums, then crack half the stones* and tie them in a piece of muslin. Tie spices in another piece of muslin. Put muslin bags, plums, sugar, salt, ginger, vinegar and chilli (if using) into a large non-reactive pot and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Cook steadily for 20 minutes until plums have collapsed. Remove muslin bags and press all juices back into sauce.
Pass sauce through the coarse disc of a food mill and return to rinsed-out pan. Boil steadily for a few minutes until sauce is as thick as you would like it. For a super-smooth sauce use a blender. Remember to only place a small quantity in the flask at a time as the steam will force the lid off and you can burn yourself. (Remember, too, that the sauce will thicken further when it is cold and it ought to be pourable.) Pour into hot, sterilised bottles or jars, seal and label. Leave for at least a week before using.
Makes 2 litres. * To crack plum stones, place them in a teatowel and give them a moderately hard whack with a meat mallet. Alternatively, use a hammer but be gentle lest the result is fragments, rather than pieces.
I avoid antibacterial soaps as if they were the plague itself!
I have dried zucchini and yellow summer squash for use in soups. Reconstituted they seem to just soak up the flavor of the soup. Good for veggie or minestrone soup.
I’d not thought of eating them as dried chips. I might try that this year, a bit of herbal flavoring and salt and dry them to tender crisp.
Oh my gosh, that plum sauce looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it. Every summer we make pulled pork that is slowly smoked on the grill all day long and finally glazed with a plum sauce for the last hour until it has a nice, thick crispy crust. THIS will be my new sauce. My mouth is watering already.
Creme, I know you’ll like it, and couldn’t be easier.
Pulled pork, picture me drooling. Oh, to have a grill! I have to wait for the trees to grow and cut the wind or I’d set fire to the entire mountain : – (
To add to the yumminess of meat. a few nights ago my hubby made venison pastrami. So good, you can’t even tell it’s venison!
Well, it may not be a vegetable, but that sounds really good! You have a smoker?
gardener80 – I harvest tons of Zucchni & make dozens of pints of Zucchini Relish. I have used the yellow, black, striped & cousa. All make a different colour & tasting relish – & it is one of the things most requested my family & friends. I also give my mom a lot of zucchini, which goes into her zucchini bread. By the time late fall rolls around she has a freezer full! I also use my zucchini on Bruschetta. When the season is ending I start filling freezer bags of chopped onion, garlic, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, oregano, cilantro, marjoram & thyme with a tsp of brown sugar. It is a really nice treat to spread it on some nice thick bread in the winter. It can be watery when thawing, so make sure you drain it well before spreading it on the bread!
I tried the dried zucchini chips this year & enjoyed them. I overdried a batch of tomatoes (supposed to be a leathery sundried texture). They ended up hard & crispy. I have been eating them all winter as chips. Maybe I’ll try a mixed bag of tomatoes & zucchini next year!
That Chili Plum Sauce sounds AMAZING! I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for the recipe LillyPilly