|tomatoes, green beans, peaches, marmalade, sauerkraut|
A coupon in the Sunday paper had me thinking about the recipes I've shared over the last several years for jam making, pickling, fermentation and other forms of "keeping" your bounty ready to use now AND later. So I decided to give you a set of links to the best of the recipes using different techniques.
Use Glass Jars To preserve and store your food, not plastic! I use my mason jars for storing everything from homemade broth, to preserved jams, to my dried herbs.
Ball/Kerr Jars (mason jars) is now known as Fresh Preserving. Here is the coupon code for use online. According to the newspaper the coupon is good through December 31, 2016. Click on the "Ball" picture to take you to their website.
I've mentioned that I have been canning for a number of years. But I've also just made versions which require refrigeration instead of water bath or pressure canning.
Let me point out some differences.
Lacto-Fermentation - do not can: If you decide to make sauerkraut or old fashioned dill pickles (and other "pickled" vegetables) using salt brine instead of vinegar, the good bacteria would be killed if you can the jars. The lacto-fermentation process creates good bacteria - as in live culture yogurt. If done properly once the sauerkraut or pickles reach your preferred taste, capped and refrigerated the product will last many months in your refrigerator as long as you use safe handling procedures (no cross contamination).
Refrigerator Pickles: If you choose to make these types of pickles you have the choice of canning after you add the boiled liquids. You would use the water bath method according to canning directions for size. Here is the link to the national canning center.
Lacto-Fermentation is not discussed in the national canning site. For more information on using lacto-fermentation go to this link.
Canning: Canning means using a boiling water bath or Pressure Cooker to preserve foods which are shelf stable - meaning they do not need refrigeration until opened. FYI all of my "Canning" recipes use no additional preservatives, so once you open a jar, you need to 1) refrigerate it and 2) use it up within about 3 weeks.
Real Marmalade -- I fell in love with this recipe because it uses the whole fruit and is delicious. Also the recipe means you can multiple the recipe by the number of fruit you have not by pounds. (If using small fruit like lemons or limes, just double the quantity of fruit but not the other ingredients per batch.)
Lemon Curd, Whole Cranberry Sauce, Pineapple Guava Jam. Our pineapple guava fruit is ready in November and I grabbed bags of fresh cranberries to make my own sauce.
Real Old Fashioned Sauerkraut - this is the fermented type and tastes just like it should without a "vinegary" taste, just a nice briney flavor.
My homemade pasta sauce with tomatoes and herbs fresh from the garden. Maybe one of the nicest foods you can make for your family from the garden.
Quick Pickles or any vegetable. These are "refrigerator" type pickles meaning they are ready in 4-24 hours. Chefs use this method a lot.
More Quick Pickle with Green Beans and Leeks
Pickled Baby Peaches. When we had to do the heart-breaking process of thinning our peach trees each year I thought there had to be something we could do with these tiny immature peaches. I found a great recipe, from Europe where this is a common way to use up everything. Why it works -- when you pick the baby peaches 3/4 of an inch or smaller, the "seed" is not former, so what you have is an "olive" type fruit waiting to be pickled. The recipe I shared is for a fruity type pickle but you can also adjust the spices to be more savory.
I posted a video on my youtube channel on thinning peaches. Check it out for when you need to thin your peaches (usually late Feb or early March).
I hope these recipes inspire you to save some of your garden bounty for later. The beauty of living in the valley here is the ability to preserve as we go through the seasons and not be limited to a major all-at-once harvest in the fall.
-- Catherine, The Herb Lady
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