It’s Pickling Time

 

 

It’s pickling time of year! I just want to remind you of a few things to get the best pickle. 

One, is the type of cucumber you are using to make pickles. You need a pickling cucumber. The best ones are from the black spine type, with small black prickles, such as the Chicago Pickling Cucumber and National Pickle.

Wash all ingredients carefully to remove bacteria, which might spoil your product. In washing cucumbers, DON’T scrub so that you remove the black prickles. A good way to get off the dirt and bacteria is to soak them for a few minutes in a glass or plastic container with a tablespoon of pickling salt and one tablespoon of vinegar. Rinse well in running water as you gently rub them.                                The pot you will be using to make the brine should never be brass, copper, iron or aluminum. Any of these will produce a strange taste and undesirable color changes because the metals will react with the vinegar and salt solutions. Use enameled ware, glass, or stainless steel. Stir with wood spoon and or stainless steel ladle.  

Whenever possible, use water without chlorine. Here is how you can use your water to eliminate chlorine and other minerals. Plan in advance and boil the water for 15 minutes. Let stand for 24 hours. When all the sediment has settled to the bottom, ladle the water from the top. Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar with 5 % acidity to each gallon of water before using. Or buy bottled distilled water and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to each gallon. You will never regret all this effort. 

Do not use table salt in pickling or canning. Table salt has iodine and anti-caking agent. That will turn pickles an undesirable color and soften the pickle. Use Pickling salt for best results. 

Vinegar should be 5 % acidity. Check the label for percentage of acid and also check the expiration date. If it is past the expiration date, use it to make salad dressing not pickles. Vinegars of unknown strength should not be used. Either cider or white vinegars may be used. When pickling light-colored foods such as onions, white vinegars is preferable for it will not darken the ingredients. When making a simple solution of vinegar, pickling salt, and water, do not boil more than 5 to 6 minutes unless otherwise directed in the recipes. Long boiling weakens vinegar. Follow the timings suggested in the recipes: if a recipe says bring just to boil, do that. 

Always use fresh spices and herbs. Old ones will discolor the product and produce musty, strange flavors. If a recipe calls for you to put spices in a spice bag ( cheesecloth tied with kitchen twine) make sure it is not too tight so the brine can flow through during the cooking time. Remove bag before canning. If you have access to fresh grape leaves, wash them and place on top of produce in the jar. This will keep the produce under the brine and help with keeping the produce crisp. Any recipe can be changed to fit individual taste in SPICES Only. Do not change the amount of vinegar, water or salt. Blended pickling spices are available commercially, I like to blend my own. Here are a list of spices I like using: Allspice, Bay Leaf, Black Pepper Corns, Cardamom, Cayenne, Chili, Cinnamon Stick, Coriander Seeds, Clove, Dill Seeds, Ginger, Mustard Seeds, Nutmeg ( grated), Hot Red Pepper flakes, Turmeric, and Celery Seeds. 

Garlic is a wonderful addition to pickles. But one warning; If you wish to add garlic to a jar of dill pickles or any pickles, you will need to peel the cloves then plunge them into boiling water first for 1 minute. This blanching process kills the bacteria on garlic, which can cause spoilage. Or you can place the cloves in vinegar for about 1 to 2 minutes before filling the jars. 

I hope this helps you get the best pickle for you and your family. 

See you in class

      

Something to share from All In A Jar

I had a class yesterday with some locals . I’m part of Nextdoor Lake Camanche North Shore. It is a wonderful site that the neighbors can share events, ask questions and let each other  know what is going on in our community. I offered a class at a reduced price to introduce All In A Jar to the neighbors. I’m so grateful that some students signed up. We had a great time together. This is what I found on the site today. I wanted to share it with you.

Penny’s All in a Jar Class

I have to let my neighbors know about my experience at Penny Porter’s Canning class yesterday! Right when you arrive at her home, the stage is immediately set; The Farm is exquisite! I got to meet All in a Jar owner Penny, sweet Wendy, and the chubby pupper Ruby. We visited the thriving, full garden and pulled the beets straight out and into the house! The class was informative and simply a blast! The lunch was pesto pasta and salad, and even the pesto was intriguing as she used kale and walnuts, sooo good! The pickled beets in the salad assured me that although I may have come into the class as a “beet sceptic”, in a few weeks I will be digging into a jar of deliciousness. 

I learned so much from just this one class. I’ve been looking for an easy way to introduce myself to the kitchen besides the slow cooker and i think I found my new favorite dinner/gift maker!

Thank you so much Penny for putting on this much needed class and being so hospitable. I’m already gushing to my family and friends about the experience and planning our class.

Up Coming Classes

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I love my new place but, I get the internet when the wind is blowing just right, so sometimes yes others no.
Also, having some issues with my calendar trying to upload my up and coming classes. Not sure if it is an internet thing or I just can’t remember how to get to it. So, anyway here are a few classes coming up.

Please let me know if there are any recipes you would like to learn.

Classes will be held at All In A Jar’s new location 3944 Curran Road, Ione, Ca. 95640 the last Saturday of each month.They will start at 11:00am and go for 3 to 4 hours. Depending on the recipes for that day. We will be making and sharing a meal together. No class in December.

October 31 at 11:00am

* Eggplant Caponata
This is like a thick and chunky Italian salsa. Great on sandwiches, steak or on some rusty bread with cheese.

* Rhubarb Raisin Chutney
This is a sweet-spicy condiment with intense flavor chile peppers,, tangy rhubarb, and a combination of the North African spices cumin seeds, coriander seeds and caraway seeds. It is wonderful with cheese crackers and grilled pork chops and chicken.

November 28 at 11:00 am

* Cinnamon Caramel Apple Syrup
This is wonderful on French toast, waffles, pancakes and ice cream.

* Roasted Pickled Beets With Orange slices
I love roasted beets and I love pickled beets. Beets and orange are wonderful in salads. So I have put them together for the perfect mix.

December Closed

January 30 at 11:00 am

* Vidalia Onion Conserve
This jar is a great appetizer just waiting to wow you. Make small puff pastry squares brush with beaten egg and bake according to package directions. Top with some onion conserve, goat cheese and thyme.

* Black Pepper Rosemary Sliced Apple
This is wonderful on top of pork. You could use it with a cheese platter too.

February 27 at 11:00am

* Penny’s Cheesecake

This cheesecake is like have a cheese platter for dessert. There is no cream cheese in this cake.

* Ginger Pears
This jar is indeed dessert. We will be putting it on top of our cheesecake.
You can also make it into a pie or put it on top of ice cream or in yogurt.

I’m looking forward to having you here on The Farm. Please email me letting me know what classes you would like to attend.
You can also make it into a pie or put it on top of ice cream or in yogurt.

POSTED IN CLASS | TAGGED AFRICAN SPICES, CAPONATA, CHUTNEY, CLASSES, CONSERVE, DESSERT, MEAL, NEW LOCATION, PICKLED, RECIPES, SYRUP | EDIT