Sunday, August 22, 2010

Preserve the Bounty - Week 3 Wrap Up

Retro poster from Google Images.

I started the Preserve the Bounty Challenge in week three so I had a bit of catching up to do.

I skipped the week one challenge as I wasn't sure about fermenting and I'm still not. Sauerkraut and Kimchi? No thanks. I'm thinking about trying preserved lemons, but as of right now I don't see the point in doing it for this particular challenge, since lemons aren't local to my region. (The idea is to preserve your local produce for use in winter months when it won't be available. Since lemons aren't local - I have to buy them no matter what time of year it is.)

Week two's challenge involved preserving things in oil or fat. I caught up on this one by making four Compound Butters using my garden herbs - 2 1/2 cups of butter total. I also canned roasted red peppers in a mixture of oil and vinegar. I can tell you, I won't be canning roasted red peppers any time soon. Very time consuming for very little reward. I got one 500ml jar for my troubles.

With that out of the way I set to work on the challenge for week three - preserving in vinegar. My first attempt was Pickled Ginger. I ended up with two 500ml jars. I followed that up with Grandma's Pickles in a Bucket and was rewarded with two 1L jars. I later made two more 500ml jars. After a visit to the farmer's market, things really got out of control. Using 500ml jars, I ended up with two jars of dill pickles, one jar of pickled dill carrots, one jar of pickled dills AND carrots, one jar of pickled sweet peppers and one jar of sweet pickled carrots. I also go one 1L jar of pickled shallot vinegar! I should admit that I did cheat on this challenge and used the water bath canning method to boil many of the pickled products, just to make them shelf stable. I don't have room in my fridge for this many refrigerator pickle products! The Pickled Garlic and Grandma's Pickles in a Bucket were made without heat processing and are stored in the fridge.

Unrelated to this weeks challenge, I also canned fresh tomatoes, similar to what my Grandma makes. There is nothing better than tomatoes canned in water for making fresh tomato sauce in the winter. I used this recipe. It was incredibly easy. I got two one litre jars out of my tomato bounty (about 12-14 large tomatoes). I might make more next week after I pick up more tomatoes at the farmer's market. Again, I cannot express how awesome fresh canned tomatoes are in homemade tomato sauce. I even have a recipe using them!

Back to pickling... after making Ricardo's Beet Cakes, I popped the left over beets into a jar and pickled them too! One 500ml jar of sweet pickled beets. I can't wait to eat those! The only thing I didn't pickle this week were my farmer's market blueberries and cherries, but don't think I didn't consider it! Instead of pickling cherries, I canned some in a light sugar syrup (I followed this method). Another little canning bonus to go along with the tomatoes!

Preserved for Week 3:
- Pickled Garlic 2x500ml = 1 litre (not pictured)
- Pickles in a Bucked 2x1L and 2x500ml = 3 litres
- Dill Pickles 2x500ml = 1 litre
- Dill Carrots 2x500ml = 1 litre
- Pickled Sweet Peppers = 500ml
- Pickled Sweet Carrots = 500ml
- Pickled Shallots = 1L
- Pickled Sweet Beets = 500ml
Total Preserved: 8.5 litres
Bonus: 2 litres Canned Tomatoes and 1.5 litres canned cherries!

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