Pickled Cucumbers, every which way.

Cucumbers are starting to come in and since I have a bit of reputation for pickling everything in sight, I’ve already started fielding requests for my favorite cucumber preserving recipes.  I thought I’d go ahead and put all my favorites into one post, so from here on out, I can just send this link in response to “What are your favorite cucumber pickle recipes?”


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Pink Pickled Turnips

In a recent conversation with my friend Aaron, the subject quickly moved to the subject of pickles – specifically these pickled turnips he and his wife Dahlia seemed to only find in Jerusalem and did I think I could recreate them.  He briefly described them to me and after a quick google search, I realized not only would they be fairly easy to make, but I had a recipe on hand for them already. (Joy of Pickling of course.)


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Variations on Hot Pepper Sauces.

My friend Cynthia is always generous with both her pepper plants as well as her peppers.  For a few years now, I’ve made a hot pepper sauce using her peppers (or peppers from plants I’ve gotten from her which I still count as Cynthia’s peppers) that gets rave reviews from those who’ve had it.  My secret is that I ferment it, which is how Tabasco is made and that was the hot sauce I wanted to replicate.

About how many peppers I harvest a week thanks to the 40 or so plants I have this year.

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A workshop with the master. And a festival!

IMG_6549 (1024x683)It almost escaped my attention that Sandor Katz was speaking at the Heritage Harvest Festival up at Monticello this past weekend.  Upon discovering this news, I immediately booked myself a spot in his morning workshop that was billed as a ‘premium workshop‘, meaning in addition to forking out money for a festival ticket, I shelled out money for the workshop as well.  I mention this because I pretty sure I haven’t paid to attend any sort of food or wine related event in a solid 15 years or so, with the last one I paid for also held up at Monticello – a canning and food preservation class (which yes, was THE class that began my canning odyssey), managing to get into all the events I’ve attended over the years for free. I found out later I probably could have finagled a free entry for this, but in the interest of karma, I figured it doesn’t hurt to actually pay for something once in a while. Continue reading

My must-have ferments.

So, let’s talk fermenting, shall we?  It’s one of the oldest, if not THE oldest way of food preservation and is frequently touted as having loads of healthy benefits.  I’ve only recently – as in the last few years – started dabbling in it.  I have a sourdough starter, which technically is fermenting, and then I managed to get my hands on a kombucha scoby because Edie was on a kombucha kick, but it’s taken me some time to really wrap my head around the whole fermenting process.  For someone who only vaguely follows recipes, it seemed like the loosey goosey-ness of fermenting would be a solid fit, but I have to admit, it’s taken me a good bit of reading, attendance of several fermenting classes and trying my hand at it more than a few times to really feel like I got it. Continue reading

Round tuit.

name 048I finally got around to trying some things that had long been on my want-to-do list – wine herb jelly and canning my fermented mini-gerkins.  I read in Joy of Pickling about hot water bath canning your fermented pickles and realized in the name of fridge space, I needed to do that before my fridge was overrun with jars of cute, mini-watermelon-like cukes. Continue reading

It’s not just me apparently.

After doing some reading as well as talking to some of my chef friends, I made an adjustment to my pickled peaches recipe in that I cut the processing time by half to 10 minutes for a pint.  Most pickle recipes have a 10 minute processing time, some as short as 5 minutes.  In reading every pickled peach recipe I have been able to track down, I’ve seen a wide range of processing times.   In comparing them all, I looked at the amount of vinegar used.  I found recipes similar to mine had a shorter processing time, so I tried it out.  The resulting pickles have been much firmer, as you can see in the pie I made with them. Continue reading

Well I’ll be.

It’s not all fun & games, lazy pool days & popsicles for breakfast while slowly overhauling the dining room here.   This morning, I got up, put a second coat on the walls (ain’t nothing left to do but the trim!!), packed some lunches, made a decent breakfast (and got it into her!) before dropping Edie off at her ‘mother’s helper’ gig at The Boar’s Head and then headed out to pick blueberries.

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