Thursday, July 16, 2015

Day 215 - Canning Adventures - July 2015

Beets!!  Again!  Oh my goodness will they ever be done?  I am almost grateful for the batch that died in my fridge over the week my grands were here

Not my fave - but great to learn on because we don't care for them as a cooked veggie.  I remember loving pickled beets growing up but have gotten so out of eating pickles and beets since my husband doesn't like any of them.  This learning project of mine is a great exercise because I am rediscovering things I like to eat that I have slowly given up over the years as too much trouble for ONE.  I need to keep remembering that "I" am the "ONE" and I deserve my best efforts :-)

Anyway - back to beets.... I tried the PHAT beets I made a couple of weeks ago - and they were okay EXCEPT.... rosemary.  I was a little heavy handed with it and that did not go well (in my opinion).  I like rosemary - but I have to remember that whatever spices I choose to use in a pickle - are going to be shut up in the jar like a genii in a bottle and just gain strength over the time it is bottled up!

Anyway - they are salvageable by opening the jar, removing the rosemary and diluting the liquid with water.  This, of course, is as you are ready to eat them - you must leave them in the fridge after opening!

So - I tried a new recipe for a basic pickled beet and onion... well.. I merged two recipes actually...

I took a Basic Pickled Beets Recipe  and changed up the spices to match a Spicy Pickled Beets Recipe    Mostly it doubled the cinnamon and cloves and added allspice... spices I can handle better than rosemary..... I think!

SO MANY!!  That quart jar in the back is the remainders!  I think I put up more than a case of half-pints (my preferred size for gift giving and personal use) and then just got tired!  Two batches in the canner and one left over to process later....

Sometimes these recipes are hard to figure..... I mean - truly I have no idea how many pounds of beets I have!  So I SEARCH pounds beets = cups chopped ... or whatever parameter is in my recipe.  And I factor in that this recipe makes However many pint jars (which = twice as many half-pints).  It's a ballpark amount at best.

As long as I am EXACT in my ACID...  (ie vinegar, water, lemon juice).... I feel free to play with spices and produce!

I also learned this week that a new cucumber I have been receiving in my CSA box... dies really fast!  With all the excitement in the last few weeks, sometimes produce might sit a week in the fridge before I can get to it.  These new yellow - supposedly burpless - cucumbers.... won't last a week.  I had to throw out quite a few when I got back to them!

I used what I had to make another batch of kosher dill spears.. since I have so many dill lovers...  most in half-pints.... with a pint jar of the remainder odd pieces of cuke and brine...  and, of course, that lone remaining beet jar to be sealed..

 A friend did approach me and ask for a favor this week... apparently she has a plum tree that hangs over her driveway.... the plums are starting to fall.  Would I mind too much coming and taking the plums?  Hmm.... not at all!!  Look out next week for PLUM adventures since I have never done anything with plums besides eating them!

And that is it for this week.... still keeping notes on the print-outs of the recipes I used so I can begin to compile my personal faves.....

What would YOU do with a bunch of plums?

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