It was really awesome. They devoured the okra, worked through a lot of the pickles (sweetish, still crunchy!), left nothing of the strawberry jam and used the spicy tomato jam instead of ketchup on the burgers. Everything worked and worked pretty well. It was a reminder of why I really enjoy canning. Yes, I love to show off, but I love being able to feed people quickly and unusually. I love being able to do that or being able to reach into my pantry for an easy contribution to a potluck. I love that I never would have discovered pickled beets, apple butter or pickled okra before canning.
Archive for the ‘eating from cans’ Category
Y’all, I’ve been busy. No, I really have. Especially in the kitchen. I just haven’t updated about it for crap.
In the middle of August, my beloved fiancee wanted to go home and visit the future in laws for a break and to recuperate after finishing her master’s thesis. Would I mind? Not if we go to the pick your own the Sunday before, I didn’t! As in the way of the pick your owns, we drove for an hour, spent 20 minutes to pick 20 pounds of tomatoes (which cost $10) and then drove home. Rather than sitting on the couch, watching bad TV, eating forbidden foods and pining for her love, I canned while watching bad TV, eating forbidden foods and pining for her love. I canned 11 quarts of tomatoes in water for the coming year, made salsa and pasta sauce (not to be canned, alas) and then turned my eyes towards this spicy tomato jam recipe I have been eying since last year’s bumper crop of tomatoes.
I made the recipe with relative ease, though my large lemon needed to have been halved as well as sliced as thin as possible. The result was something that, from the side of the pot after canning, tasted like spicy ketchup. Well, that’s fine, not exactly what I’d intended, but I’d been thinking about making my own ketchup anyway. With this week’s outing at the beach, I finally pulled out a half pint and plopped it on top of a cheeseburger. It’s delightful, but far sweeter than I remembered it, with a delightful kick. More like a spicy tomato marmalade. But definitely worth a try and far more interesting on your burger than a bottle of Hunts. My friends all enjoyed it too, and I hear when they don’t enjoy my latest canning experiments.
My non-strawberry takeaways from Asheville, along with some dill seeds for pickling. Haven’t tried either yet, but I am excited to try!
So, with the strawberries I picked up in Asheville last week, I’ve made strawberry yogurt pops, strawberry infused vinegar, strawberry balsamic jam (post soon, I hope) and strawberry lemonade concentrate (again, post soon).
I canned the lemonade concentrate last night. Today, I am going to a BBQ at a friend’s house. Bringing a pint of the lemonade would be a nice idea. The problem? I can’t bring myself to do it.
Does anyone else have this issue? That they can’t bring themselves to open what they can until at least a month after they do it? Otherwise, what’s the point? I used a perfectly good canning lid on something I could have put in the refrigerator to use later. It’s actually a point of contention between my fiancee and I. I canned some really freaking good peach ginger preserves last October and found that she’d opened a jar to put some on her toast the next day.
Canning and preserving walks a fine line between wanting to enjoy something immediately (I almost always have leftovers that go in the refrigerator/freezer instead of the pot) and wanting to put something up for later. But when does later become relevant? I still have pints of preserved peppers I put up last October with no idea how and when I’m going to use them. If I don’t use the peaches I pickled last August now, when will I? They’re going to be past their use by date soon. Is it better to crack something open too early or wait until it’s too late and be sad about what might have been?
I put it to you, my fellow canvolutioners. How long do you wait to open something you’ve canned?
I heard about picklebacking from, where else, the internets, and decided it was worth a shot (pun unintended). So I bought a bottle of Jim Bean, pulled out my pickled carrots, a pin of my pickled peaches and a bottle of seltzer water to experiment.
A pickleback is a shot of whiskey followed by a shot of pickle brine. For some reason, I thought that it was more of a mixed drink and was slightly disappointed to discover that it wasn’t. I thought I’d experiment and give it a shot. We had a few friends over to experiment… only to discover that none of them drank whiskey. So, the fiancee and I gave it a shot.
The Straight Pickleback
I thought it was… fine. I’m not dying to try it again. I really like this pickle brine in general, but I don’t see how one works with the other. My fiancee, on the other hand, found it surprisingly tasty. The combination was complex and satisfying.
Pickleback… Spritzer? (whiskey + brine + seltzer water)
Ugh. Too vinegary and well nigh undrinkable.
I didn’t have enough brine from the pickled peaches to do peach picklebacks & a combo, so we just did combos,
Peach Pickleback Spritzer (whiskey + peach pickle brine + seltzer water)
Not enough flavor.
Peach Pickleback Combo (whiskey + peach pickle brine)
This is… fine.
All in all, I am distinctly meh. I think I was hoping to find some wonderfully transcendent cocktail that would reframe how I look at booze or some shit. Instead, I’ve found 4 drinks that don’t really work and one that does but not for me. Never fear, it’s too soon to give up my pursuit of booze.
I may be the only one with this problem, but I often find myself having a hard time figuring out what to do with my canned goods once I actually can them. I’ve been trying to find a way bring it all together into something tasty.
The first culprint was pickled peaches. I made a bunch over the summer, then had a ton of brine, so I made a ton more. I’ve enjoyed them in yogurt, but not a whole lot and I couldn’t figure out what to do with them. So I asked the kitchn blog and got some great responses. I finally around to giving it a shot today.
Rice Pilaf w/ Pickled Peaches & Almonds
1 cup uncooked rice
1 tsp olive oil
1 small diced onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 pint pickled peaches
1/4-1/2 cup toasted diced almonds
2 cups boiling water
Heat olive oil in the bottom of a pot on medium heat. Add garlic and onion, sautee until translucent. Add uncooked rice, toast for a few minutes. Add salt and boiling water, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Dice peaches, dice and toast almonds. Toss everything together. Nom.
Um, this is so, so, so good. I can’t stop eating it. I kind of feel like it might need a cheese, but I can’t think of a good one that would pair with it.
So, I made marmalade for the January can jam and forgot that I don’t really like marmalade. So I’ve been searching the internet for appropriate recipes and found Diana Rattray’s Spicy Crockpot Chicken. It was delicious, but cooked way faster than the times listed, possibly because I used a bigger crockpot than the author. The sauce thickened up delightfully, too. Highly recommend.