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Salting is an easy way to ferment, pickle, and store vegetables

Salting is an old-fashioned fermenting or curing method for preserving vegetables. This technique was a popular food preservation method in the early twentieth century, especially during the first and second World Wars. Layering food with salt to preserve seasonal vegetables was promoted as an alternative to canning in order to conserve glass, metal, and fuel needed for the war effort. … …click to read more…

How to make and can pickled corn salad

This sweet-and-sour salad is one of my favorite pantry staples. It can garnish smoked salmon and crackers, quickly season a cabbage salad, accent bean soups or burgers, and accompany grilled or roasted meats. A row of this sunny yellow relish in your pantry brightens dark days throughout the year and brings the sweet scent of summer to winter meals. For more information … …click to read more…

How to make roasted red pepper relish (Ajvar)

This smoked pepper and eggplant relish, known as ajvar (pronounced EYE-vahr) is a salsa-like staple in southeast European countries including Croatia, Serbia, and Turkey. There are several styles of ajvar, some using red and others using green peppers. Some recipes simply chop and boil the vegetables, while others roast the peppers to bring out spectacular flavor. This recipe uses roasted sweet … …click to read more…

How to make Indian-style grilled and pickled eggplant

This grilled and pickled eggplant is spicy and well flavored with ginger, garlic, and spices typically used in Indian cooking: cumin, mustard, fenugreek, and turmeric. I find the flavors quite addicting. This eggplant pickle makes a delicious accompaniment to chicken or lamb dishes, or alongside a vegetarian meal of grains and vegetables. If you have no eggplant, use any firm zucchini or … …click to read more…

How to ferment half-sour cucumber dill pickles in brine

If you love crunchy pickles, be sure to try this recipe for Half-Sour Pickles, which are extra crisp, refreshing, and not too salty. So why are they called “half sour”? To make pickles by the traditional method, a weak brine of about 6% is used and the cucumbers are allowed to fully ferment, a process that takes 1 to-4 weeks. … …click to read more…

How to pickle sweet or hot pepper rings (jalapeno, peperoncino, etc.)

Pickled peppers have a multitude of uses. Pickled pepper rings can go on sandwiches, burgers, and tacos. Sprinkle them over salads or chop them with onion and add to mayonnaise for a quick tartar sauce. Serve them with vegetarian meals (such as rice and beans) to add interest to grain dishes. Or serve them with smoked fish or cheese on … …click to read more…

How to make spicy red tomato or green pepper relish from one canning recipe

Canning relish recipes are a great way to preserve a variety of vegetables at the end of the season. From one basic relish recipe, you can create two different relishes, one red and spicy, the other green and zesty. Tip: Before you harvest or buy the fresh produce for any canning project, check that you have all of the required … …click to read more…

For the best preserved fruits and vegetables, understand maturity vs. ripeness

To preserve fruits and vegetables at their peak, it helps to understand the difference between maturity and ripeness. Maturity means the produce will ripen and become ready to eat after you pick it. Ripeness occurs when the color, flavor, and texture is fully developed. Once it is fully ripe, fresh produce begins the inevitable and declining spoilage process. Here’s a … …click to read more…

What do you know about botulism? How safe is home canning?

Clostridium botulinum is a common, everyday bacterium found in soil and on food. Only under certain conditions does it become harmful. In the absence of air, such as in canned foods, C. botulinum may produce botulin, the toxin that causes botulism poisoning. Historical perspective on botulism poisoning A century ago, botulism poisoning was a problem in improperly processed foods canned at … …click to read more…

Canning tomatoes: what is best? Citric acid, vinegar or lemon juice?

When canning tomatoes safely at home, be sure to use tested canning recipes that add citric acid, vinegar or lemon juice.  Tomatoes are a medium-acid food with a pH in the range of 4.5–5.2. You must use a tested canning recipe that has determined the amount of acid to add in order to increase the acidity by lowering the pH … …click to read more…

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