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Pickled Nasturtium Pods

August 14th, 2017

I’ve heard of pickled nasturtium pods (which are the seeds) before, but I’ve never had them. Since I have quite a large crop of nasturtiums this year, I decided it was the perfect time to make a batch to see if I like them.

PICKLED NASTURTIUM PODS
(from The Joy of Pickling)
4 1/2 Tablespoons pickling salt
3 cups water
1 pint fresh, green, plump nasturtium pods
4 whole cloves
1 inch blade of mace (unground)
1/4 nutmeg kernel
1 slice horseradish (about 1 1/2 inches in diameter x 3/16th inch), cut into strips
1 shallot
about 1 cup white wine vinegar

Dissolve 1 1/2 Tablespoons of salt in 1 cup of water, and pour this bring over the nasturtium pods. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours.

Drain the nasturtium pods, make fresh brine the same way as before, and pour over pods again. Again, let them stand overnight and do the same on the third day.

On the fourth day, drain the pods, put them into a jar with the cloves, mace, nutmeg, horseradish, and shallot, and cover all well with vinegar. Cover jar tightly and let it stand at room temperature for at least 1 week. After opening the jar, store it in the refrigerator.

I hear they are like capers, we shall see. I’ll let you know in a few weeks when they are ready.

What interesting things are you making this week?

Pickling up a Storm (or at least lots of veggies)

August 10th, 2017

Over the past week or two I’ve been pickling all sorts of things from the garden. At the moment, I have six different things in various stages in the pickling process. So far all the recipes are from the book, The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich. I’m making a few favorites and trying a few new and interesting things, like pickling nasturtium seeds and Iranian pickled onions with mint.


So far I’ve made:
Lower East Side Full Sour Dills (page 45)
Dutch Lunch Spears (page 91)
Cornichons a Cru (page 97)
Olive Oil Pickles (page 98)
Pickled Nasturtium Pods (page 165)
Sweet Gherkin Pickles (page 230)
Shallots or Onions Pickled with Mint (page 291)

Still on my list to make this summer:
Zucchini Relish (page 314)
Short Brined Pickled Peppers (page 136)
Pickled Fennel with Orange (page 274)
Pickled Jerusalem Artichoke (page 131)


This is a great book to have in your cookbook library if you have a garden and are interested in pickling/preserving. Pretty much anything you can think of pickling is in this book. I purchased this book years ago and it’s always on my kitchen table this time of year. I’ve made loads of recipes from it and have so many more I’d like to try.

What are you pickling this summer?

More Tomato Soup

October 17th, 2016

I spent some time this past weekend canning more tomato soup, it’s one of our favorite things to have for quick meal. It’s about the only thing I can nowadays (everything else goes into the freezer). Last year, I labeled my tomato “Tomato Soup 15” which I noticed looked like it said “Tomato Soup IS”. That become the joke and we all started calling it that. (here’s my blog post with the recipe)
canning-tomato-soup-3
When I made soup this year I couldn’t bring myself to change the name, so I decided each year it would be something, this year it’s a heart. Tomato soup is LOVE in 2016, next year it will be something else.
canning-tomato-soup-1
canning-tomato-soup-2
This year I managed to tuck 50 pints of tomato soup in the panty, that’s almost once a week that we can enjoy this delicious treat. It’s such a nice feeling knowing that I have a few instant meals in the pantry and they are healthy and homegrown, you can’t beat that!

What’s your favorite quick meal when you’re busy?

Quote of the Day: Preserving

September 13th, 2015

It is the natural course of events for food to be abundant for a little window in time. Blackberries will be lusciously ripe for just a couple weeks. Rich porcini flush quickly as the rain comes. They won’t wait for your schedule. Be it pickling or jelly making,r ally yourself for gathering and deal yourself into the working game in your kitchen. BEtter yet, deal in some friends or family too: have a working party. Putting up food together links you with thousands of years of human traditions. And it’s a blast.”

Connie Green and Sarah Scott The Wild Table: Seasonal Foraged Food and Recipes

This past week a lot of the garden has been at maximum production. It doesn’t matter how I plan, it seems everything comes ripe at once, and always before a trip or some other big event. The result is LONG days of frantically putting up food for the depths of winter.

Preserving the harvest 4
Preserving the harvest 3
This has been one of my best tomato years every, the bounty just keeps coming. So far I’ve canned around 40 pints of tomato soup, 15 quarts of tomatoes, along with putting a bushel in the freezer to be made into sauce when there is more time. I have also been drying my ‘Principe Borghese’ tomatoes, which are perfection. I grow this variety just for drying and I dry as many racks as I can. They are amazing in omelets and sprinkled on top of pizza.
Preserving the harvest 1
Preserving the harvest 5
My late flush of zucchini and beans are coming on strong, I did the first picking of beans yesterday and put a gallon of blanched haricots verts in the freezer. Zucchini was cubed and blanched, and grated as well, both varieties are tucked away in the freezer to be added to winter soups and frittatas.
Preserving the harvest 2
The apple trees are also producing by the bushel this year. One variety is ready even though I am not. I picked a half bushel for eating and then froze the rest to be turned into apple butter and some applesauce for Mr Chiots. Yesterday, I managed to preserve over 150 lbs of homegrown fruits and vegetables for us to feast on this winter. Not only will I save a bundle on my groceries, we’ll be eating healthfully as well. The satisfaction of nourishing yourself is an amazing feeling!

What are you putting by for winter?

Roasted Tomato Passata

September 24th, 2014

I’ve been making this version of tomato sauce for years, ever since I got The River Cottage Preserves Handbook five years ago. It’s quick and easy and tastes AMAZING. Many of you asked for the recipe so here it is.
roasting tomatoes
ROASTED TOMATO PASSATA
(adapted from The River Cottage Preserves)

4.5 pounds of ripe tomatoes
7 ounces of thinly sliced shallots or onions
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced
a few sprigs of various herbs, thyme, basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary,
(I use one sprig of each if I have them)
1 teaspoon of sea salt
freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup good olive oil
2 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Cut tomatoes and place them cut side up in a single layer in a shallow dish. Scatter onions and garlic slices over the tomatoes, tuck herbs down under the tomatoes. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top, drizzle with olive oil and put in over. Bake for 1.5 or 2 hours.

Remove from oven, put into pan and bring to a slow simmer, cook until shallots are soft. Stir in balsamic vinegar. Pul through food mill with medium sized place, you want the seeds to be strained out but want a bit of texture to remain.

Proceed to can as you would tomato sauce, I did mine for 40 mine in a waterbath canner for pints. Check your favorite canning book for guidelines for canning tomato sauce.

roasting tomatoes (1)
roasting tomatoes (2)
This recipe is great because it can be used for pasta sauce, pizza sauce, it can be thinned with chicken stock to make a delicious tomato soup. I love the rich flavor, it’s well worth the effort to roast the tomatoes.

What’s your favorite way to use tomato sauce?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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