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Oil Preserved Asparagus

May 30th, 2019

Last fall I purchased the book ‘Preserving Italy’ and spotted the recipe for asparagus preserved in oil. Fast forward to last week when the asparagus was coming on strong and I finally had enough to give the recipe a try. The asparagus is lightly pickled by being blanched in vinegar/water for 2 minutes. Then it’s dried, put in a jar, then topped up with olive oil.


It’s still mellowing in the fridge, but I’m looking forward to trying it. There’s a similar recipe in ‘River Cottage Preserves’ only the asparagus is roasted first. I may give that recipe a try this weekend to compare which one is best. I like that both of these recipes aren’t the traditionally fully pickled asparagus like so many are.

Are you an asparagus fan? Do you preserve any for the off season?

Peppers to Dry

September 5th, 2018

This year I grew two new varieties of peppers just for drying. We’ve eaten a few of them fresh, but they are two varieties specifically developed to dry. One is ‘Red Ember’ and the other ‘El Eden’, both from Johnny’s Seeds.


Since I only have one plant of each, I’m not keeping them separate. Both are getting trimmed and dried with plans to grind them into pepper powder. Neither pepper is very hot, so I’m hoping that mixing them will be a nice chili powder to use in the kitchen. So far, I’m pleased with both varieties and will continue to grow them each summer.

Do you grow any items to make spices from?

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?

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Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

About

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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