Here is the link to the sale: http://www.craftsy.com/ext/
Have you noticed how much interest there is in preserving veggies and fruits these days? When I was a kid, my Mom and Gram used to make jams and jellies out of whatever fruits we had too many of. My grandmother did some other preserving but I must admit, I never paid much attention. On the Christmas eve dinner table there was always a relish tray filled with watermelon rind pickles and bread and butter pickles.
A couple years ago, I started making dill pickles. My family is crazy over dill pickles and the two of them can eat a jar in an evening. I had a glut of cukes in my garden so I got busy preserving them. My friend Kay who is a Master Preserver of fruits and veggies answered my questions. I found this recipe called Blue Ribbon Dill Pickles that looked good and discovered it was really easy to put up jars and jars of cukes. And once I had the jars, it was really economical.
I must say, my family is now addicted to these pickles. This year, I decided to branch out and made some classic Bread and Butter Pickles and one called Olive Oil Pickles (the jury is still out on that one so I won't share the recipe yet - they are aging).
For the last couple weeks, I have spent hours pickling and preserving. I feel like an official Yankee farm woman putting up the harvest. It has been fun because it is something different to do and not drudgery (yet). My goal was to fill every canning jar I had (and I had a lot squirreled away in the basement) and I can happily say, my job is complete.
These are my favorite, indispensable tools. If you are going to get into pickling, I highly suggest a jar lifter (so you don't burn yourself) and a wide mouth funnel. Both these tools make it so much easier.
A couple weeks ago, I was rearranging things in our dirt floor basement looking for those jars and I discovered a large gallon glass jar with a big opening in it. I have always wanted to try lacto-fermented pickles. We love the ones we buy from our friends at Real Pickles. I called my friends at Storey Publishing and had them send some preserving books my way. Here are the fantastic books Storey sent me to review - all by Sherry Brooks Vinton.
The first recipe I have tried is called Classic Crock Pickles. Sherry's instructions were precise although fermenting cucumbers and any fruit is a bit like a science experiment. Here's what my gallon jar looks like. Sherry suggests weighting down the veggies with a quart jar filled with water.
The photo above is on Day One. I covered the jar up with a tea towel as she suggested (shown below).
This is after a week of fermentation. The liquid is starting to get cloudy. As the scum appears, I skim it off. I'm not sure how long the process will take but next week, I'll start tasting the pickles.
I will not process these fermented pickles because the heat will take away the healthful benefits of the fermentation (you can read about that here). I will keep them in the fridge. Next up is some sauerkraut. Not too much - just a little to have this winter.
If you are interested and live close to Boston, check out the Boston Fermentation Festival on September 27th and 28th. Wow! Who was to know there are pickling retreats and events - and I thought it was only the knitters who were obsessive! The keynote speaker is Sandor Katz, the world's most renowned "fermentation revivalist." Check out his own website called Wild Fermentation here.
So here is what I have for you all today courtesy of the fine folks at Storey Publishing. One lucky winner will get a set of Sherry's 3 Preserving the Harvest books - Put Em Up, Put Em Up Fruits, and The Preserving Answer Book. Thank you Storey! Here's how you enter.....
Answer the following question in the comments section:
Tell me about your pickling or canning likes and hates? Do you do it? Is it too much bother? What recipes might you like? Did you grow up on homemade preserves? Pickles? Lacto-fermented or vinegar? Chutney? Jam? Jelly? Favorite books?
Contest is over. Winner has been alerted.