How about a thread on pickling and such?

Did a search, but only saw threads from a while back.

For some reason, I’m craving pickled eggs. Now, I’ve never actually had a pickled egg, but the theory behind them leads me to believe that they’d totally hit the spot for what I’m craving.

So I went onto Allrecipes and chose a recipe using canned beets, cinamon, brown sugar and cloves (and of course vinegar). Here’s the result: Pickled Eggs

Now unfortunately, I have to stick them in the fridge and then wait 5 days before tasting what I assume will be absolute yumminess.

Anyone else care to share some pickling/canning recipes? Making the eggs was really a lot of fun. I’d like to do something with peppers next.

I grew up canning tomatoes, peaches, apples, sauerkraut and more. I still do my own tomatoes and have branched out to can beets, jams and whatever else catches my eye. I love the sense of accomplishment and the good food.

I hand out full jars as gifts to friends and family. Supermarket tomatoes and sauerkraut do not begin to compare, flavorwise.

Would you mind sharing your tomato recipe?

I’ll have a lot of free time next week, and one project I have planned is a first go at homemade sauerkraut - it seems easy enough.

I’m usually out of town the week that my local CSA farm has their pick-your-own tomatoes day, but last year they had so many tomatoes that they had more dates for picking. We walked away with just over 30 pounds of tomatoes (first 10 lbs free, $1/lb after that) and I would have picked more if we’d been allowed! :smiley:

I’m torn, though, because I canned a mix of (basic) tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes, and I used way more plain crushed tomatoes than I used sauce. The problem with that, is that peeling tomatoes - yes, even using the ‘dip in boiling water’ method - is such a pain in the ass, not to mention deseeding them, and I was thinking about just putting everything through a food mill to remove seeds and skins. Unfortunately that also basically purees the tomatoes.

Last year I used a recipe to make a variation on “dilly beans” - green beans with lemon and bay leaf. They were super-yummy, with a nice sunny flavor.

This year, I bought Paul Virant’s Preservation Kitchen. Virant is the head chef at the Chicago suburbs Michelin-starred restaurant Vie, and he loves making his own pickles and preserves to use in his dishes.

I saw pickled asparagus in his cookbook, and thought about using the lemon/bay pickling recipe to make pickled asparagus instead. (I will definitely use his recipes later though!) It turned out delicious! Make sure you use very thin asparagus stalks, about the thickness of green beans.

I got garlic scapes one week from the CSA, so I pickled those and got a pint jar worth.


Home Canned Tomatoes
You will need:
Kosher salt
The usual canning supplies (but no canning bath)

Prep jars by washing them in the hot cycle in the dishwasher. Also wash your canning funnel and ladle at the same time.
Put several quarts of water on to boil.
Clean sink thoroughly, rinse, and insert stopper.
Fill sink with sorted tomatoes (plum and “canners” are best).
When water boils, pour over the tomatoes to loosen the skins.
Skin and dice the tomatoes into large chunks, placing the chunks into a soup pot (mine holds 12 quarts).
Cook the diced tomatoes for 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently.
At the same time, set up the canning jars, and boil the lids and bands. Leave the lids in the hot water until you are ready to use.

When the liquid level has risen to be almost even with the tomatoes being stewed, you are ready to begin canning.
Stir the tomatoes well
Using a canning funnel and ladle, ladle the hot tomato mixture into the jars until they are just below the rim of the jars.
Add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to the top each jar.
Place the now-sterile lids on each jar and add the band.
Screw down the band as tight as you can. You will want to use a towel to help hold the jar in place when tightening the band. Those jars will be hot!

Clean up the mess and then sit back and wait for the musical ping of each jar as it cools and seals.

The magic to this method is that you don’t have to use a canning bath. Tomatoes are acid enough not to need a canning bath to help preserve them.

I use the canned tomatoes in soups, stews chili or sometimes just heat up and serve over hot white rice, southern style. It goes great with a fish fry. Because these tomatoes still have seeds in them, they do not work the best for spaghetti sauce. You can use it that way and still produce a delicious sauce, but it will be a bit watery because of the seeds.

That sounds really yummy. Over fish would be perfect. I think I’ll try it soon. Thanks.

I’ve started doing Japanese pickles (tsukemono). I’ve done cucumbers (yum), turnips with lemon (super yum), and a coleslaw sort of thing (meh - but I don’t like salads).

All the ones I do are ready that day or a few days later and take no special equipment.

Carnut, I am not even going to pretend to try to claim to be any kind of canning expert but this seems wrong to me.

This is definitely contrary to what my mother told me as I assisted her in canning. You want it snug but there’s no need to muscle the band down tightly. Part of the canning process involves using heat to drive air out of the jars and it can’t do that if the bands are too tight. You might just be creating little glass and tomato bombs that will burst during the canning.

That’s right, the Ball Blue book says the bands should be “finger tight” - to permit the air to escape during processing – but holy cow that poster is canning tomatoes without processing OR added acid.

Food safety note: Tomatoes are NOT acid enough to keep shelf stable without processing, in fact they are borderline for even using water bath processing safely without added acid. Seriously, look it up anywhere. SOME tomatoes are acid enough, but you can’t possibly know which are ok and which will kill you from looking at them, tasting them, or by variety.

Dear Dopers. I like you all a lot. please for all that is holy do not follow the advice in carnut’s post unless you continuously refridgerate the jars.

Wow, I missed that entirely. :smack:

Carnet I challenge you to find any reputable source that doesn’t advocate boiling water (and preferably high pressure) processing. Adding acid is slightly debatable but it’s cheap insurance against botulism.

Reputable as in modern and American. The tomato varieties here in the US vary greatly in terms of acidity, and extra acid plus water bath processing is essential - and frankly, it’s so easy. You’re just using a very deep pot (at least 1" of water over top the jars) to boil them in.

And yes, definitely just as tight as you can manage using your fingers. I’ll also add that you should remove the band after the jar is completely cool, and store with just the lid - this prevents rust spots from sealing the band to the lid, and makes it easier to see if there are any issues with the seal later on.

This isn’t the old days when we barely understood germ theory that well and a canned-up harvest was essential for many farm families wanting to make it through the winter months. Please be safe.

Ah, but if you followed that recipe up there AND kept the results refrigerated, would that be OK?

For a few days but I wouldn’t trust it for a week.

One of my secrets to great chili is that I make a lot of it ahead of time. I based this on the idea that chili always tastes better the second day, after the flavors have had time to meld.

I take my largest stock pot and add all of the non-meat ingredients to my chili, cook it down for a while and then can it in quart jars. Makes making chili in the winter a snap!

I’ll agree with your take. When I say screw it down tightly, I mean as tightly as you can do by hand while holding a very hot jar. That’s not as tight as it would be if you were screwing it down on a cold jar or using a rubber lid widget to help screw it down tightly. In over 25 years of canning this way, I’ve never had a jar explode, crack or other damage.

To each their own. I don’t cook my beef well done and I am still here to tell that tale too. This canning recipe came from my grandmother who lived to age 86. Her descendents are all living (except one, and that was not food poisoning) and I am not her only grandchild to still can tomatoes this way.

Please consider that a) Ball also sells the canning baths and b) Ball runs the risk of being sued if they do not tell you to use the utmost caution. Me, I prefer flavor and common sense. If the jar’s contents look bad, or the can did not seal, we do not eat the contents.

I think this instructional video should help you out.

There’s quite a difference between medium-rare beef, which can give you an upset tummy, and botulism, which causes irreversible muscle paralyzation and possible death.

My grandmother gave me a wonderful recipe for beef vegetable soup that I ate at her house dozens of times and she probably ate hundreds of time. Her recipe is done in a water bath canner. When I make it, I use a pressure cooker, because I’d rather put up with the minor inconvenience of properly preserving food than DIE!

And you do know that botulinum toxin is flavorless and odorless, right?

Now back to pickling, has anyone used the Ball Dill Pickle mix? I’m tempted to use it as a base and add some of my own spices to the jars.