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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Further Adventures in Domesicity

I went to the Farmer's Market yesterday, which was a wonderfully green feast for the eyes.

I actually didn't buy that much, just some local early plums, Romano beans, and some salad mix. My main goal in going was the Romano beans, because I wanted to bulk up the .6 pounds I'd gotten from the CSA to a full pound so I could make pickles.

The pickles were a two day extravaganza. Fortunately, the weather cooperated. I did the Romano bean pickles on Saturday, frankly because they were both easier, and much faster. And Saturday was the warmer of the two days, so faster was good.

I made pickled beets this morning. This was a more serious time investment, both because the beets actually had to be cooked before canning (the beans were a raw pack), and they took 30 minutes to process (the beans took 10). I lucked out because this morning has been showery and gray. I was quite comfortable, even th0ugh I had two burners going on my stove almost non-stop for a couple of hours.

Here are the picked beets, using the recipe in Liann Krissoff's Canning for a New Generation. I used the CSA chiogga beets, which are pretty cool because you can still see the candy striping, even after they were cooked. I'll definitely be interested to see if that carries through once they've been sitting around for a little while.

I had thought that based on poundage, I had enough for exactly half a recipe, but once I got all the beets cut up, it was pretty clear that I had more than two pint jars worth. Fortunately, my mother taught me to always prep an extra jar, so I had that ready to go. I ended up making three quarters of the brine recipe, and I did manage to nearly fill all three jars. Hopefully, the jar with slightly less beets won't be overpowered by the pickling solution. I'll probably open that one first, just to make sure it sits the least time of any of them.

Here are the picked Romano beans, using the Romano Beans Pickled with Indian Spices recipe from Canning for a New Generation. They're certainly not going to win any prizes for the uniformity of the stuffing technique, but they made a perfect half batch, and look so nice sitting on my counter.

All in all, I think this was a pretty successful first foray entirely by myself into true canning. I was able to easily work around that I only have one big burner on my stove, and I managed not to break any jars. I still do have to give these both a taste, but I have hopes, based on how good they look in the jars.

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