Thursday, March 4, 2010

Preservation Link Roundup 3/4/10

Serious Eats' Slice, reviews a pizzeria in Indianapolis (Indianapolis: Maria's Pizza Still Going Strong After 50 Years). The featured pie? A "Sauerkraut Special":
Bringing everything together was the named star of the pizza, the sauerkraut. This grossly underutilized pizza topping provided a zestiness that demanded I continue eating well after I was full.
Nina Corbett has an excess of lemons and was running out of energy for the more strenuous forms of preservation ... so, she put some lemon zest in a jar of vodka with a little sugar and rosemary (Lemon Rosemary Vodka). Frankly, making liqueurs is definitely a great way to preserve without a lot of effort. And experimentation with flavors is entirely up to you.

Steam Kitchen posts a crowd-pleasing and simple recipe for stuffed dessert wontons (Chocolate Wonton Recipe). As she notes, you don't have to fill the wontons with chocolate. Try your favorite jam, conserve, marmalade or pie filling. How about strawberry preserves as the filling and then drizzle a little ganache on top?

The OC Weekly's food blog, Stick a Fork in It, discusses the Murcott Tangerine, also known as a "honey" tangerine, noting that they are excellent for marmalades (Murcott Tangerines). Might I suggest that they're easily separated sections make them excellent for canned sections in syrup? They make a great local version of the canned mandarins that are popular in various salads.

The Kitchn provides a traditional recipe for pickled red cabbage (How to Make Easy Pickled Red Cabbage). These can be kept in the refrigerator, but no processing time is provided. Twenty minutes in a boiling water bath would make them shelf stable. I like to use red wine vinegar in mine however, with an occasional foray into apple cider vinegar (especially with green cabbage).

The Denver Post (via the Washington Post) falls in love with kimchi (Kimchi is Really Some Hot Stuff). Some good ideas for using kimchi in the article, I hadn't thought of using it in a dressing (such as for a turkey), but it makes sense.

Serious Eats reports on the slowly growing prevalence of kombucha (Kombucha: The Acquired Taste for Funky-Tasting Fermented Tea). Good stuff and easy to make at home. Ask me about it at the market.

Real Food Fans found the instructions for an old 70s-era water bath canner in one of his mother-in-law's old recipe books and harshes on it for, supposedly, encouraging people to water bath can low acid things like soups, vegetables and seafood (Somehow They Didn't Die).
Slipped into the book a few pages later ... [was the] instruction booklet, hand dated "July 75," for a WestBend water bath canner. "Ideal for Water Bath Canning...OR Soup * Stew * Spaghetti * Sea Food * Corn-on-the-cob." Uh...ideal if you're looking for a way to cull your family and reduce your food bills, I suppose.

Leafing through the instructions themselves, there is no mention of any of these "or" items, just the usual high-acid vegetables and fruits. And there is a disclaimer on the top of the inside front page, shown below. [image in original]

Phil is not certain his mom canned soup. Even if she didn't, I'm sure others did, either missing the disclaimer, or not knowing enough to figure out what constitutes high- or low-acid foods, or not understanding that failure to use the proper canning method could kill you.
Actually, I'm not so sure about that. Just because in the year 2010 not too many people know about proper canning techniques, doesn't mean that canning knowledge was in short supply in 1975. Many more people likely had experience with canning and access to people who were experienced canners. They probably knew better than to can soup and seafood without a pressure canner. Clearly, the pamphlet meant to say that the canning pot was good not only for canning, but you could make soup in it as well. Actually, that is why I don't recommend specialized canning pots, but rather a good stock pot for a boiling water bath.

Still Blonde After All These Years is giving away two copies of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Preserving Food ($330 Complete Idiot's Guide Giveaway March 3- March 13). You just have to comment on the blog ... but read the post for full instructions.

Sustainable Food from provides a short introduction to canning (Yes, We Can! A Brief Guide to Home Canning). Cool, but can we stop with the "Yes, We Can" stuff already?

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