Friday, October 14, 2011

Canning Roundup

Dilly Beans!, Bread & Butter Pickles and Kosher Dills.

After trying out several recipes from Canning for a New Generation last summer and fall, Trevor and I decided to do even more canning in the following year. We’ve made good on the promise and we’re running out of room for all of our beautifully filled glass jars.

Trevor is not working for Persephone Farm this season, but does occasionally fill in when someone needs a day off. Last Saturday was one of those days, so we stocked up on a boatload of veggies while he was at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market, especially tomatillos for Salsa Verde and the last of the season’s tomatoes.

Our friends Paul and Meredith mentioned they’d tried the ketchup recipe from Canning for a New Generation and that it was unbelievable. I decide try it with the Persephone tomatoes. They did mention that they’d cut back on the allspice, so I omitted it and I added a little extra apple cider vinegar for more tang. I also reduced the amount of cinnamon. Even though it took a couple of hours for the seven pounds of tomatoes to cook down to three cups, I think store-bought ketchup is ruined for me now.

Green tomatoes soaking in lime.
We also tried Green Pickled Tomatoes for the first time. I had a slew of green tomatoes still on my plants and decided to not let them go to waste. The sliced tomatoes are soaked in a pickling lime solution overnight, rinsed and rinsed and rinsed, topped with brine and canned. The result is firm, sweet and tangy pickles delectable on grilled cheese or a turkey sandwich. Pickling lime was a little hard to find, but I eventually found it at a wonderful new store in Sellwood called Portland Homestead Supply Co. It takes a lot of self-control for me to not buy everything in that store! Earlier in the summer, I was able to can a batch of Crushed Tomatoes from our garden, too. I found citric acid at Portland Homestead Supply, too.
Pear-applesauce, Plum Filling,Spicy Carrots,
Green Tomato Pickles and Ketchup.
We also made two batches of Spicy Carrots that remind me of the giant crock of pickled carrots, jalapeƱos and onions my grandfather used to make. One bite of our carrots thoroughly clears your sinuses. These might be the prettiest jars in our collection. The thyme sprigs and dried red chiles stand out against the bright carrots.

Zucchini pickles are really good on
ham-and-cheese sandwiches.

Earlier in the summer, we made bread and butter pickles from homegrown zucchini. They tasted just as good as the cucumber version we made last summer. And it was a great way to use up a lot of zucchini. And we canned four batches of Dilly Beans!, probably our favorite canning project from last summer.

Brandied cherries, yum!
Disappointingly, our all the apples on our apple tree had worms. We had to get apples from the Fruit Loop in Hood River to get our applesauce fix. We got a great deal on pears, too. So this year we canned chunky pear-applesauce. But the good news is we discovered that our plum tree gives an incredible amount of fruit. We canned pie/cobbler filling. I used the first jars of filling this week and it hasn’t taken long for us to finish off the plum cobbler with fluffy biscuit topping. We also canned Brandied Cherries made partially with cherries from our tree. We spoon the cherries over vanilla ice cream or toss them into Sidecar cocktails.

Our cupboards also hold Charred Tomato Salsa, Peach Cilantro Salsa and Quickest Kosher Dills. Our extra work will pay off when we’ll be enjoying green enchiladas made from Salsa Verde, crisp Dilly Beans! and plum cobbler for the rest of fall and winter.

Plum cobbler with biscuit topping.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Green Eggs

Weekday breakfasts usually mean a quick egg-and-cheese burrito for me and a bowl of Kashi GoLean! for Trevor. But Sundays are a different story. Sometimes I’ll mix up pancakes from scratch. But Trevor usually makes a big feast that involves Huevos Rancheros or fried potatoes. A couple of weeks ago he started morphing the two with really good results. Instead of frying up some flour tortillas and placing salsa, poached eggs and cheese on top, he piled up the toppings on fried potatoes from Persephone Farm. Since we used green salsa made from Persephone tomatillos and onions, we gave the dish the Seussian title of Huevos Verdes, which translates to green eggs.

When the poached eggs are broken and mixed into the piping hot potatoes it thickens up the salsa into a silky sauce. When Trevor first sets a heaping plate in front of me, I usually think there’s no way I can possibly eat it all. Five minutes later the plate contains only a little smear of yolk and a couple strands of grated cheese.

Recently Trevor made a roasted veggie version. He placed a poblano chile, the last of our garden’s ripe tomatoes and chopped onion in the oven to roast and char lightly. He put the veggies on top of the crispy potatoes and poached eggs, and grated some pepperjack cheese on top. It looked so good I forgot to take a picture of it! The roasting brought out the sweetness of the tomatoes and onions. And the poblano was just slightly spicy. Again, nothing was left on either of our plates.