Monthly Archives: February 2012

Day Three! Or it’s my blog and I’ll call my posts whatever I damn well please!

Day three has come and gone.  It is now day seven of my starter.  Like an idiot I forgot to take a picture of my starter before shaking it up to pour some out on day three.  However, it was all bubbly and smelled bad.  And by bad I mean good.  Just like sourdough is supposed to smell.

Glancing at it right now I think I may need to start over.  I have neglected it for the last few days.  In fact the last day I fed it was last Friday the 27th when I started this post.  It’s been 5 days with no food.  I’m going to give it a good whiff before I dump the whole thing.  If that’s the case and I have to start over I promise to take better pictures for y’all.

In the mean time I HAVE been doing things in the kitchen.  I made and canned a batch of giardinieria by cobbling together two separate recipes and making some of it up on my own.  The full recipe will be included below.

Completed and processed Giardiniera

Completed and processed Giardiniera

Right now I have some gingered pear preserves on the stove to simmer and make the pears all yummy and squishy.  I made my own candied ginger for the recipe.  I figured about $2.00 for the ginger and some time was better than $9.00 for a bottle of it in the spice isle.  All of these recipes will be included, or linked, below.

Pears cooking down

Pears cooking down before packing and processing

I will of course include finished pics after canning and processing. On a side note there are a lot of people out there that say that you need a melon baller to core the pears.  If your pears are ripe then you can just use a regular spoon to get the core out.  Just start at one end of the pear and slide it through to the opposite side and beautiful cored pears. Now for the recipes

HFV’s Giardiniera

Vege’s

  • 1 lb mushrooms
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 2 yellow squash

Brine

  • 2 tsps. black or brown mustard seeds (or substitute yellow)
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 4 cups cider vinegar
  • 10 medium cloves garlic, lightly crushed and peeled
  • 6 1/4-inch-thick slices peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbs. kosher salt
  • 2 tsps. black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Cut up the vege’s into about equal size pieces. For the mushrooms I cut them either in half or quarters after trimming the stem as close to the head as possible. The cauliflower got cut into smaller pieces of just florets with the stem discarded. The red bell peppers got cut into quarters and then those pieces cut into thirds. Everything else got run through my mandolin on the 1/4 in setting.
  2. Put all the vege’s into salted water to sit for 24 hours. I would suggest putting the mushrooms into their own water as they have a tendency to turn brown and turn anything else in that water brown.
  3. After 24 hours drain the vege’s and refill the bowl(s) with clean water to sit for about an hour then drain again.
  4. Clean and sterilize 6 pint jars and lids.
  5. Put the mustard, and cumin seeds in a medium non-reactive saucepan. Toast the spices over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until fragrant and slightly darkened, about 2 minutes. Add the vinegar, garlic, ginger, onion, sugar, salt, peppercorns, turmeric, red pepper flakes, and 2 cups water to the toasted spices. Bring to a boil.
  6. Pack the vegetables into clean, hot pint jars. Pour the hot brine over the vegetables, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles by slowly raising and lowering a chopstick or a plastic blade around the inside of the jars (a trapped air bubble may shatter a jar as it heats). If you have extra brine, strain it and distribute the solids among the jars. Wipe the jars’ lids with a damp cloth before putting on the lids. Secure the lids with screw bands tightened by hand. Process for 10 minutes (Don’t forget to adjust for altitude. I had to process for 15 minutes). Store the pickles for at least 2 but preferably 7 days (or longer) before opening. Refrigerate after opening.

For the Gingered Pear Preserves you can go here.  For the Candied Ginger go here.