Suddenly, I make jam. I have a canning cabinet of sorts that is stacked with full jars and empty jars. We both go berry picking and we both like it. I make pickles, and we both eat the pickles. Who are these people? Still us, apparently. But ever so slightly new.
- Rhubarb and Shrunken Strawberry Heads from Tigress in a Jam
- Strawberry Vanilla Jam from Food in Jars
- Sour Cherry Syrup that I scaled to use up the last four pounds of frozen cherries from last year. This got stored in the fridge and used to make sour cherry sodas with the soda siphon.
- Black Raspberry Jam from Food in Jars
- Black Raspberry Syrup from … well, you really should get the Food in Jars book.
- Sour Cherry Jam from Food in Jars
- Red Raspberry Jam, which I made using the Any Berry Jam recipe from the Ball preserving book. You just add half of the fruit’s weight in sugar and then cook the hell out of the whole thing. I’ve decided that I prefer pectin-less bramble berry jams.
- Refrigerator Dill Pickles from Food in Jars.
And #9, Lower East Side Full Sour Dill Pickles, is my first foray into fermentation. (I started them two days ago and there are bubbles today, so that’s a good sign.) The recipe is from Linda Ziedrich’s august The Joy of Pickling. (Her blog archives are also a source of vast knowledge and enjoyment.)
About 4 pounds 3- to 5-inch pickling cucumbers, blossom ends removed
4 to 6 dill heads
2 small fresh or dried hot peppers, such as japones or de arbol, slit lengthwise
8 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tablespoon whole allspice berries
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
1/2 cup pickling salt
3 quarts water
Layer the cucumbers in a gallon jar with the dill, hot peppers, garlic, allspice, peppercorns, and coriander. Dissolve the salt in the water, and pour enough brine over the cucumbers to cover them. Push a gallon-freezer bag into the jar, pour the remaining brine into the bag, and seal the bag. Keep the jar at room temperature.
Within 3 days you should see tiny bubbles in the brine. If scum forms on top of the brine, skim it off daily and rinse off the brine bag.
The pickles should be ready in about 2 weeks, when they are sour and olive-green throughout. At this point, remove the bring bag and any scum, cap the jar, and store it in the refrigerator, where the pickles will keep for several months or longer.