The Beginner's Guide to Preserving Food at Home: Easy Techniques for the Freshest Flavors in Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Relishes, Salsas, Sauces, and Frozen and Dried Fruits and Vegetables
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A wonderful thing is happening in home kitchens. People are rediscovering the joys of locally produced foods and reducing the amount of the grocery budget that's spent on packaged items, out-of-season produce, and heavily processed foods. But fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables don't stay fresh and delicious forever - they must be eaten now . . . or preserved for later.
For all the vegetable gardeners facing baskets overflowing with bright tomatoes, and for all the dedicated farmers' market fans and CSA members, The Beginner's Guide to Preserving Food at Home has the simple solutions that turn overwhelming bounty into neatly canned tomatoes, jars of jams and jellies, and crispy-tart relishes and pickles.
Organized in a friendly, food-by-food format, readers will find freezing, drying, canning, and storing instructions for each vegetable, fruit, and herb. In many cases, several ways to freeze or can a food are described, and there are often other preserving suggestions as well, such as making juice or fruit leather.
Everything is written with busy people in mind: these are the quickest, most efficient methods for preserving summer's bounty. Up-to-date information and clear, step-by-step instructions show even absolute beginners the way to a fully stocked pantry.
page 31) or cubes or chunks of ice. Blanch the vegetables. Work in 3- to 4-cup batches (1 to 1½ pounds). Arrange the vegetables in a large, shallow microwave-safe container and add ¼ to ½ cup water. Cover with plastic wrap. Set the timer and blanch. Specific amounts for vegetables and water, as well as specific times, can be found for each vegetable on the chart found on page 221. Cool the vegetables quickly in ice water. Cooling time is approximately the same as blanching. Drain the
addition to step-by-step, illustrated instructions for processing commonly grown vegetables and fruits, I’ve included recipes for ketchup, salsa, pickles, jams, jellies, and herbal vinegars. I’ve also shared ideas for delicious meals that can be prepared ahead of harvest time to make busy days much easier. Some of these dishes incorporate the vegetables being preserved. Finally, I’ve included a list of suppliers to help you equip your kitchen. Before we get into serious food preservation, I’d
layer on baking sheets and tray-freeze. Package frozen onions within 12 to 24 hours. tip Freeze a mixture of onions and green or moderately hot peppers to be fried and eaten with hamburgers or frankfurters. Drying Chopped Onions Peel and chop onions. Dry in a dehydrator at 120°F for 12 to 24 hours, stirring occasion ally and rotating trays once or twice after the first 8 hours, until brittle. Or dry in a conventional oven at 120°F for 24 to 36 hours, stirring occasion ally and rotating
as with chive blossoms or opal basil, and red wine vinegar is used for strong flavors, such as basil, oregano, and garlic. To make herb vinegar, follow these steps: Sanitize the fresh herbs by briefly dipping them in a solution of 1 teaspoon household bleach and 6 cups of water. Rinse the herbs well and pat them dry. Place 1 cup of the prepared herbs in a sterilized quart jar. Pour 3 to 3½ cups vinegar heated to just below boiling (190°F) over the herbs. Seal the jar and place in a cool, dark
Plum Jam Makes about 8 half-pint jars 4 pounds tart plums (2 quarts chopped) 6 cups sugar 1½ cups water ¼ cup lemon juice Preheat the canner, sterilize the jars, and prepare the lids. Wash plums. Remove pits and chop. Combine the plums, sugar, water, and lemon juice in a tall, heavy saucepan. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Then boil rapidly until thick, about 20 minutes. As the mixture begins to thicken, stir frequently to prevent scorching. Test