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Cooking With Mavea: Pickled Carrot and Daikon

Cooking with MAVEA: Pickled Carrots & Daikon with Food in Jars from MAVEA Inspired Water on Vimeo.

While I work on meeting a couple of freelance deadlines, I though I’d post another one of the videos I made with Mavea back in February. In this video we made the pickled carrots and daikons that I initially posted about during the Tigress Can Jam back in 2010. They are really tasty eating!

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Cooking with Mavea: Pear Vanilla Jam

Cooking with MAVEA: Pear Vanilla Jam with Food in Jars from MAVEA Inspired Water on Vimeo.

Many months ago, I recorded a series of four canning videos for the folks at Mavea Inspired Water (I gave five of their water filters away back in February). After several months of waiting, the finished videos are ready. They’ll be posting them on the Inspired Water blog and Facebook page over the next couple of weeks and I wanted to make sure to share them with you all as well. If you’re curious how I manage to can so much in such a small kitchen, this will give you a bit of insight. Mostly, it involves a lot of pot sliding and careful balancing.

Oh, and you can find the recipe for this jam right here.

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Canning 101: How to Split and Scrape a Vanilla Bean

scraping a vanilla bean

Over the weekend, I stumbled into a conversation about kitchen turn-offs. As far as our discussion went, these are those tasks or ingredients that send you turning the page or clicking on to another recipe. I confessed that I send a dish packing if it required me to fit a large pan or dish into my refrigerator (my fridge is typically full to bursting). Someone else mentioned that they skipped ahead if asked to prepare a double boiler. And finally, my friend Becca disclosed that any time a recipe instructed her to use a vanilla beans, she either subbed in a splash of extract or just moved on.

I was aghast. First, because real vanilla beans are so incredibly flavorful and can add so much baked goods, jams and more. And second, because as you all know, I frequently call for vanilla beans. Hearing Becca mention her discomfort made me worry that there are others out there like her who are skipping the vanilla bean because they just aren’t comfortable with the instructions to “split and scrape.”

So, in order to help Becca (and any others of you out there) conquer those vanilla bean anxieties, on Sunday night, Scott and I made a little video. We shot this sometime after 11 p.m., on day that I spent almost entirely in the kitchen. The reason you don’t see me beyond my hands is that I was wearing my glasses, my hair was pulled into a messy ponytail and there wasn’t a lick of make-up on my face. I was not what they call “camera-ready.”

My hope is to do a few more videos like this one as the summer goes on, so please let me know if there’s a canning or kitchen technique you’d like to see explained. Oh, and if you’re someone who avoids real vanilla beans because of the cost, please look into buying them online in bulk. I’ve happily purchased beans from Vanilla Products USA several times and have also had Beanilla recommended quite highly. Get a couple friends together and go in on a half pound of beans. Purchasing them this way will enable you to use them regularly.

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Geometry of Pasta Winner

As always, I’m a little bit slow posting a giveaway winner. We had 206 total entries (the combined total of the comments left on posts here and over at Fork You) and tells me that the winner is number 140, Tammy B.

Tammy, I’ll be in touch soon to get your info, so I can get your copy of the Geometry of Pasta into the mail.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to leave a comment. Also, our many thanks to Quirk Books for providing copies of the book and a bit of cash to help with supplies.

Stay tuned, we’ll have another video ready for you in just a few short weeks!

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