Preserves in Action: Pickled Carrots and Daikon in a Sandwich

pickled carrots on a sandwich

Back in March, I cooked up a batch of quick pickled carrots and daikon radish. I thought they were long since gone, but while digging through the fridge in the hopes of making more space for the increasingly large CSA shares we’ve been picking up, I found one last jar. I’ve been making very good use of these rediscovered pickles. I’ve been chopping them into ribbons and adding them to salads, have been eating them straight from the jar and have been layering them into lunchtime sandwiches.

pickles in a sandwich

 

I come from a family who likes pickles in a sandwich for crunch and pucker, and these thin slices of carrots and radishes serve admirably in this role. I always make sure to blot them lightly before applying them to the sandwich (to prevent soggy bread). We’re having a little indoor cookout for two around here tomorrow and I plan on curling these pickles around my hot dog (though I may alternate between pickles and spoonfuls of this fennel relish).

How have you been using your preserves lately? And are you going to be including any homemade pickles in your 4th of July spread? Do tell!

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Welcome to the New Look of Food in Jars

food-in-jars-new-look

For many months now, my friend Roz has been working on a refresh for this site. She has squeezed it into her evenings and weekends and finally, this last Sunday night, she and Scott flipped the switch and made the new look live. I am entirely delighted by it.

You’ll notice that the navigation has moved from the header bar to the left rail of the site. A few people have mentioned that they miss the list of links out to other blogs. It still exists and can be found here (currently, the link is buried on my about page, but I’m trying to find a better, more obvious home for it).

Another thing that might jump out at you is that there are some new ads up in the right sidebar. Instead of simply using an ad network, I’m now offering anyone with a Food in Jars-appropriate ad to buy space in my sidebar. Prices start at $75 for a small ad and there are price points for lots of different budgets. Click here if you’re interested in learning more.

Finally, there are still a few bugs, broken links, and issues, but we’re working on fixing those as soon as we can. If you notice anything looking amiss, please do let me know!

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Links: Rose Petal Preserves, Garlic Scape Vinegar, and Winners

snacks in jars

Thanks to everyone for your patience during this transition to the new site. I had intended to get this post up on Sunday night but we started the server shift and I missed my window. I spent yesterday at the Fancy Food Show in New York and got home late, nearly dizzy with exhaustion, with no brain power left. So here we are, midway through Tuesday and I just getting up my links and winners. Such is life, sometimes!

new Cuppow colors

 

cuppow winners Time for the winners of last week’s Cuppow giveaway! It was really fun to read about all your favorite summer drinks and coolers!

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Cookbooks – Smoke & Pickles

Smoke & Pickles cover

Back in the late winter and early spring, when I was still in the drafting stage of my new book, I had a hard time reading anyone else’s food writing. I’d occasionally flip through review copies and look at the recipe headings, but I couldn’t make myself focus on the words. For a girl who often reads cookbooks like novels, it was a strange time.

Smoke & Pickles spine

One of the books that arrived during this period of distraction was Edward Lee’s Smoke and Pickles. I knew it was going to be exactly the kind of thing I would love and so didn’t even so much as crack the spine until I had untangled my brain enough to give it the attention it deserved.

Smoke & Pickles table of contents

About a month ago, I finally pulled it off my towering stack of books and spent some time reading through the book. I was so glad I’d waited, because it turned out to be just as good and evocative as I’d hoped.

Pickles & Matrimony

I marked a bunch of recipes to try (focusing heavily on the section devoted to pickles) and moved it to the much smaller pile of books near the kitchen that are actually destined to be cooked from (my cookbook sorting system is the kind that looks like utter disorganization to anyone but me).

Four Seasons of Kimchi

I particularly liked the few pages devoted to the four seasons of kimchi. Though Lee admits that his first instinct is to associate kimchi with cabbage, he also states that over the years, he’s trained himself to think of kimchi as a verb. Just about anything can be kimchi-ed and he proves it with recipes for red cabbage bacon, green tomato, white pear, and spicy napa kimchis.

Smoke & Pickles rosemary pickled cherries

I was also taken by the recipe for pickled rosemary cherries. I’ve pickled cherries many times in the past, but have never thought to pop a stem of rosemary into the jar with the fruit. I thought it was brilliant and so took the recipe out for a spin. It wasn’t written for preserving and so I tweaked a few things to make it shelf stable (because this time of year, my fridge is positively bursting).

rosemary pickled cherries from Smoke & Pickles

The result is a pickled cherry that is herbaceous and tangy. It’s just the sort of thing that goes well with cheese and fatty cured meats. Get my adapted recipe after the jump!

Continue Reading →

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Free Canning Demo at Williams-Sonoma at the Bellevue

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Hey Philadelphia area folks! This Saturday, June 29, I’m going to be doing a apricot jam demonstration and book signing at the Williams-Sonoma at the Bellvue (the entrance to the store is on Walnut Street, half a block west of Broad Street).

The demo starts at 1 pm and last about 45 minutes. When the jam is finished cooking, I’ll have tastes of it available, as well as books to sell and sign. I’m also planning on bringing a couple other jars of goodies from my pantry, so there will be plenty to sample and get you excited about canning up your own summer produce.

This event is totally free and I’d love to see some of you there! If you can’t come, make sure to follow the Williams-Sonoma Philly Twitter account, as they’ll be posting photos from the event.

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Canning 101: Tall Jars for Asparagus, Green Beans, and More

pickled asparagus in different jar styles

Whenever I’m about to start a canning project, I spent a few moments thinking about what I’m making, to ensure that I grab the best jars to do the job. This means that when I can jams, jellies, and fruit butters, I reach for the half pint (or smaller!) jars, aware that it will take me awhile to move through a sweet preserve.

When I pickle vegetables or can whole fruit that have a tendency to float, I use a regular mouth jar, knowing that the jar’s shoulders will help keep the veg positioned under the level of the brine. I do  tomatoes in quart jars, since I’ve found that’s the most useful size in my day-to-day cooking. And I frequently reach for a pint & a half jar when making pasta sauce, as a pint is never quite enough and a quart is always too much.

pint & a half jars

And when it comes to pickling tall, skinny things like asparagus, green beans, and garlic scapes, I reach for lanky jars that will give me plenty of real estate for the vegetable’s full length. I’ve found that there are three readily available versions of the long, tall jar and so thought I’d do a little show and tell post, to make everyone aware of their options.

First is the Ball Pint and Half Jars. They are sold in boxes of nine, hold 24 ounces and are 6 3/4 inches tall. Like all traditional mason jars, the jars and rings are reusable, while the lids need to be replaced with each batch.

Depending on where you buy them, the price on these jars starts at around $9.99 for a box and tops out around $20. The best deal I’ve found online is through True Value. The jars cost $11.99 a box and if you select their free “ship to store” option, you don’t pay any shipping fees. The only hitch there is that you need to have a True Value store nearby.

Weck asparagus jars

The next option is 1/2 liter cylindrical jar from Weck. It holds a little more than a traditional pint jar, but instead of having that space in a short, squat jar, it’s been stretched out so that you get about 8 1/4 inches of canning real estate.

These jars are beautiful, feel substantial, and are endlessly reusable. According to the US directions, the seals need to be replaced each time they are used. However, European instructions say they can be reused until they start to crack or show signs of age.

The price for a box of six of these jars ranges from $18.25 (from weckjars.com) to $29.95 (that’s the regular Williams-Sonoma price. However, these jars are currently selling for $23.96, because they’ve got their canning stuff on sale). Shipping varies for jars bought through Weck Jars. Right now, shipping is including on Williams-Somona, but I don’t how long that will last.

16 ounce Paragon jars

Finally, we have the dark horse jar. It’s a 16 ounce Paragon jar. It is 6 3/4 inches tall and seals with a one-piece lug lid (make sure to get one with a button, so you easily tell that it has sealed).

Made in the US and sold through jar distributors like Fillmore Container, this is the style jar that commercial producers are using for their tall, skinny preserves. Home canners can reuse these jars, but do need to replace the lids with each new batch.

They cost $5.61 a dozen. However, the lids are sold individually and cost $.25 a piece, which adds $3 to the total. The shipping can also add up, particularly if you’re buying just a single box. In the end, a dozen of these jars with lids would cost around $22 to get to me in Philadelphia. If this is the style you want to go for, see if you have friends who’d like to go in on an order with you, as it can save you cash in the end.

five jars

There you have it! A round-up of tall, skinny jars! Which one will you choose for your next tall project?

Disclosure: Fillmore Container gave me a box of the Paragon jars for review purposes. They didn’t pay me to write this post and my thoughts and opinions remain entirely my own.
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