As is my norm, I’m a bit last posting the latest giveaway winner. But better late than never, right?
The lucky winner of this half pint of peach jam is commenter #8, Adrienne Bruno. Congrats Adrienne, I’ll be in touch soon to get your mailing address.
When I first started writing this blog, I was really good about replying to each and every comment you all left. However, since then, life has gotten a little more complicated (wedding planning will do that to a girl) and I’ve gotten a little lax when it comes to replies. You’ve all been asking some really question though, so I wanted to call a few of them out.
Tenaya asked: Why do garlic cloves turn blue in pickling solution? This happened when I made some pickled asparagus based on one of your recipes. It didn’t turn completely blue, but certainly blue-ish. It happened after I heated the garlic in the hot pickling solution, if I remember correctly.
Garlic has a tendency to turn blue when combined with an acid, particularly if it’s very fresh and heat is involved. For more about this, here are a couple of threads on Chowhound that go into bluing garlic. One thing I do in an attempt to avoid bluing garlic is to not include the garlic in the hot brine solution, but instead poke a couple of cloves in among the packed veggies, so that they don’t spend to much time in solo contact with the acid solution. Good news is that though it might not be particularly nice looking, blue garlic is perfectly safe to eat.
More questions/answers after the jump…
Tara asked: I used a new recipe for beets and will admit that I did taste the brine and thought it tasted kind of vinegary but I forged ahead anyway, adding fennel fronds, mustard seeds, and peppercorns to the jars. Well……..the spice seems ok, but those beets are sour like nothing else. Way. To. Much. Vinegar.
Any ideas on how to fix it when I open them? I was thinking maybe drain half (or more) of the brine, add water and let sit in the fridge for a day before I want to eat it-or maybe add sugar and water. Anyone else have this problem before?
Tara, I think your potential solutions are good ones. Adding sugar would definitely give the brine a sweet balance and soaking them in water for a bit will reducing the level of pucker. Another thing to consider would be to chop them up and add them to a salad to other dish that needs a vinegar-y kick. A pasta salad would be a good foil for too-tangy beets.
Emily wonders: I’m pricking my grape tomatoes before I can them but the skins still crack. Anything I can do?
Unfortunately, as far as I know, tomato skins will always crack when exposed to heat. So if you want to make your pickled grape tomatoes maintain their integrity, you might want to make a batch that doesn’t get processed and just stays in the fridge.
Jane wants to know: Also how does everyone store their jars???? I have 2 large racks full of full jars and a in the basement I have the part under the stairs for my new jars.
Living in a small apartment, I store my jars anywhere I can. I have boxes of them under furniture, tucked into cabinets or stashed at the back of the coat closet. Mostly, I just go for any spot that doesn’t get too much light and seems fairly cool (although my apartment maintains a fairly consistent temperature year round, so I don’t have any spot that’s significantly cooler than the rest).
Kim says: i have not canned or jammed the past couple of years and i miss it! i have frozen–do you think i could make jam from frozen in the winter? a few years ago i made a jam or jelly(cant remember which) using peach peeling and scraps. it was from recipezaar…called blushing peach something by dibs. it was awesome!
You can make jam from frozen fruit, I’ve done it before and, considering the two huge bags of frozen cherries I’ve got, I will probably do it again. The thing to remember is that you want to use frozen fruit that’s in good condition. Don’t go trying to salvage fruit with freezer burn by making jam out of it, it just won’t be good. And if you used peach peels and scraps, you probably made jelly.
I just found your blog and I LOVE it!
Great recipes and it’s fun to read!
I was searching for a recipe to pickle garlic and radish pods and stumbled on to your site – so glad I found it!
Hey Marisa, just wanted to let you know my parents (including my decidedly not-cooking friendly dad) decided to try and make jam from peaches from their tree. I gave them your peach jam recipe and many links from your site on tutorials. Apparently, the results are GREAT. Thanks!
Thanks for answering my question! If the darn tomato skins are going to crack anyway, I’m going to stop wasting my time pricking them! Boo-ya!
Jst made a batch of peach chutney (based o a recipe in a book called My Bombay Kitchen) and am working my way up to preserving a bit ore formally. I get nervous about when to boil the jars with things in them, how to make sure I do not kill anyone with legendary botulism. Bt wow, great blog
Bibliochef, just so you know, botulism doesn’t grow in high acid or high sugar foods. Jam is both high acid and high sugar, so it’s pretty darn safe.
I cannot eat onion or garlic and I would love to adapt your recipes for salsas/ sauces so that I can create my own preserves. I presume, as they are alkaline, that it is safe just to leave them out of the recipes, but do you know of a guide that I can use to substitute these ingredients? (I tend to use a lot of celery to compensate for onion when I am cooking fresh tomato sauces, for example.) With thanks!
Celery and onions have a similar pH, so you could certainly use one in place of the other.