18 July 2011

CSA share, pickles and garlic

Another week has gone by! I'm afraid that the Summer is going by too quickly.  I am trying to savor it as much as possible.  This week's CSA share is below:

Summer squash, zucchini, carrots, potatoes, beets, fennel, cabbage, one beautiful heirloom tomato (first one!), four green and one purple pepper, two yellow onions, two head of garlic

Some people were worried about the last post when I said I was starting to get a little overwhelmed with the volume of veggies.  No worries!  Almost all of the veggies we get are eaten, "put up" or shared with others.  If there is any waste, it goes into the compost. (I like to think of it as recycling).  

Speaking of "putting up" or preserving vegetables,  I tried my hand at two different pickles this past weekend.  Our cucumbers are going crazy and we still have some garlic scapes leftover from a little while ago.  I decided to make refrigerator pickles with the cucumber and lacto fermented garlic scapes.  I don't have a photo of the pickles yet, they are sitting in the fridge waiting for lids, so I will get around to that this week.  Here are the scapes:

I made three jars full and I can't wait to taste them in about a week!  I think I mentioned the blog where I got this recipe in my last post.  Here it is!  I pretty much followed the recipe, except I didn't have any whey so I used more salt.  I changed the spices to what I had on hand: fennel seeds, yellow mustard seeds and black peppercorns.  Smaller Footprint was cutting back their dill.  Isaac mentioned that I wanted to make pickles so they gave him the dill flower heads to take home.  They are the best! So I added probably two tablespoons of dill as well.
Here is the recipe for the refrigerator pickles.  It was not hard at all.  Notice that I haven't delved into any actual canning...I'm taking baby steps.  I'm looking forward to eating lots of homemade pickles this summer!

I ordered this so I can get my sauerkraut on, hopefully soon.  Of course, I will report back.

While I was at work on Saturday, Isaac harvested all of our garlic. If I remember correctly we have about 40 heads total.  Some of this we are going to save and plant in the Fall for next year's crop. But honestly, this should (along with the garlic we get from our 2 CSAs) last us all year, until next season.  You know when it is ready when the greens start to brown or if you know the growing time, that would be your indicator as well.  All you do is pull them out of the ground. Shake the dirt off the bulbs, you will want to make sure most of the dirt is off.  Then you want to let the garlic cure outside in a shady well ventilated area for a few days.  This will allow them to dry out and will keep longer.  When you bring your garlic inside, store it in a cool dry place.  Here are some photos from the harvest.
bundled and hanging outside

garlic looks nice in black and white

On a final note, the greens are starting to dwindle as the summer crops start thriving.  As a last hurrah until they start coming in again in the fall, I experimented and made a greens (chard and kale) pie with feta, walnuts and lemon slices.  I use this recipe for the dough. I doubled it so I could make the (poorly formed) lattice on top and I used all butter.  I really liked the slices of lemon.  They really mellowed as they roasted in the oven. I'm being lazy and not posting the recipe here. If you would like one, please let me know. It's one of those things where I made it up as a went along, but I think I could point you in the right direction.

That is all for now! We are going to Michigan in a couple of weeks to visit Isaac's family.  The plan is to obtain as many blueberries that will fit in the car.  (We look forward to this all year!)
Stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

What's the difference between "refrigerator pickles" and "canned pickles"? (Yes, I'm that dumb.)

elizabeth said...

You are not dumb! That is a good question. Refrigerator pickles are not a shelf stable product. You need to leave them in your refrigerator to avoid bacteria growth and eat them during a short amount of time. ( I would say 1-2 months as the USDA gives that time frame for opened jars of pickles) You make canned pickles by cooking the jars of pickles in a hot water bath or pressure cooker. They will be perserved for much longer and you can keep them in your pantry or cupboard.

Here are some other blog posts to give you more information:



This last one has a lot of info on pickles and how to maked canned pickles. I hope this helps! :)

Celine said...

Wow nice preservation suggestions! Keep up the good work.

camper trailer

elizabeth said...

Thank you! I hope to do a lot more pickling and canning this season. We have a shiny new pressure cooker I can't wait to use!