Home canning. What a fabulous way to savor summer’s bounty! I spent the past weekend canning tomato sauce. My recipe? Twenty pounds of tomatoes, one boiling hot kitchen and many, many hours of time yield tidy rows of crimson jars. I love cooking homemade sauce and nothing can beat the flavor. But spending the time is luxury that I can ill afford. That’s why, as often as possible, I look for ways to save time. How about you? Would you like to preserve veggies in a fraction of the time? Read on.
The solution is fermented vegetables! Make as little or as much as you like in less than 30 minutes and enjoy delicious crunchy veggies for the next several months.
All you need to preserve these healthy veggies:
Quart canning jars
Plastic lids--in a pinch use the metal jar rings with a bit of plastic wrap or waxed paper in place of the seals
Organic veggies and herbs
Cold filtered water
Chop a variety of vegetables. Add them to clean quart jars along with herbs and 1 ½ to 2 Tbs sea salt mixed with 2 cups of filtered water. Top the mixture with a cabbage leaf to hold the veggies under water, screw on the lid and let them sit on your counter for 5 to 7 days. When they’re done they’ll be a little bubbly, a lot salty and full of healthful probiotics. Store the fermented vegetables in your fridge for up to six months.
What about flavor combinations? To get started I tried assorted veggies like cauliflower, cucumbers, carrots and beets mixed with peppercorns and lots of dill. Since then I’ve tried Italian mixes of red and green peppers, chili, radish and sweet onion with basil; Thai veggie mixes with bok choy, cucumber and carrot with cilantro, basil and mint; and Mexican flavors with peppers, chilis, onions, cilantro and red chili flakes. I’ve even made jars of cucumbers, garlic, peppercorns and dill that taste like old fashioned half-sours. Improvise your own flavor combinations--whatever you choose will be delicious, salty, crunchy and so good for you.
I like to mix them with brown rice or quinoa a little olive oil and some toasted almonds for a simple lunch salad. They are also a yummy vegetable accompaniment for a chicken or fish dinner.
Make one jar or several. Try it--they are so quick and easy you can make a batch today! Let me know what you tried in the comments section below.
Visit nourishingmeals.com to read their great blog post and watch a how-to video.
Learn from your mistakes, be fearless and above all have fun. A recipe for life. Written by my idol, the fearless, wry woman who's determination brought classic French cooking to America. Julia had a profound influence on both my parents from my father's kindled passion for French baking to their month-long gastronomic tour of France in the early 80's. And I was the willing taster. Wednesday, August 15th we celebrate Julia Child's 100th birthday.
The quote in its entirety: This is my invariable advice to people: learn how to cook--try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun. ~Julia Child
Explore all things Julia at PBS Cooks, http://www.pbs.org/food/julia-child-100-birthday/. Have a twitter account? Cook one of Julia's recipes and share it with #CookForJulia, iPad users can try the new Mastering the Art of French Cooking app at a reduced price in the month of August. Be warned that it's not the smoothest running app but worth it to me to have many of her original videos.
Happy Birthday Julia!
I’m a big fan of cooking shows. Why you could even say I’m a (ahem) connoisseur. Restaurant reviews, cooking techniques, chef competitions--I love them all. They’re my chill-out escape of choice. Late one night I was cruising through the dial and landed on Cooking Channel TV. My eyes popped out of my head when I saw a kitchen decorated with animal prints and skulls. But it didn’t stop there. The host strutted around the kitchen in a body-con leopard dress and stilettos. Her lipstick matched her hot red appliances. I rubbed my eyes--what in the world was I seeing? I’d stumbled into a new world of culinary adventure.
Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen. Have you seen this show? It’s now in season 3 so apparently I’m quite late to the party. I’m catching up as fast as I can. Nadia Giosia is a comedian who writes, creates and hosts the show. A product of the web, Bitchin’ Kitchen started small, developed a huge internet following and now has made the leap to a U.S. cable channel with an even bigger audience. In a similar vein is another new Cooking Channel offering, The Culinary Adventures of Baron Ambrosia. This one also was born on the internet in the form of video podcasts created by underground filmmaker Justin Fornal. Ambrosia is...”the culinary ambassador to the world, who chases after authentic cuisine in the name of flavor...and passion.” ~ Cooking Channel TV. All the while cruising around in his purple roadster--awesome!
I bring up these examples more for the inspiration than their content. Justin and Nadia are outrageous, funny and over-the-top. They are a couple of folks having a raucously good time doing what they love--that much is certain. I’ll bet they started the same way. I can picture them dreaming up sets and costumes and scripts. They both had ideas and they took the time to play with them. It reminds me of a game I played with my brother. My bedroom window was covered with floor length pinch pleat drapes hung from a traverse rod complete with a pull cord. Voila! A stage and curtains for the silliest show on earth. “The Hilarious Babe Show” was our all-doll review. We were outrageous, funny and over-the-top. Hmm....that reminds me of some late night shows on the Cooking Channel. Child's Play. I don't see a reason to ever stop playing.
Maybe quirky humor and outrageous style aren’t your thing. That’s ok. I picked a fairly outrageous example to make a point--give yourself permission to have some over-the-top dreams. Do you define yourself by your job or by what you love to do? Take a tip from Justin and Nadia and take the time to play--every day.
Pizza, Grissini and Chocolate Calzone from scratch.