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Food Preservation

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Food Preservation

How-To's on putting food aside: canning, freezing, drying, much more...

Location: North Carolina
Members: 435
Latest Activity: Mar 7

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Comment by Lynda Reynolds on July 26, 2011 at 10:13pm
We grow everything...seriously...my husband's family came to California during the 1800's and farmed here in the Sacramento Valley.  We have tomatoes, rice, sunflowers, vineseeds (cukes, squash, melon, watermelon), dry beans...we grow cilantro for seed, green beans for seed...just about anything that can be grown for seed we have grown (onion, turnips, sugar peas, regular peas).  My son grows organics...his pumpkins are organic...Cinderella's and other varieties.  I have pictures on this site of watermelon seed harvest and about 500 acres of butternut squash, I think I have a picture of onion harvest and cilantro harvest.  My husband started farming when he was 15 and he's 68 now...been farming a long time.  I keep the garden because I'm an old hippy...I don't like synthetic pesticides or herbicides...I'm worried about some  most GMO's.  I like my meat to have had a very happy life (up until their last day).  The Garden and the Farm are kept very seperate...it's kinda' funny...I think we raise a few eyebrows...he's a ridgid conservative red-neck and I'm a very liberal *save the world* gal...we got along well enough to raise 5 kids to adulthood and have 12...wonderful grand kids.
Comment by Harriet Fasenfest on July 26, 2011 at 9:30pm

A couple thousand acres?  You sure you got enough?  La di da.

And Christine, do you know the variety?  When you say Jack-O-lantern I guess you mean those big boys.  Yes, Lynda is right, you can pressure can, pickle (folks like them as sweet pickles) or freeze the chunks after blanching but I find those big ones somewhat tasteless.  There are varieties grown for pie and eating like sugar pie pumpkins.  But then again, you may want to put this one to use.  My experience is that the meat is more watery so if you want to make pie with them you might drain the meat after steaming to release some of the water.  What do you grow Lynda?  

Comment by Lynda Reynolds on July 26, 2011 at 9:20pm
You can cook/process pumpkins of all kinds.  Make sure it's ready...they either slip from the stem or there's this curly thing that comes out from the stem and if it's dry it's ready (all squash and melons do this).  We grow a couple thousand acres of squash and melons for seed...
Comment by Christene on July 26, 2011 at 9:04pm
Ok here is a new one.  My parents threw there pumpkins from last fall out in there garden.  Well they have now grown a plant and pumpkins.  The curious part is that they are already orange.   I believe they are jack o lantern types.  If these are truly ready can I use them for cooking?
Comment by Pat Johnson on July 25, 2011 at 8:21am
I'd keep on keeping on and make sure the liquid is higher than the cabbage and the weight. You can leave it for months without any issues once the lactic acid forms so just taste it every week or so until it tastes tangy enough. If it doesn't begin tasting like sauerkraut in a couple weeks I think I'd start over and use a larger bucket or smaller plate (cabbage is cheap).
Next time shread the cabbage sprinkle the salt on it while it's still on a flat surface to ensure you get it spread over the cabbage evenly. Then put it in the bucket and leave it alone for half an hour so the salt can cause it to lose the liquid. At that point put it in the bucket and press it down hard with your hands first to get the cabbage to be lower than the liquid. Put the weight on it and press it down to see if the liquid level is high enough to cover it. If not add some brine and proceed with the recipe as you are from that point.
Comment by Kelli on July 24, 2011 at 4:26pm
Hey Pat! I didn't see you the last time......My buckets get slightly smaller as they go down and my plates do have a pretty tight seal on the kraut. If I use smaller plates, will I be able to save the kraut?? I do check daily for skimming, but only usually have to every couple to 3 days. The liquid is always cloudy, but that can't be skimmed off.
Comment by Kelli on July 24, 2011 at 2:01pm
Yes, I did.  I did the whole 5 # at a time with 3 TBS. of salt each time.  I only had 10 pounds of green for one batch and 7 pounds of red for the other.  They didn't come to 'juice' enough to cover the cabbage, so I then added brine.
Comment by Harriet Fasenfest on July 24, 2011 at 11:57am

Kelli,

Sorry I'm coming late to this conversation but did you first use salt, not brine, in preparing your cabbage for fermentation?

Comment by Pat Johnson on July 24, 2011 at 8:48am
Could it be that your plates are so colse in size that they are not allowing any air or liquid to pass? The idea is only to hold the cabbage below the level of the liquid not for an airtight seal. You shoul dhave been skiming daily if needed and at least looking inside to see if it needed to me skimmed so I doubt it could have evaporated without you noticing it. If the liquid was not originally high enough you could have added salt water to help. Regardless, if you followed the instructions to the tee you should be tasting a sauerkraut taste by now. If the plates are too tight and forming a seal it could be having a negative affect and you could try to find a smaller weight.
Comment by Kelli on July 23, 2011 at 3:23pm
I did that exact recipe, only it was in my Ball Complete book.  I had even cooked and cooled brine for both batches.  When I lifted the plate, I guess all the liquid went towards the bottom of the bucket and that it wasn't enough to begin with; or maybe it has evaporated.  I don't have a clue.  I cooked and cooled brine last night and put over it before I replaced the plate and weight.
 

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