Archive for the ‘{Putting Up}’ Category

Summer flew by and fall is already catching me off guard.  Sorry that blogging hasn’t been a priority for me lately.  I’ve been busy with: closing up my store, starting to work in the deli at our local Co-op, gardening, preserving & canning.  I hope you all are doing well!  🙂

The other week my Mom and I decided we should use up some of the garden bounty we had and make kimchi.  I’ve had kimchi a couple of times and always enjoyed it.  Compared to others I think our first batch turned out great.  We toned down the chili paste so the garlic and ginger comes through more.  I’ve been eating it as a condiment to most meals and find it rather addicting.

Batch of Kimchi

Batch of Kimchi

{Recipe} Kimchi
4 Napa Cabbage Heads
4 Daikon Radish, peeled and sliced thin
10 Carrots, peeled and sliced thin
2 Scallion Bunches, sliced
4″ of Fresh Ginger, minced
4 Garlic Heads, minced
1/2 cup Fish Sauce
1/2 cup Chili Paste (adjust up in you like it spicier)
2 cups Sea Salt + 1/2 Cup Sea Salt

Wash the cabbage leaves and let soak in a brine made with the 2 cups sea salt and 2 gallons water.  Let soak for 12-24 hours.  Pour the brine off the leaves and chop the cabbage into 1×2″ strips.  Mix the cabbage with the daikon, scallions, carrots, ginger, and garlic.  Add the fish sauce, 1/2 cup sea salt, and chili paste to the cabbage mixture.  Blend well.  Mash the mixture into a large jar or crock.  Pack it tightly and the vegetables should release enough liquid to cover themselves.  If they don’t you can make a brine (2 T sea salt per quart of water) to cover.  Weigh the vegetable down under their brine with a plate, clean rock, etc.  Cover with a thin towel and let ferment at room temperature for a week or more.  Store in the fridge and enjoy!


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One of my favorite activities is foraging for wild mushrooms*.  Every time I get to go the image of a big Easter egg hunt in the woods pops into my mind.  🙂

When I was younger my Dad and I would go on forays with a local mycologist.  The group would pick any fungi we could find and everyone would come back together to learn how to identify them.  Those classes have left me very comfortable picking a selection of edible wild mushrooms.

Right now the chanterelles are out in Montana.  It’s pretty dry so they aren’t too big or prolific but my stash needed to be replenished so I had fun picking a basketful over the weekend.  Chanterelles do dehydrate well but I don’t like the texture of dried mushrooms so I froze mine for storage.  Below is a short slideshow of my process.

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Do you like to forage for wild foods?

*Please don’t ever pick and consume wild edible unless you know what you are doing!

I wish it would rain so we could get a haul like this again 🙂


Our best haul ever, 2009!

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At the last food swap I went to I got a large box of indigo rose cherry tomatoes.  I was going to dehydrate them but then I decided to make tomato paste & dehydrate it.  I cooked down the tomato puree until it was thick and then spread it on Silpats in my dehydrator.  After an evening of drying they were dried out and ready for storage.

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The tomato leather smells so good!  It will be fun to pull a piece off, add hot water & use for any number of things.

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My parent’s counter was getting too full of tomatoes at the end of the growing season so my Mom & I made up a batch of tomato sauce to enjoy over the winter.

I used this recipe from Better Homes & Gardens because the brown sugar & balsamic vinegar will really help take the bite out of the amount of lemon juice you have to add to each jar.  Plus the fresh herbs (basil, rosemary, parsley, lemon thyme & marjoram) will really make this a bright & summery sauce to enjoy when the snow starts to pile up!

Bring on the pasta!

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It’s time for you to be put into the spotlight!

♦ 2011 Pantry Round Up ♦

It’s that time of year again!  Please e-mail me pictures of your pantry/freezer/dry goods/etc so we all can swoon over the food you’ve preserved this summer.

If you’d like to contribute, please e-mail: nicholeati (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Please include: pictures, your name, blog/website if you have one & what’s in the pictures! I’ll compile them all and show them off here and on my Facebook page.

Check out last year’s album is here: 2011 Pantry Round Up

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My parent’s have a few lovely crab apple trees that line their driveway.  I love when they start to turn bright red and after last year’s harvest I was excited to put more of them up again.  Last year I dried a few large bucketfuls & fermented some (I didn’t really like the texture they ended up at).

I picked a large bucketful on Monday and half of it went into my steam juicer.  I cut off the blossom end, stem and cut them in half.  I used my knife tip to remove all the large seeds because I knew I wanted to use the mash that was left over.  I let the steamer go until I had 7 cups of juice and I put it into the fridge because I’m not a fan of canning into the wee hours of the morning 🙂

I love the beautiful color!

{Recipe} Crab Apple Jelly
(full USDA directions here)
7 cups crab apple juice
7 cups organic sugar

Start to heat up the juice and slowly stir in all the sugar to dissolve it.  Bring the mixture up to a boil.  Use a candy thermometer to watch when it’s at a full boil and let it go until the mixture is 8 degrees F above that temperature.  Remove from heat, quickly skim off foam, and ladle into sterile, hot canning jars.  Put on lids & rings and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes (for 5k’ elevation).  Let cool and check seals.

A nice fruit butter with a little zing!

The steam juicer basket was full of beautifully mashed crab apples so I decided to make some crab apple butter with the remains.  I ran the mash through my chinois to remove the skins and core pieces.  Making 2 quarts of puree was enough of an arm workout so I stopped there 🙂

{Recipe} Crab Apple Butter
(adapted from Preserving in Today’s Kitchen)
2 quarts crab apple puree
4 Tbsp sucanat or organic sugar (add more if you want it sweeter)
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground coriander

Put all of the ingredients into a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot and heat to a boil.  Simmer until you reach your desired consistency.  Put into jars, cool and freeze for later use.
* Note: I’m sure you could can this but I didn’t feel like it.

I plan on drying a few batches of crab apples again, I love snacking on them.  If I get really motivated I might make a crab apple marmalade that was also in the Preserving book linked to above & some pancake syrup.

How do you put up crab apples?

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Sorry it’s been a little quite on here lately, this month has been crazy busy and posting what I’ve been up to has taken a back seat.  August was full of harvesting, gardening, canning, foraging, swapping & celebrating!

Bozeman Food Swap

My friend and I hosted our 4th Food Swap and there was a great selection of goodies to trade.  Above is a grouping of pictures from the swap and here’s a blog post from a first time attender: Food Swap.  If you live in or near Bozeman please join our Facebook Page to learn about upcoming events: BZN Swappers.

A harvest from my small garden.

It’s amazing how much food comes out of a small garden, for my first one it’s been going really well.  I harvest once or twice a week and if anything is super ready my Dad picks it for me and sends it with my Mom to our store.  We’ve mostly been eating the produce fresh but I’ve also froze and dehydrated some.  Coming up I’ll have lots of tomatoes, peppers, carrots, beets, sugar beets, brussels sprouts, leeks, kale, cannellini beans and popcorn.

Smore Party!

And last but not least, it’s been my birthday month (what fun to be born at the end of the month and celebrate all month long)!  I received a beautiful steam juicer early in the month and then this last week has been a full on celebration.  I had a smore party in the mountains for my family and friends, my husband has been showering me with presents each morning, I’ll be going out to dinner on my actual birthday, and then we’re going on a quick road trip over Labor Day weekend with my parents.  I have to say my 30th Birthday has been grand and I’m sure each year after this will only get better 🙂

I hope you all are having a wonderful summer!

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