Pickled Spicy Beans – v1 – July 2010

So onto canning recipe number two and the spicy pickled beans. My original thinking about making the spicy pickled beans, was as a garnish for my occasional bloody mary’s. Plus this is another way for me to clear out all the bean plants, so that I can get the plot ready for a second planting of beans in a few weeks. Continue reading

Pickled Carrots – v1 – July 2010

So onto one of the first canning experiment, making a batch of pickled carrots. My original idea was to use the bag of carrots that I had in the fridge to make a carrot soup recipe that I saw in Food & Wine magazine. But as usual, one thing led to another, and the carrots that were meant for soup ended up being pickled.

Here are the two base recipes (Number 1 & Number 2) that I used as a starting point. But I ended up taking more of a cue from recipe #2, since it was an adapted recipe from Gourmet Magazine:

  • 2 lbs baby carrots (Dole carrots in a bag)


  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cup plain vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 TB canning salt

Per pint jar:

  • 1 whole clove of garlic
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns

Yield 4 pints

In a pot of salted water, I cooked the baby carrots for 5 mins so that they were halfway cooked. The carrots were then cooled down in an ice water bath, to stop the cooking process. While the carrots were cooking and then cooling down, in another pot bring all the brine ingredients to a boil, then keep the mixture simmering for at least 15 minutes.  At the same time that you are heating up the brine, pre-heat four pint sized canning jars in large pot of hot water. Once the brine is done cooking, remove the pint jars from the pot and drain. Then place the spice mix at the bottom of each jar, placing the par-cooked carrots on top of the spice mix. Finally fill the jars with the hot brine to within a 1/4″ of the top of the jar, remove all the air bubbles using your preferred method (mine is using the Food Saver jar attachment),  cap, and then process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes. After the jar are done processing, place them on a tea towel in a draft-free location to let the vacuum seal form, and to allow the jars to cool down. After 24 hours, any jars that haven’t seal need to be refrigerated, and the others that did seal can be put away to “age” before consuming.

Side Notes:
1) Since I only canned these carrots this past weekend (so 5-6 days ago.) I’m going to wait another week or two before giving them a taste test. That way the vinegar will have some time to mellow and spices will get a little more time to work their flavor magic.
2) Strangely enough, the amount of liquid listed above is enough to fill up all four pint jars with no waste.
3) For some reason online, their are a lot of recipes for pickled carrots with dill. And the idea of pairing dill and pickled carrots just wasn’t doing it for me. So I pretty much went off into my own direction, with a lot of guidance from the Gourmet recipe for a starting point.
4) Most of the pickled carrot recipes I read online, were all over the board is far as sugar in the brine (1/2 cup to 2 cups.) which to me seemed like way too much. So I went with the Gourmet recommendation of 1/4 cup per pound of carrots.

Let the random canning begin for 2010

For some reason this year, I’m going to need to do a lot of canning/freezing, since the garden is putting out way more food then I can eat each day. And this bounty already includes plenty of stuff that I’ve already given away to friends and co-workers. Just to give you an idea of the bounty this year, on July 14th I picked sixteen cucumbers from the garden that went into the 3 quart jars of pickles. When I went into the garden today the 18th to check the sweet corn for wind damage (because of the heavy storm we had last night) I ended up picking 8 cucumbers from the garden without really looking hard.

So last week I started the first of many canning sessions that will happen this year, and the first experiments of the year was 3 quart jars of dill pickles, 4 pint jars of spicy pickled beans (both green & wax from the garden) and 4 pint jars of pickled carrots (I ended up using baby carrots from the store, since the potatoes over took the carrots in the pallet bin.)

I’ll add separate posts over the next couple of days for the recipes for the dill pickles, pickled carrots, and spicy pickled beans. Just to keep the length of this post manageable, compared to the sausagefest post which ran close to three pages just in text.

Sausagefest – July 2010

Nothing to me says Forth of July, like grilling out with family and friends. So I thought that I would do something a little special this year and make my own sausages for the Forth. But what really spurred the decision to make fresh sausage was when I found out that Fareway sells fresh casing packed in brine for $14.99 a pound. So after I bought a 1/2 lbs worth of casing, it kind of pushed me in the direction of making fresh sausages. Continue reading

Potato Chip Review – Better Made – Salvatore’s Sicilian Style Parmesan & Garlic

Its strange how the same cut of chips, in this case Krinkle Cut from Better Made could be so different. On the one hand you have Salvatore’s Sicilian Style Parmesan & Garlic Krinkle Cut chips that are totally awesome, and on the other hand you have the ho-hum taste of the plain Kinkle Cut chips. Continue reading

Beef Satays – v1 – July 2010

Since I had so much peanut sauce leftover from making chicken satays, I thought that I would make another batch of satays. Originally I was thinking about going with pork. But on Saturday morning I was watching Primal Grill with Steven Raichlen, and he made beef satays on his Lodge Hibachi. So after seeing that episode, it sealed the deal for me to make beef satays with some of the leftover peanut sauce. Continue reading

Cooking Swiss Chard – v1 – June 2010

Swiss chard ended up being one of those random things that I grew in the garden this year. And the only reason that it happened in the first place, was that my farmer neighbor gave me a bunch of swiss chard transplants at the beginning of the season that were headed to the compost pile at the farm if they weren’t planted. So not being one to turn down free plants, I picked a spot in the newer side of the garden for the swiss chard. Continue reading

Garden – 07/08/2010

Look at the green garden monster grooooooow. Its been raining on and off for the last couple of weeks. So I really haven’t needed to use the irrigation system that I set-up around the yard. So for now, I’ll call that a bonus. Continue reading

Potato Chip Review – Doritos – Mr. Dragon’s FireChips

OK, so talk about a random bag of chips.
When I was down visiting my sister and her husband a while back. My sister ended up picking me up a bag of Mr. Dragon’s FireChips from Doritos. Personally I didn’t know what to expect, since the name really didn’t lead you down the road to what the chips should taste like. But the description on the back of the bag ended up being a subtle clue with the statement:

From the base of Mt. Fuji, this dragon, a symbol of luck, had brought DORITOS one of Japan’s most intense flavors.

And with only one bite the enigma was solved, and all the clues then made sense. So what do you think the flavor is? Give up?
Continue reading

Happy 200th Post!!!!

Has it been 200 already? I had to check the calendar and number 200 took about nine months to reach, while getting to number 100 only took about six months. But somehow the MIIA train just keeps on rolling down the tracks, one post after another. So thank you very much, for hanging in their through all the crazy posts.