Sunday, September 12, 2010

Preservation

I've suddenly become completely obsessed with making vast quantities of food for freezing or canning. Or, well, mainly I'm obsessed with making filled dumplings and pickles.

Last week I made possibly over 100 pelmeni Russian dumplings. Basically a simple noodle dough filled with a basic meat mixture of beef, pork, onions and spices and shaped similarly to tortellini. I had some at Bumbershoot that were really delicious and I had to make some. There are a ton in my freezer right now. I ate them for 3 or 4 meals and I'm sick of them, but now I know in a month when I have a craving, I can throw some in some boiling water.

I feel like I am preparing for something, like hibernation. Or maybe I'm just preparing for my own laziness. It is beginning to make me feel a little manic-depressive. I can go for weeks not wanting to cook a damn thing, but suddenly all I want to be doing is making these time consuming concoctions.

Kinda looks like my pickles are already too heavy for the shelf.
We're gonna need a bigger boat.
I made dill pickle chips and pickled green beans yesterday. My friend gave me a bunch of cucumbers from her garden because she has so many. I jumped at the chance because I've always wanted to make pickles. She is going to give me even more this week, so I'm going to make spicier spears. It was actually really fun and easy, and I think I was encouraged because all my jars sealed correctly. I had only canned once before and it was also successful, but it was 3 years ago, so I was a little nervous I'd mess up. So happy I didn't! In a few week's we'll be cracking some open for tasting. I really want to crack one open right now. I am all about instant gratification... perhaps canning isn't the best idea?

Tomorrow I am going to go to a local produce stand to buy some tomatoes for salsa canning. I figure I may as well keep at it while I'm feeling all manic, er, enthusiastic! I was going to make more pepper jelly, but why do something I've already done? Plus I think salsa would get used more than the pepper jelly. The recipe I'm using makes 6 pint jars. We'll be set all winter, and I hear that homemade salsa is much tastier than the crappy store stuff. Plus, any excuse to eat tortilla chips.

I want to make pickled cauliflower too. Maybe I'll pick up a head when I make my spicy pickles on Tuesday and just do it all at the same time. I always love the "hot mix" spicy pickled vegetable mix from the store, but I really just like the cauliflower part and none of the other crap in the jar. Plus, there is something slightly weird about it and I bet if I made it myself it would be much tastier.

I made pickled eggs today, too. This is something that most people I know act totally grossed out about, but they are effing delicious. If you like pickled salty things, and if you like deviled eggs, you would like them. I did an experiment months and months ago where I made 4 different kinds of pickled eggs, and the ones that were the best were ones that used white vinegar, salt, pickled jalapenos, hot sauce and chili powder. So I just made those in abundance today. The key with the eggs is a 50/50 water and vinegar mixture, plus spices and salt or sugar or a mixture of the two. I like eating one or two for breakfast.

I'm putting the dumpling situation on hold for right now until I get better supplies, although I did realize after I handed kneaded two batches of pelmeni dough that I indeed have a bread maker that I could have used to knead the dough for me. You know, rather than killing my hands and wrists for 45 minutes straight each time? But I'm sure it was totally character building.

That also made me realize that the whole time I've had this bread maker, I've never used it. That is just plain dumb. It is like fresh bread for dummies! You just dump everything in and turn it on. Why have I never used this thing? So I think tomorrow while I'm canning salsa, I'm also going to make a fresh loaf of rosemary bread. Because I can. (hehe, canning pun?) Oh, and because I like food. If you say you don't, you're either lying or YOU DON'T ENJOY LIFE.

1 comment:

  1. YUM!! I will take any extras you have! And if you do that pepper jelly, I'll have some of that too!!

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