Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Preserving Floyd: Further Adventures in Fermenting - Daikon Radish

After the success of fermenting peppers for hot sauce I was emboldened to try another ferment.  A few weeks ago we received a large Daikon radish in the CSA box.  I like radishes, but Michael doesn't so I was left wondering what to do with this behemoth.  Especially since I have no experience with Daikon anyway.  Then I remembered hearing that fermented Daikon made a great condiment.  I found a recipe using ginger and off I went!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Eating Floyd: Pumpkin Carving @ FFM

Yesterday was the last official Saturday of the Floyd Farmers Market.  Unofficially it will continue until the last farmer runs out of produce to sell or can no longer withstand the cold.  But officially the market closed out with its annual Pumpkin Carving Competition. Two classes- adults and children.
This stuff is just plain fun!  Goofy, I know, but it beats shopping at malls as a sport any day.  This is one of the kids pumpkins.  See more after the jump!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Preserving Floyd: Reusable Tattler Lids and Salted Caramel Pear Butter

I'm doing a double post today on salted caramel pear butter that I canned using Tattler reusable canning lids.  I get a lot of questions about Tattler lids.  This is the first time I've used them.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Preserving Floyd: Joe's Hot Rounds Hot Sauce

I've done a little fermenting in my time: various fruit wines including a kick-ass dry peach that I've never been able to reproduce, vinegars which I wrote about here and here, preserved lemons, and yogurt and creme fraiche.  I tried to make sauerkraut last year but it was a dismal failure.  I used savoy cabbage which is what I blamed the failure on but now, armed with a little more knowledge, I think I oversalted.

Fermenting is one of the oldest methods of food preservation, it uses the most basic of equipment and ingredients, and besides being delicious, fermented foods are very healthy, adding good flora and beasties to our internal systems.
So, with my new bit of knowledge, a determination to get the hang of fermenting vegetables, and a pile of extremely dangerous little peppers I set off to ferment me some hot sauce!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Preserving Floyd: Faux Peppadews Redux- Bella-Dews

Folks who follow my blog may remember that I've been on a mission to create a pickled pepper resembling a peppadew.  Last year's attempt used mildly hot cherry peppers.  They were good in their own right but they weren't even close to a peppadew.  I had already decided at that time to try Joe's Hot Round peppers this year.  I did grow them and they are a beautiful little pepper, but while they were described as hot, not a single description had a Scoville rating.  Nor could I find one in an internet search.  Just let me say that this prolific little pepper has enough heat to immolate the entire county and make true pepperheads weep.  So they were unsuitable.

I decided to try using my beloved Mini-Bells.
I adore these little bells.  I put them in salads, stuff them all kinds of ways, and pop them straight as snacks.  They're crispy, sweet and visually appealing.  Unfortunately, they're a hybrid.  No saving these seeds.  These were the last ones from the garden.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Preserving Floyd: Cellaring Sweets

We came home from vacation to find the garden nipped by an extremely early first frost.  We were hoping for another month of growth on the sweet potatoes but rather than take a chance Michael dug up the spuds.  Turns out there was a bumper crop under the ground and even though an extra month would have made what was there larger, there are more than enough sweets to get us through winter.  And have seed potatoes to start next year's slips.
Beauregard sweet, left; unknown variety of white sweet, right
Sweet potatoes are easy to cure and store.  Here's how:

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Preserving Floyd: Ancho Chile Powder

You've probably noticed I've been having great fun dehydrating and powdering all sorts of stuff this season.  Paprika was a revelation.  Tomato powder works just about everywhere.  Oh, and I did the same thing with the pulp leftover from making traditional pasta sauce.  That powder is a wonder.  I dried and powdered the damaged garlic cloves that wouldn't keep.  Same with the onions.  The onions were another surprise.  Just plain old yellow onions, sliced thin and dried until crispy, became sweet,   crunchy and oh-so-snackable!  This is what Funyons (remember Funyons?) and those nasty french fried onions-in-a-can wish they were.  Seriously, if you have to make that weird green bean and mushroom soup casserole for Thanksgiving, dry some onions of your own and crumble them on top.  Then powder the ones leftover.

I also dried and powdered carrots, celery, kale, and summer and winter squash.  One of my projects is to make a powdered vegetable bouillon, another is dried soups in a jar.  I'm having a blast using my new supply of culinary powders.

But what I'm talkin' about here is sweet red ripe ancho poblanos, grilled and powdered.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Vacating Floyd: What I did on my Summer Vacation

It's been nearly a month since I last posted. September was filled with lots of tomatoes that finally came in along with tons of peppers and winter squash ready for picking, fall apples making an appearance, and my first real vacation in almost six years (an overnight boondoggle to Monticello doesn't count).  September was a rush of preserving right up to the day we left for the Mother Earth News Fair at Seven Springs Resort in southwest PA.  Even then I left a third of a bushel of not quite ripe tomatoes on the table hoping I'd return to tomatoes ready to can and not a deteriorating fruit fly incubator.  I'm happy to report the losses were few!