Foodie stuff - Recipes, canning, pickling, fermenting, etc!

There have been threads before with interesting contributions by CoG members, so I thought I’d resurrect it.

I’ve always loved nukazuke, Japanese style pickles, so I have decided to start making them. It will require daily care, but now that I’m an unemployed slob, I have time to do it. My jar arrives tomorrow, the rice bran will be arriving this week or early next week. This will be really good when the garden is producing too much of anything, since it gives me one more way to prepare it without getting sick of it.

Also, as long as I’m doing the fermenting thing with the nukazuke, I’ve got a sour dough starter that I plan to start at the same time.

My persimmon tree is producing fruit for the first time this year, so I plan to make hoshigaki (dried persimmons) this fall too. I love hoshigaki, but they’re very expensive, so I don’t get them often. I’m really looking forward to it, and I’ll let you all know how that goes.

I would like to try canning, but I just don’t have the space for all of the equipment.

What equipment? Depending on what you can, you need a really tall stockpot that can hold boiling water 1 inch deeper than the size of your largest jar - and no one says you have to use quarts, pints are fine, just takes longer to can the entire recipe since it’s twice as many jars. And then you need jars. So there’s your equipment list. Sure, there are a million other things you COULD use, that’s really all you need. You can do it! :slight_smile: And don’t forget, anything you can can, you can freeze! (But not the other way around!)

As for a great canning website, try this one They are like 90 years old and using time-tested recipes. Some of the best canning recipes I have found!

Add: Fixed the link. Fat-fingered the first three tries…

Thanks! I freeze stuff now, but I might have to try canning. The new hardware store that opened up in town has a whole section of canning stuff.

Canning is, in the long run, easier than freezing. No freezer burn, and you can store the jars anywhere. Check on Craigslist for jars, my daughter scored more than a couple hundred pint and quart jars for about $45. About half of them in the rotting cardboard containers unopened.

If you really want to get crazy, pick up a pressure cooker and can whole meals. All you need is one more pot than standard canning takes.Great source of meals for a weekend without power.

That sounds neat too. Last week I did a lot of cooking, so my freezer now holds three mini-lasagnas (I make the recipe for a full lasagna, but divide it into four bread pans instead of one big casserole dish), two bread pans of beer mac & cheese, five meals worth of pork shoulder enchilada fillings, and five baggies of parmesan meatballs. What sort of meals do you can?

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Soups, chili, spaghetti sauce, green beans.

BTW, this thing is magic. We processed a bushel of peaches for peach butter in about 15 minutes, and a bushel of apples in less time. Shove quartered or halved boiled apples in one side, get applesauce out the other, I’m dying to use it to make salsa and tomato sauce.

Get the Ball Blue Book. And make sure you are using actual tested recipes and don’t change something unless it says you can on a water bath canning recipe. Botulism is no joke.

I make carnitas out of pork shoulder, how are you preparing your shoulder?

I have that! The first year I made tomato sauce, it took me hours to blanch, peel and de-seed the tomatoes. This thing takes a fraction of the time. I’ve been using it for the last four or five years. I’ve already used it once this year, and will probably be breaking it out several more times from the number of tomatoes coming in on my plants.

I put it in the crockpot on high with apple juice overnight. In the morning, I drain off the apple juice, add a chopped onion and some green enchilada sauce, and cook on low for the day. Stir in the evening, and it all falls apart into tender, shredded pork shoulder.

Pretty close to what we do for carnitas then. Except we don’t use apple juice. We put in water, jalapeno, onion, and garlic cloves… can’t remember what else. That gets frozen, and when we’re cooking it we throw in pineapple salsa and et voila.

So we usually buy our beef by the steer (whole, we split with no one) and of course near the end we always run out of hamburger and steak before roasts or round steaks. Having saved up quite a few of these extra (like 17 of them!) I am trying somethin new - grinding my own beef. I plan to use it for things like tacos or other such things, so the fat balance doesn’t have to be exactly right for flavor. We shall see how it goes…

Let us know! I buy a half bison at a time, so I know what you mean. I usually slice up the roasts and make jerky out of them.

I can’t freaking imagine. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but I’m a divorced male with no kids who barely cooks, so that is so outside my realm of experience that I have nothing to compare it to.
Y’all are awesome. :bow:

A half bison lasts me and my roommate about two years. As long as it’s packaged properly, it stays good for a long, long time.

Five people, three are kids, and we eat fairly low-carb. A whole steer lasts about 16-18 months. And yes, properly processed it is still good. Of course, the fact that the steer walks to the slaughterhouse, is slaughtered, packaged, and frozen all within 24 hours of slaughter helps.

So the first batch turned out ok. It will be fine for tacos and the like - we had taco salad for dinner and while I could taste the difference from “traditional” hamburger/ground beef, it’s going to save us about $100 and push out buying the next steer by a couple months. Have to get it fairly soon, though, as it’s going to (hopefully) snow soonish and our butcher is about 80 miles away…

Have you thought about making your own sausage? That’s what I would want a meat grinder for.

Edit: That’s how they prepare the bison too. They slaughter it on Saturday, packaged and frozen on Sunday, shipped on Monday.

I split a hog with my in laws once. My FIL raised two and the four families split it up. I watched my bacon being made. It was all pretty awesome except we think our sausage got mixed up with another pig’s. Some of it was just as awesome as the rest of our meat, but some of it was super gamey.

My step-daughter made chicken 'n noodles using a chicken that was walking around pecking for food a few hours before dinner. And eggs that she harvested that morning. Her husband used to work in a small slaughterhouse and can render down just about anything. So, if he ever gets a deer again I’ll have me some ground venison that was wandering around someone’s corn field a few days ago.

I’d love to get another half hog and steer, it’s a lot of meat but it’s not like you don’t eat it.

My nuka doko has been going for nine days now. As of yesterday, it started smelling like alcohol and feeling kind of fluffy when I mix it. The vegetables that I’ve been putting into it are starting to taste more like they should instead of just salty. It’s supposed to take seven to ten days to start turning out decent pickles, so I think I’m right on schedule!

I just started my sourdough sponge today. It should be ready to start making bread with next week. I’m not sure about this feeding it every day, though… I may experiment with keeping it at a cooler temperature and feeding it only every other day.

My nuka doko is not supposed to smell like alcohol. I have added more salt, some Thai peppers and some wasabi to try to fix it. Most of the advice I’ve read say to add mustard powder, but I’m really hoping to avoid that, since I really can’t stand the taste and smell of mustard.

My sourdough starter is bubbling nicely, but doesn’t smell very good. Luckily, according to the articles I’ve been reading, that’s normal for a starter that isn’t mature yet. The description of sour old gym socks reassured me greatly, along with the promise that it would improve over the coming week!

My nuka doko is smelling much less like alcohol, though the smell hasn’t disappeared entirely. I added some eggshell in addition to the wasabi powder and salt. My pickles are still tasting pretty salty, though, so the culture still isn’t mature.

My sourdough starter smells like sourdough now, but isn’t bubbling very much any more. From what I’ve read, it sounds like maybe I’m not feeding it enough, so I fed it twice yesterday, then this morning, and now my first batch of sourdough is rising after the shaping of the loaves (well, more like sandwich rolls) and is due to bake in another hour or so. We’ll see how it turns out!

I moved both my sourdough starter and my nuka doko into smaller containers. I had them in one and two gallon jars, which were just too big. The sourdough starter lives nicely in a jar that’s about a quart and a half, and the nuka doko is now in the one gallon jar.