Sunday, September 09, 2007

Saints Presarve Us!

I is presarvin' as fast as I kin.
Not "can."
I'm actually having second thoughts about canning, partly because I have such a small bounty that needs to be canned, and partly... {{chicken}}.
I don't use recipes, so I have no idea if the ph levels of my concoctions are legit.
And in the case of this jar of pickled peppers, I'm only making one jar. If I'd canned it properly, I would already have twisted off the lid by now, and it would have to go into the refrigerator anyway.
But I do consider this preserves. Local, with a couple of allowable little deedles in there (we Locavores call them "exceptions," and yes, it tastes exceptional).
You are looking at serranos from my back yard (the whole, little peppers) and sliced jalapeños from Meathenge Labs.
I covered them with a boiling mixture of vinegar (local), salt (uh-uh), sugar (nope), cinnamon (as if) and cardamom (yeah, right). Water from Marin County. No idea if this mixture is chemically balanced for the hot water bath, but it's yummy just the same, and who cares.
I actually nuked the whole jar for one minute to get that khaki-gray-green color you see in commercial jarred peppers. Probably didn't have to. Even so, the peppers are still crisp.
And hot. The serranos are sharing their heat with the jalapeños. Cool.
I mean hot.


Zoomie said...

I'm pretty sure that the vinegar alone would have preserved them without a hot bath to clinch the deal. Pickling definitely counts as preserving! :-)

michael, claudia and sierra said...

no can do over here. i just don't even love the whole pickled vinegary thing and then the fear of some kinda creepy bacteria that i would surely manage to get... i say pass. but boy do i respect your efforts...

peter said...

I'm doing both vinegar pickles for some things and canning others (jelly, tomatoes, tree fruits) that are acidic enough on their own. I can hear the jars popping in the kitchen right now.

Ms Brown Mouse said...

Beautiful preserves - but that's a jar - not a can ;)

cookiecrumb said...

Hey, friends!

Zoomie: But I'd still want to store it in the refrigerator, right? Even so, yes, I call it preserves. :)

Claudia: But we just met! Oh, no. You didn't realize I'm a pickle nut. I won't even bother linking you to my insane pickle stunts. Will you still visit?

Peter: I'm impressed, jealous, and... hey, aren't you supposed to be painting now? ;-)

Mouse: Canning! It's a process, no matter what vessel you use!! Damn. American vernacular. ;)
(Hey, are you some kind of lawyer, or a linguist? I was one of those, once.)

Chilebrown said...

You know what I like about your rants and posting. Eveything! Cucumbers,sugar,salt,vinegar and time. The right combination can make you a Star.

Chilebrown said...

and jalapeno's and serranos's Peace,Paul

Anonymous said...

Here's a recipe if you want one:
I did a story for the KC Star about these pickled peppers and talked to an extension agent who essentially said with pickling you don't have to worry about botulism, if that's what's got you worried.

Dagny said...

I'll have to check with my mother once she's back in town. (Yes, we are speaking once more.) She is not down with canning but she does a mighty fine job of pickling peppers. Oh, and she has been known to use some in a nice green sauce that she freezes up for me. For when she is not around.

El said...

One small step for Cookie!

I guess we've kind of been brought up with a healthy (un?) fear of microbes. But then you see our obsession with plastic wrap and refrigerators and THEN you go to Asia or Europe and you think, wow. Why aren't all these fine folks dropping like flies like we've been taught, leaving the CHEESE on the counter overnight, or not putting the pickles away? Are they on to something?

Zoomie said...

I think you wouldn't really even have to refrigerate - the pickling medium is so acidic that it kills any germs that fall into it - that's why the old "pickle barrel" in the general store could be there forever and nobody got sick. I used to "can" (actually bottle) homemade tomato juice and apple sauce and I never did the hot water bath, just sterilized the jars and lids and rings, filled them promptly with _HOT_ ingredients and made sure the seals were tight (you can tell it if has sealed by tapping with a pencil eraser - it makes a sweet sound if it has sealed (and there's no dome to the lid) and it makes a dull sound if it didn't seal. No one died. :-)

cookiecrumb said...

Aw, Chilebrown... You are the Star. Thank you, rantily. :D

Janet: Fantastic! Thank you. I'm already much relieved.

Dagny: I'm sure your mom would be horrified by my peppers. Got some cinnamon and cardamom in there, yo. But I love hearing sweet stories like that, about her making you food you like.

El: Thank you! Funny, though. We may think we're afraid of germs, but it's astonishing that the human race is still alive, considering what we stuff into our faces daily, advertently or not. Dirty fingers. Hold the mail in your mouth while you unlock the door. Kiss the doggie. Open the bag with your teeth... Like that.

Kevin said...

> I don't use recipes, so I have no idea if the ph levels of my concoctions are legit.

If you'll just sign this paper (pay no atention to what it says) I cook you up a batch of fresh. local mushrooms. No need to thank me, it's my pleasure.

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: That is "chillingly" amazing. Wow, no hot bath at all.
I do believe you're right about the acidity and the pickle barrel analogy.
Brave you.

Kevin: You know what they say -- You can eat *any* mushroom... once.
Thanks for the offer. But nah.

Ms Brown Mouse said...

Cookie - my major was linguistics and, though not a lawyer, I work in a "quasi-legal" environment ;0

cookiecrumb said...

Mouse: Hah! Nailed you. Thought so. xxx
I majored in linguistics too. Great career opportunities there, mate. :(
We are word nerds.