The counter on any given day this week.
Canning season is here. Finally there are things to preserve in the garden. This is the time of year where a corner of the kitchen is devoted to washed produce and jars that need to be labeled and put away. My canning time is limited to my little guy's afternoon naps so I have to work in short bursts. The canning jars are left in the dishwasher until I need them and another section of counter space is covered with canning supplies that will sit there, in use most days, for the next month or so (pickling spice, canning salt, citric acid).
Here's what I put away this week:
Tomatoes, jam, pickled eggs, pickled tomatoes & pickled garlic.
5 pints total of canned tomatoes. Good for so many things during the winter, from soups and stews, that fantastic Jamie Oliver meatloaf or just adding to scrambled eggs. Since we're a small family it makes more sense to put up tomatoes in pints and half pints instead or quarts.
2 pints of pickled tomatoes. Never made these before but it was just rosemary, garlic and vinegar brine. Recipe from the Ball Blue Book.
1 pint pickled garlic. Also new and from the Ball Blue Book. Storing root vegetables has been a disaster so this might be a good way to keep garlic long term. Peeling all of the garlic was easier than it seems but both the house and I reeked for about two days. Maybe next time wear gloves.
And the winner: 2 QUARTS PICKLED EGGS! I cannot believe I've never done this before. People, I swear to you it is worth keeping quail simply to make these. Sure, there are a couple of regular eggs in those jars too but these are adorable. Pickled, they are tangy and absolutely delicious. The eggs are being steamed and pickled as fast as the quail can lay them which is good because it is impossible to open the refrigerator without eating two or three straight from the jar.
Steam them over a pan of boiling water, covered for 10 minutes and the shells will slip right off even if the eggs were just laid that day. Chicken eggs will take about 18 minutes.
They will peel easier if you start at the fat end and have a tiny spoon to help. Dunking it in cold water after you loosen the shell will make it slip right off.
I took the "dark and spicy" recipe from the National Center for Home Food Preservation and tweaked it a little. Here's what's in my jars:
1 1/2 Cup cider vinegar (I used my homemade stuff - tastes better & didn't worry about acidity levels)
1/2 Cup water
1 TBSP brown sugar, 2 TSP white sugar
1 TSP pickling spice
1/2 TSP pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic
2 TSP salt
These aren't canned, just stored in the refrigerator. It's now a race to see how many of these can be stored away before fall. In fact, I've been avoiding listing an extra breeding covey for sale because I don't really want to give up the extra eggs quite yet.
Anyone else canning the days away?