Monday, September 7, 2015

Stocking the Cellar.

So the first week of September has come and the garden is still flourishing with delicious offerings. The wife and I decided this Labor Day weekend would be a great time to make some progress on our bounty and preserve plenty of summers tasty offerings.

Final Stock for the Weekend

12 Loaves Zucchini Bread
12 Pints Corn Salsa
11 Pints Tomato Sauce
6 Pints Maple Bread & Buter Pickles
4 Pints Sherry Bread & Butter Pickles
6 Pints Bread & Butter Pickles
6 Pints of Pickled Eggplant
5 Pints Salsa Verde

Here are the recipes we used... with some adaptations from the originals :

Zucchini Bread
6 Eggs
2 sticks of Butter
1 cup Sunflower Oil
2 tbls Vanilla*
2 tbls Blackstrap Molasses*
1 cup Maple Syrup
7 cups Grated Zucchini
8 cups Whole Wheat Flour
2 tbls Cinnamon*
2 tsp Baking Soda*
1/2 tsp Baking Powder*
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips*
2 tsp Applewood Smoked Sea Salt

We used a recipe from one of my favorite local food blogs Diary of a Locavore !
Added some maple syrup and doubled everything up pretty much... we used these great 4 loaf mini bread pans we scored for $3ea @ Mardens.

Corn Salsa
10 ears Fresh Corn
5# Heirloom Tomatoes
5 Hot Peppers (Poblano, Serrano, Cubano and Anaheim)
1 Large Onion
6 Cloves Garlic
1 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
1 cup Red Wine Vinegar*
1 cup Moscatel Vinegar*
1 cup Maple Syrup
1 tbls Cumin*
4 tbsp Sea Salt

Found this recipe from Mother Earth News but we amped up the Garlic and variations of vinegar varieties to add more complexity and to be all fancy and cool. Really we just had a few partial bottles in the cupboard and I figured it would be a good experiment !

Tomato Sauce
25# Heirloom Tomatoes
2 Medium Onions
1 Bulb Garlic
1 Quart Ace Peppers
Smoked Applewood Sea Salt
Fresh Thyme, Sage, Savory
Zinfandel Wine*
Olive Oil*

We don't get all fussy with tomato sauce, peels, seeds and all go into the caldron and simmer for 6 hours of so... start with the Onions, Garlic and Peppers browned in some Olive Oil and then unstick them with a dousing of red wine then pile the tomatoes in as you chop. Simmer for 2-3 hours skimming occasionally. Puree with a submersion hand held blender and simmer for a couple more hours till the liquid thickens slowly seasoning to taste as it nears completion. I always am very gentle on salt and herbs till the last two hours... if you over salt early it just gets more pronounced as the sauce concentrates and thickens.

Bread & Butter Pickles
8 cups Sliced Cucumbers
2 Large Onion (1 Red 1 White)
8 tsp Sea Salt
14 tbls Pickling Spice*
(Mustard Seed, Peppercorns, Red Pepper Flakes, Dill Seed, Clove among more)
2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
2 cups Red Wine Vinegar(
1 cup Maple Syrup (Maple Style)
1/4 cup Pedro Ximenez (Sherry Style)*

We are new to pickles... I have done a couple quick pickle batches using baby cukes from our old community plot but the excess of cucumbers at the homestead got me excited to play this year. We also have acquired some whey from Swallowtail Farm to make a big batch of lacto fermented pickles. Ill be starting that and a kimchi this week and discuss the pro's and con's to using vinegar and canning vs the lacto fermenting method.

Pickled Eggplant
5# Eggplant 
6 Cloves Garlic
2 cups Distilled Water
1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 cup Red Wine Vinegar*
4 tbls Raw Honey
Fresh Thyme, Savory and Sage
4 tbls Sea Salt

So much eggplant... after a few eggplant parms, grilling them whenever possible and thinking about other methods of eating them on a daily basis I was searching around to find a good eggplant canning option and this was the best one I could find that seemed plausible with what I has on hand. I found it on Ball's Website.

Salsa Verde
10# Tomatillos
6 Cloves of Garlic
3 tbls Grated Ginger*
1 Large Grilled Onion
1 Grilled Poblano Pepper
1 Grilled Cubano Pepper
6 tbls Smoked Applewood Sea Salt
1 Lime Squeezed*

We got a deal from a local farmer on some ripe tomatillos and went to town washing them, scorching them under the broiler, grilling up some veggies and filling some jars with this tangy green taste of summer. Looking forward to pouring this over some whitefish in the winter to get a glimpse of summer heat in a jar.

*Denotes Ingredients not from Maine and Italics means it was homegrown !

What a productive weekend spent with my wife working hard in the kitchen and filling some cellar space. These are hopefully going to taste amazing once the snow starts flying.

Till next project.
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