Monday, September 16, 2013

September Workshop: Food Preservation Techniques

Costoluto Genovese tomatoes, sweet Anaheim green peppers, zebra striped tomatoes. Cheryl is harvesting pounds and pounds of lovely tomatoes each week at Boone Street Farm. 

Dishing Up Maryland is one of Aliza's favorite go to guides. It has wonderful recipes outlined in a seasonal format. The recipe for tomatoes stuffed with breadcrumbs, parmesan, and basil would be perfect for these tomatoes from Boone Street. 

This is a photo of a full weekly share for $20 with tomatoes, peppers, okra, garlic, and bundles of sage, mint, and holy basil (four sets of herbs not pictured). You can also purchase Boone Street produce at the Farm Alliance of Baltimore stand at the Waverly Farmer's Market. We will also have our produce available at the 3rd Annual Urban Farm & Food Fair this Saturday the 21st from 2 pm to 5 pm.

With so many tomatoes, it's time to talk about how to preserve the harvest. 

Food Preservation Techniques

Canning 101, fridge pickles, herb preservation, and more. Thanks to everyone who came to the workshop. Your donations were also much appreciated, and will go to support farm activities.

Green tomato - hot pepper salsa!

We enjoyed samples of last year's green tomato & pepper salsa with chips from Tortilleria Sinaloa. Yummm. Here is the recipe for the salsa: Pickled Green Tomato - Hot Pepper Mix

How to make crisp fridge pickles
 Aliza demonstrated her favorite technique for crisp fridge pickles: 

Soak cucumbers in a salt brine overnight to take out excess water. Use 1 or 1.5 tsp of sea salt per quart of water. Then drain the brine and put the pickles into the vinegar pickling liquid. 

Brines can be made with vinegar, salt, sugar or honey, and spices of your preference. Aliza's favorite mix is black and yellow mustard seed, cracked black peppercorns, and garlic or ginger. Bragg's Apple Cider vinegar is more expensive, but tastes great and is pro-biotic so it's worth the upgrade. 

Heat the brine gently to dissolve the salt and release the flavor of the spices. Then add the drained vegetables to the pickling liquid - cucumbers, radishes, cabbage, or whatever you are pickling. 

Pack into a jar and refrigerate. 

Pickles will keep several weeks. 

We read the definition of botulism from the Ball Jar Canning Guide. 

Canning safety: Always check the seal when opening a jar of home canned food. Use acids to create an inhospitable environment for botulism. 

Visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation website for more canning recipes and how to guides. 

Also, check out this spider we found on the zinnias in the community garden! Wow. 

See you at the farmer's market. We will also have our produce available at the 3rd Annual Urban Farm & Food Fair this Saturday the 21st from 2 pm to 5 pm. 

Cheryl will  have plenty of sungold yellow cherry tomatoes, San Marzano plum tomatoes for canning and sauces, okra, and ground cherries. 

1 comment:

  1. The easy way to do tropical preserves of fruits and vegetables is by solar preservation (dehydration without using dehydration equipment). Dried fruits and vegetables are usually last for a months or so. Though I haven't tried to do the canning preservation but I'm interested to do it. Just sharing :)