Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Pickled Asparagus
Crystal jars of pickled asparagus. They’ll be ready to eat in about four weeks.

At least, I do now.

Until today, I never did.

But today I took my first foray into Old-School Food Preservation by putting up (now, there’s a locution for you!) a few pints of pickled asparagus.

Consider this to be a first shot in what may turn out to be an extended campaign. There are all sorts of tasty things I want to try canning. Marinated roasted peppers. Prunes in Armagnac.

Meanwhile, I’m on a sort of food-preservation binge. I’ve got a couple of chunks of gravlax in the outside fridge, all salted down and doused with a healthy tot of akvavit. There are a couple of pints of salt-preserved Meyer lemons fermenting merrily away on the counter - they’ll be ready to use in a couple of weeks - and a monster vat of red beets slowly converting themselves into dark, tangy rossl. This year, we’ll have the most kick-ass borscht ever to serve at the Passover seder.

Lemons and Beets
Preserved Meyer lemons sit a-fermenting next to a vat of red rossl beets.

Too bad the Missus loathes beets. “They taste like dirt!” she invariably says. I prefer to think that they carry the flavor of the minerals from the rich farmland where they grew. Their terroir, the winos Sommelier Guild boys would say.

Update: Marinated roasted red and yellow peppers are done. And the gravlax kicks ass, too. Yowza!


Kris said...

I totally concur with SWMBO on this one. I have never been able to stomach the things, and I also have always thought they tasted like dirt. I like terroir as it's found in wine... I don't particularly like to eat the terroir itself. I'll let you have my share. I do want to sample the 'sparagus spears and the gravlax, however. And do be sure to let us know whether pickled 'sparagus has the same odoriferous effects on urinary output, won't you?

Kimberly said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of putting things by (another wonderful turn of phrase). Are you fermenting everything, or have you started down the slippery slope of water-bath canning?

My husband agrees with SWMBO that beets taste like dirt. More for me!

Elisson said...

Putting things by, indeed, Kimberly.

To answer your question, the pickled asparagus was water-bath canned. (I have no immediate plans to get into pressure canning: that may come later as my repertoire grows, the slippery slope to which you alluded.) Not too exciting, perhaps, but a first step nonetheless!

Henry Blowfly said...

You have to try preserving peaches in brandy.
Being in GA, you may well be arrested if you don't have at least a couple of jars of this culinary delight on the shelf.

Cherries in sweet sherry atop vanilla icecream is another toothsome treat.

Yabu said...

The Juju Woman and I put up about 200 jars of assorted everything every year. Enough to make it through fall, winter, and spring. and give away. I had to build more shelves.

BobG said...

One of my favorite things to pickle is okra; I usually add a clove of garlic and an arbol chile to the jar when I make them.

Anonymous said...

Canning is really the only reason I garden. Also it makes for no waste when I prepare one pot recipes like soups or stews. Of course meats and low acid foods require pressure. I opened a quart of chicken soup I canned in Sept of 2008 last night for dinner at it was far superior to anything you can buy at the store in a can.

Everyone is welcomed to dip from my stores, much like Sam, I am sure. My only requirement is that to continue to take a quart here and there, you must return my jars.

I love preserving and canning. My 87 year old Aunt put up 120 quarts of homemade tomato juice last year, and trust me, one quart and you would walk across hot coals for another.

Anonymous said...

Oh yea......skip the asparagus.

Two words, homie.

Spicy pickled okra. Hoo boy....

Elisson said...

Maybe so, Andy - but I'll betcha okra doesn't give you a case of Stinky Wee-Wee like asparagus does!