About Linda Ziedrich

I write about food and rural life from a farmstead near Scio, Oregon, where I continually experiment with the produce from my orchard and large garden. The Joy of Pickling, The Joy of Jams, Jellies, and Other Sweet Preserves, and Cold Soups are the fruit of my empirical research as well as my studies of culinary traditions around the world. I also develop products for Crisp & Co., a pickle manufacturing company based in Delaware, and I teach preserving classes on request.

If you’d like to arrange for me to teach a class, give a demonstration, or help with a publishing project, please write me at lindaziedrich@gmail.com. Write me at the same address for permission to republish any material from this blog. For permission to reprint a recipe from The Joy of Pickling or The Joy of Jams, write Adam Salomone at the Harvard Common Press, asalomone@harvardcommonpress.com.

37 Responses to About Linda Ziedrich

  1. Karen says:

    Linda,

    I just received your Pickling book tonight as a Christmas present. It is so inspiring! It has been a few months since I put away my canning pot, but I think I’ll have to find a winter veggie to put up. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

    http://www.mypantryshelf.com

  2. Patt says:

    In Iceland angelika stems were used with rhubarb in jam about 50-50 ,and formerly to flavor alcohol the root was used.the fresh leaves in spring are delicious in salads and grilling fish wrapped in the leaves of angelika always gets applauses.

    • Patt, thanks so much for this information. But were angelica and rhubarb really used in equal amounts in jam? My angelica seems much too strong for that. If you’re sure it’s true, though, I may try it.

  3. Lena Lopez Schindler says:

    Dear Linda,
    First of all thank you for the fantastic pickling book. I used to borrow the copy from the library every season. Finally I bought the new version and I am in heaven. So is my husband. We are now a pickle a day believers.
    I have been pickling and canning since I was a kid helping my mom. This is the first year I will make sauerkraut – I am very excited. I plan on making it with just white cabbage the first time, but I have a question about using kale. I have a lot of White Russian Kale and Dino Kale in my garden. Can I mix in some with the regular white cabbage to make kraut? I have looked through all the canning blogs and I have seen kale kimchi so I am suspecting I can use some kind of ratio of cabbage to kale to make kraut. So have you tried this and can you recommend a ratio? I know that the kale has less water than cabbage.

    Again thank you for your time and glorious efforts. Sincerely, Lena Lopez Schindler

    • Dear Lena,
      Thank you so much for your kind words about my book.
      I’ve never brined kale, although this year I intended to try brining thin green leaves of head cabbage–leaves that tried and failed to form heads after I cut the main head from the plant. I didn’t get around to this job fast enough, though, and so in the end I composted the leaves.
      Thick leaves like those of head cabbage and Chinese cabbage seem to have the best texture when pickled, and you’re wise to consider that they also contain more water than thinner leaves. If I were you, I think I’d use a small proportion of kale to cabbage the first time–say, 1 to 3. If the liquid drawn out by the salt doesn’t cover the greens by the next day, just add as much brine as needed (1 1/2 tablespoons salt for 1 quart water). I would be interested to know if you like the results.

  4. Karen says:

    Hi Linda,
    I read your article for pba free canning lids.
    I found this site that has them on sale (twice).
    http://www.markdown.com/markdown-tattler-lids/

    Love your blog.
    Karen

  5. Karen says:

    This was the second sale. I have subscribed to the site and I will post here if they have another.
    Karen

  6. Mona says:

    Linda, would love to see you on twitter. hint hint :)

    Mona @mm98273

  7. Christy says:

    LInda-

    I have both your pickling and jam books. Love them! As a matter of fact, my daughter and I picked strawberries this morning at our favorite orchard and I just made a batch of your strawberry jam. Yum! Thanks for all the lovely recipes and techniques!!

  8. Meg Bortin says:

    Dear Linda, I found your lovely blog while searching the Web for details about the difference between lemon juice and so-called Real Lemon. To my surprise, your blog resembles mine! In terms of design, but also of spirit. I would love to be in touch with you by email if possible. I live in Paris, have a garden in Burgundy, and my (very new) blog is called The Everyday French Chef. All best, Meg Bortin

  9. Hi Linda

    I’ve nominated you for a blogging award. Many congrats and well done. It can be found here. http://digginwivdebb.wordpress.com/2012/12/05/yaymy-first-blogging-award

    Debbi x

  10. Andre says:

    Hello, we love the website. Would it be possible for you to keep us abreast of any events that may be on your calendar? We want to create an event calendar for our fellow canners.

  11. Mary Beth Lynn says:

    Just discovered & realized you are an Oregonian -YAY I have read a few of your recent posts and think i will be hanging around a lot more. I have always done some canning but have kind of developed the “bug” this past year and began making marmelade IN THE WINTER . . . I have to say it was nice to drag out “the stuff” when it wasnt 85 degrees in the kitchen. Recently I made several trips to the peach orchard at Sauvie Island. I have some peach salsa – peach jam to show for it as well as a peach pie and a peach crisp. I decided to try my luck at pie filling and found clear gel was in most of the recipes. I didnt use as much as the recipes recommended . . . and dont know if this comment will cause you to become UNHINGED or not…..but I absolutely LOVED the filling it produced . . . to the point that perhaps it isnt the best thing for me to have 5 quarts of it in the cupboard. Have found the Decorette Shop in SE Portland to be the most affordable place to get it. Do you have a previous post about the virtues or lack thereof for clear gel (modified corn starch) that you could point me to . . . .or what are your thoughts about its use. I am thinking of grabbing some Gravensteins while they are nice and making a couple quarts of apple pie filling . . . .? Have i lost my mind?

    • What a coincidence, Mary Beth: I’ve been experimenting with ClearJel myself in the past few weeks. I might have published a post about the stuff already if I’d thought to take a photo of the Marionberry tart I made with ClearJel or the blackberry pie Sharon Wiest made with ClearJel-based filling I provided last Saturday at the Culinary Center in Lincoln City. Since then I’ve used ClearJel to can some peach pie filling. I’ll try to find time to make a pie with it–and take a picture!–soon.

      Are the recipes you found and rejected the ones from Extension, with the food dye and water added?

      Do you really have 5 quarts of ClearJel in your cupboard?

  12. mary beth says:

    Thank you for writing back. I used a recipe from a site called “the kitchen whisperer” – essentially like all of the others including the extension. I did not use coloring and did add water as instructed. Would think using actual peach juice would really be nice though. The one thing that did not sink in when i filled the jars was to fill within ONE inch. Natually I had to learn this lesson the hard way, My jars didnt seal, they all continued to OOZE when I brought them out of the canner & had to be resealed. It seems this stuff has some “expanding” powers :) Also, experienced the same when i made the pie from what was left over. It blew all over the sides (big time). . .good thing i set it on a parchment lined sheet. In hindsight though – I am wondering if this project was such a good idea . . . .Mr Wonderful and I finished the WHOLE pie – which usually never happens. After a day or two most pies I make become a soggy mess and we toss about half. Not this one, the clear gel rendered a BEAUTIFUL not-soggy pie. It is just a guess though, that once the filling has been heated in the waterbath, that it will not expand again when the pie is baked. Also worth noting, clear gel is significantly cheaper at The Decorette (about 1/3 of the cost) anywhere else . +/- $3.60 per pound

    • Mary Beth, I allowed 1 1/2 inches of headspace. When I got the ratio of ClearJel to fruit and liquid right, the filling expanded just to fill the jar, with no oozing. Although the peach filling shrank as it cooled, the blackberry did not. You are correct that the filling did not expand any more when baked in a pie.

      When I put canned Marionberry filling in a precooked crust, we were able to leave the tart on the kitchen counter and eat it over five days without its ever becoming soggy.

  13. Sarah says:

    Hi Linda,

    I got your pickling book on a whim and have been delighted with everything I’ve tried. Lovely recipes, thank you!

    I do have a question about your pickled oranges and wasn’t able to find it addressed on either blog: when you slice down through rind and flesh to cut the sections, are you cutting them completely free of the membrane, like cutting sections sections for a salad? The slices don’t hold up well when simmered if I do so (though they’re delicious). Thought I would ask before the next batch, in case I should be leaving them in the membrane and cutting between the two layers.

    • That’s a very good question, Sarah. I haven’t pickled oranges in years, but I believe I cut along one side of each membrane only, so that each slice was held together by a single membrane. This winter I will have to pickle oranges so that I can make the instructions clear.

  14. Suzanne says:

    Hi Linda,

    First, thanks for your lovely book on pickling. I’ve always loved pickles, and am excited about making my own! I have a question about fermented pickles, since I am very new to these. I’ve made a couple of jars of your half-sours (which were both easy and delicious!), and have moved on to trying your ‘tea pickles’. The cucumbers have been in the brine for five days now, and I’m a little concerned about the brine appearance…it is not only cloudy, but there seem to be small floating chunks of sediment throughout (that don’t look like ‘eyeballs’ as you described yeast; these are more irregular and wispy). I’ve looked online to try to find an explanation but have had no luck. Can you tell me if this is normal, and the pickles are still going to be safe to eat? I’ve pulled off the brine bag and they smell good (no obviously ‘bad’ smells). One thing that might be relevant is we had a heat wave this week, so the temperatures in my house exceeded the 80F that you recommend. Any suggestions or input you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

    • Suzanne,

      The “eyeballs” I described were mold. I’ve since seen other kinds of mold in pickles, but I think you would recognize them as mold. Yeast is pale in color and opaque. A good smell is a good sign, but I’m not sure about the “irregular and wispy” stuff. Lift some of the brine with a spoon, and let it fall back into the jar. Does it form a “rope,” as syrup does? That’s a problem that sometimes occurs during hot weather. I don’t think that a ropy brine is dangerous, and I don’t entirely understand what causes it, but I find it disgusting. If the brine is ropy, you can probably save the pickles by rinsing them, bringing the brine to a boil, pouring the brine back over the pickles, and then refrigerating them. I don’t advise processing these pickles, especially not if they aren’t yet well-soured.

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  16. darla says:

    Hello linda, i am a big fan and frequent user of both your books. i was looking at the recipes for pickled and syrup preserved walnuts and was wondering if you could use black walnuts in their green stage for either of them? i was also wondering if you had ever made nocino and, if so, if you had any input on using black walnuts for making it? thanks. and thanks for all the great recipes and ideas i have gotten from you over the years!

    • Darla, I make nocino every year, because my family and friends love it. Here’s a link to the recipe on this blog: .

      Although we have a huge black walnut tree right beside the house, I never use the nuts in their green stage. Juglone, the toxin in the roots, wood, and leaves of the black walnut, also occurs in the husks. So they probably wouldn’t be good for you even if they tasted good.

  17. muchohucho says:

    Hi,
    I am trying to learn about pickling because I liked pickled foods and have a garden. I’ve read a number of recipes and I’m quite confused on just exactly how much (proportion) vinegar to use. I followed a recipe that Hank Shaw http://honest-food.net/2011/10/31/pickled-cauliflower/ related back to you on for pickled cauliflower and the vinegar is diluted by half (no mention if its 5% or 10% but I’ve never seen 10% in the stores). I have not been able to find a single Coopertaive Exentsion recipe for pickled veggies that dilutes the vinegar, they all use full strength (5%). The other question regards the necessity of cooking the veggies prior. Hanks recipes (who claims its bascially yours) does not, yet, all the Extension sourced recipes cook the veggies first (too much I think). Veggies like cauliflower have a lot of water in them already, so to dilute the vinegar by half, and ad to raw veggies seems questionable to me. Bottomline questions for me is it safe to dilute vinegar with water and if so to what extent? I’m becoming discouraged with the mixed messages methods and recipes across sources.

    • Hank surely meant 5-percent vinegar. In my book I specify in the introduction but not in every recipe that vinegar should be 5 percent (the introduction is titled “Read This First!” for good reason). I’ve never seen 10-percent vinegar in stores, either.

      Extension recipes range from calling for straight 5-percent vinegar to specifying slightly more vinegar than water. Recipes differ in vinegar dilution because some pickles are meant to be more sour than others. The 50-50 rule is intended for making sure that old family recipes are safe to use.

      Whether pickles are cooked is likewise a matter of tradition, though cooking provides the benefit of tighter packing in a jar.

      If you are a beginning pickler, I suggest simply following a recipe that sounds good to you and that comes from a trusted source. I recommend my book, of course, but I also like this free basic guide to pickling from Oregon State University Extension: http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/20674/pnw355.pdf.

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  19. matt dianich says:

    Hi Linda,

    I’m a beginner to this experience, and have made a few pickle recipes from your Joy book. I have a question relating to a recipe I did of the olive oil pickles (page 98). I did as instructed, and opened around 4 weeks after pantry storage. They tasted amazing! After about a week in the fridge, however, the opened jar formed small, white beads at the top. They vary in diameter, but all quite smaller than the mustard seeds.

    The unopened ones do not exhibit this, and I am concerned that there is something wrong. Perhaps this is some congealing of ingredients, but I wanted to see if you’ve encountered similar results. I haven’t eaten them since they’ve been in the fridge (e.g., formed the beads), so am only hoping that the refrigeration is the factor here, and that they are safe to eat. Happy to send pics to an email link if you provide.

    Thanks!
    Matt

  20. Jennifer Cattin says:

    Hi Linda. Love The Joy of Pickling! One of the many recipes I tried was the Marinated Sweet Peppers last September. It was the first time I had used olive oil in a pickling recipe. Interesting. While processing in the water bath some of the liquid came out so I had to wipe down the jars well before storing. The seals seemed to be holding. My question is this – some of the peppers in the jar are above the liquid, in some of the jars, quite a bit. Will it be ok to eat the peppers that have not been in liquid this whole time?
    Thanks!

    • Thanks for writing, Jennifer. When you add oil to a jar of pickles to be processed, any oil rising to the top of the jar can prevent a good seal, so it’s important to leave plenty of headspace (1/2 inch, including solids as well as liquid), to make sure the water doesn’t boil really hard in the water bath, and to keep the jars from tipping over. I’m glad your seals are holding!

      Because the processed jar has an airtight seal, the oil isn’t needed for its traditional function of preserving the peppers from spoilage. So peppers sticking up over the surface of the liquid will be safe to eat, although the small amount of air remaining in the jar may cause them to soften over time. Because the peppers have been soaked in vinegar, they cannot present any risk of botulism.

  21. Chyrol says:

    Hello Linda, just purchased your 2 books “The Joy of Pickling and “Joy of Jams and Jellies” and really enjoy the freshness of the recipes. They have immensely broadened my canning horizons. I have a quick question about the shelf life for the recipe on page 110, pickled beets with red wine. Can I substitute brown sugar instead of white? I would like to leave some of the spices (I’d take the ginger out) in the liquid for jarring. Is a dry red wine best? If I do these changes, would it affect the shelf life? I have not used red wine vinegar/red wine recipe so uncertain of the shelf life. I noticed that many of the pickling recipes that use the hot water/pressure canning method in your books don’t list a shelf life. Is there a general assumption of one year, give or take, as the shelf life for the hot water bath/pressure using a red wine, apple cider, cider vinegar mixed with a wine? Curious to know as you state that altering the water to vinegar ratio is an important point to consider when canning, taste, food safety, shelf life, etc. Hence the question of shelf life for this recipe. Interesting point is I noticed I could find very, very few recipes that use anything but white vinegar.

    • Chyrol, you can certainly substitute brown sugar for white and change the spices in the recipe for pickled beets with red wine. These changes will not affect the pickle’s shelf life. As for red wine, I tend to think of it as dry by definition, but of course sweet red wines have become popular lately. I see no harm in using sweet wine in this pickle, which contains a lot of sugar anyway, though I’d avoid any wine that’s very tannic. You can feel free to change the type of vinegar, too. Most pickle recipes call for white (distilled) vinegar first because it’s cheap and second because it’s colorless. I prefer to use fruit vinegars, for their subtle flavors and variable colors, in most pickles. The important thing is to use vinegar with an acidity of 5 percent or higher or to reduce the water content proportionally if you’re using a vinegar of lower acidity (rice vinegar is usually 4.0 to 4.3).

      In considering shelf life, it’s important to distinguish between safety and quality. Canned pickles or jam will keep safe, in general, until the lid comes loose or begin rusting away (sometimes mold appears on top of jam or jelly in a well-sealed jar, but water-bath processing should prevent this problem). So spoilage may not occur for decades. But the vegetables and fruits in the jars may soften and lose both color and flavor over a much shorter period. Jams and sauces may keep good quality for several years or longer, but pickled cucumbers and peppers generally should be eaten within a year.

      • Chyrol says:

        Hello Linda, Thank you for your answers. A question I have is I want to leave some spices in the syrup mixture and putting those said spices with the syrup mixture in the jars with the beets. I intend on hot packing (1st cooking the syrup mixture with the spices, then cooking the beets in the syrup mixture for about 5 minutes), loading the jars, then hot water bathing/pressure canner (haven’t decided which one I am going to use). It’s the leaving of the spices in the liquid that is going into the jars I do this quite frequently for other canned goods and enjoy the stronger spice flavours. As far as I understand, to stay on the safe side, always use dehydrated spices when canning, which is what I will be using (except the ginger, which I will only use in the initial syrup mixture and not put it in the jars). Pretty much every recipe I have read states to take the “spice bag” out prior to loading the syrup mixture in the jars. A little twitchy about this new recipe and don’t want to ruin it, so it is okay to leave my selection of spices in the jars? Learning still.

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