Category Archives: Preserving science

Berry Sorbet, Jar Lids, a Book Plug, Bambi Wars, Home-grown Chickpeas, and Terra Madre

I’m sorry I’ve been silent so long; the past couple of months have been especially busy for me I’ll try catch up here by taking on several small topics at once. SORBET MIX FOR THE PANTRY After dance class last … Continue reading

Posted in Books and blogs, Fruits, Preserving science, Sweet preserves, Travel, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Taking the Wind Out of Jerusalem Artichokes

Does your spouse refuse to eat Jerusalem artichokes because they’re too—err—windy? Have you yourself abandoned your Jerusalem artichoke patch to the weeds or the pigs, because no human of your acquaintance would eat the damn things again? If so, you … Continue reading

Posted in Fermented foods, Food history, Pickles, Preserving science, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

How to Pickled Cabbages Whole

When years ago my young Moldovan friend Cristina asked me if I’d ever fermented whole cabbages, I just looked at her dubiously. I’d never even heard of fermented whole cabbages. Could salt really penetrate through an intact cabbage before rot … Continue reading

Posted in Fermented foods, Pickles, Preserving science, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Mustard Oil: For External Use Only?

If you listened to “America’s Test Kitchen” tonight, you heard Chris Kimball and Bridget Lancaster struggle with a listener’s question about mustard oil: Why is it labeled “for external use only,” and is the stuff safe to cook with? Bridget … Continue reading

Posted in Pickles, Preserving science | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

For Winter Pies: Home-Canned ClearJel Filling

For at least fifteen years Extension agents have been urging home food preservers to try ClearJel, a kind of cornstarch used mainly in factory foods. Unlike regular cornstarch, ClearJel is made from waxy maize, a mutant variety discovered in China … Continue reading

Posted in Fruits, Preserving science, Sweet preserves | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Better Boiling-Water Canner?

I’ve always hated my graniteware canner. You know what I mean—one of those big, lightweight, speckled black pots with the cheap chromed rack inside. My rack rusted out in the first year of use. After I replaced it I noticed … Continue reading

Posted in Preserving science | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Can Pickles Cure the Flu?

In an article in Letters of Applied Microbiology, Japanese scientists report that feeding a pickle microbe to mice infected with the flu alleviates the rodents’ symptoms. The scientists previously found that this same bacterium, already in commercial use as a … Continue reading

Posted in Fermented foods, Pickles, Preserving science, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Another Cause of Soft Pickles

I threw out half of my first crock of brined cucumbers this year, because the cucumbers were strangely soft. Much more upsetting than the loss was the fact that I couldn’t explain it. I am supposed to understand such things! … Continue reading

Posted in Fermented foods, Pickles, Preserving science, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Is There Mold in That Paste Tomato?

I stopped growing modern paste tomatoes such as San Marzano a few years ago, when I began finding furry mold growing in fruits that appeared perfect on the exterior. So, while talking about preserving tomatoes to the Multnomah County Master Gardeners … Continue reading

Posted in Preserving science, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments

Experiment with Specialty Pectins

As many readers of this blog already know, I almost never use packaged pectin. After writing a whole book about old-fashioned fruit preserves, made as they were before packaged pectin was invented, I’ve felt no need for Sure-Jell or MCP … Continue reading

Posted in Books and blogs, Fruits, Preserving science, Sweet preserves | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments