Category Archives: Preserving science

Fermenting and Storing Kraut in Small Jars, without Pasteurization or Refrigeration

I’ve more than once seen Extension home-ec agents roll their eyes when asked if it’s possible to store sauerkraut in the same jar in which it has fermented, with no heating or chilling. Where do such ideas come from? the … Continue reading

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

Finally, Stainless-Steel Mason Jar Bands

“See this rust?” asked a county-fair judge of a young 4-Her, pointing at a little spot inside the band the judge had just removed from the child’s jam jar. “This can keep your lid from sealing.” I’d never known even … Continue reading

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USDA Approves Steam Canners

Many home preservers love steam canners (such as the Victorio), because they use less water and less energy and take less time to preheat than boiling-water canners. For at least two decades, however, the USDA and its Extension employees have … Continue reading

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Olive-Oil Pickles: Q&A

Before the routine use of mason jars or even paraffin in the home kitchen, olive oil was often used, in America as well as Europe, to seal air out of jars of vinegar-pickled vegetables. When you’re canning pickles in the … Continue reading

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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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 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 , , , , , | 45 Comments

How to Pickle 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 , , , , , | 39 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 , , , | 19 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 , , , , , , , | 13 Comments