With the guilty exception of mushroom flavored ramen as a kid, I have always despised all things mushroom. As with seafood, mushrooms were one of those items that I was made to sit at the table, un-excused until I tried a bite of. Alas, the off-putting taste, texture, and color of mushrooms has finally found a special, yet hesitant, place in my heart. Recently I’ve started joining the beau on his wild mushroom foraging adventures. Late to this year’s wild harvest season, our Baltimore apartment has become a pseudo laboratory for mushroom cultivation and experimentation. Pickled mushrooms were the obvious next step. I’ve been toying with the idea of pickled mushrooms for the past few weeks, and finally came across this ‘shroom recipe in my newly gifted Put ’em Up! canning book. Sherri’s book offers a comprehensive overview of food preservation, and I plan on featuring a few of her other recipes this week.
Happy holidays from Putting Up with Erin. Snowed-in or not, I hope your time spent with friends and family was enjoyable. I’m sure you received exactly what you wanted an/or needed in the way of gifts. The beau and I still have another Christmas to celebrate this weekend, but I am very excited about my canning related bounty thus far. I have already started to dog-ear recipes that I’d like to try and share. While I’m sure the pickle smorgasbords and jar gifting won’t end just because the holidays are over, I am looking forward to hunkering down and building back up my can stock for the new year.
Safe travels, happy canning, and thanks for reading.
Update 1/7/2014: (The recipe below is updated accordingly). The original recipe didn’t set properly for me. I ended up remaking this jelly with Terrapin moo stout beer and added juice from one lemon. Also instead of cooking for only 2 minutes after adding sugar, I suggest cooking for an additional 5-8 minutes on high heat. Then to test set, perform the sheet test- (freeze saucer for 15 minutes, drop 1 tsp on jelling mixture onto plate, return to fridge for 2 minutes then press on edge of jelly. If the jelly wrinkles on the side it is done, continue cooking if firmness is not achieved.)
In a hurry to get this jelly finished before taking off for the holidays, I rushed to the local liquor store first thing yesterday morning. I quickly figured out that not many patrons frequent the liquor store adjacent to the university campus at 11am during finals week… My morning visit proved to be quite advantageous, as the beer shop connoisseurs were able to provide me two-on-one advice and specific recommendations particular to this type of recipe. After much back and forth regarding the sugar content, bitterness, etc… and a lot of hinting of how they’d LOVE a jar…we decided that Young’s Double Chocolate Stout would best serve the purpose. I admit, as my first jelly attempt, it’s a weird choice, but because the fruits typically used in jelly are out of season, and because beer is readily available and delicious, I figured I’d give this somewhat simple jelly (relative to fruit based jelly) a try. This recipe is a modification on Grow it Cook it Can it‘s recipe which used Guiness stout instead of Youngs.
Serve this sweet chocolate stout jelly with some cream or mascarpone cheese atop toasted pumpernickel or rye toast. Yum!!
If your local farmers market looks anything like mine, it is currently quilted by earth toned root veggies… and that’s about it. Is anyone else digging for in-season pickling ideas? Well, you’re not alone! Beets, onions, carrots, potatoes, garlic, turnips… turnips, there’s an idea. Typically, pickled turnips are characterized by a hue of magenta attributed to an added beet slice. Alternatively, these semi-sweet pickled turnips are flavored with lemon and coriander. This recipe was modified from the Eating From the Ground Up blog. The original recipe called for white turnips and champagne vinegar, if you can find these ingredients go ahead and use them. Also, if you haven’t checked out Alana’s Homemade Pantry Cookbook, I highly suggest it.
About a month ago, I found an anonymous stick-it note on my desk at work. The memo read: “Canning Challenge: Preserved Lemons!”. I quickly figured out which colleague had challenged me, and started researching recipes and culinary uses for these, unfamiliar to me, preserved lemons. My first thought was sweet lemons, but it turns out that, like will all traditional preserved goods, salt was the agent. I had been holding out to find some organic lemons, and yesterday I finally found enough lemons at a cheap enough price to justify the challenge. I found that preserving lemons is (1) quick because you don’t need to water-bath process them, and (2) is somewhat messy with all that salt and juice (I recommend using a widemouth jar).
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