Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Canned zucchini, green beans, plums & chard

Canned goods...
Pickled cauliflour with carrot and red pepper
I am entering this into the county fair two days from now, Thursday. Dave is taking a walnutwood framed mirror he is working on... it's beautiful. When he gets it ready, I'll post a picture here.

All canned good recipes come from Andrea Chesman's Book (click below for a link to amazon.com)

Zucchini Relish. I do not like big over grown zucchini, the flesh is stringy, the skin is tough and over all the only place for it is the compost pile. I never use a succhini longer than 7-8 inches while the flesh is still tender and the seeds are barely noticable. That is the size I use for this relish. It is the only way I preserve zucchini, otherwise I bake it into a bread/muffins or using it fresh in supper menu's or casseroles. I won a blue ribbon on this relish at a previous fair year. That same year I had the kids make seven grain and "everything" bread (my bakehouse recipes) and they both won blue ribbons too. Melissa's bread actually took two ribbons because the judges were impressed that she was under 12 and baked a blue ribbon quality yeast bread.

Here's a link to Bryanna's free recipe archives for more zucchini recipes. Notice the great rice and zucchini patty. Mine tunred out like hashbrowns, but tastes spectacular so there was not disappointment on my end at all.

Swiss Chard
"If vegetables got grades for traditional nutrients alone, Swiss chard would be the vegetable valedictorian." Check out the World's Healthiest Foods website for more information by clicking on the "swiss chard" words above.

What am I going to do with it?
The batch you saw in the picture was eaten fresh in sandwich and salad... it was young, tender and the first picking of the year. I wouldn't do that with chard otherwise because it loses it's sweet flavor not long after picking. Otherwise I like it sauteed with garlic and red pepper, thrown in stirfries, I have a favorite soup that is perfect with chard, I'll mix it into hummous (my fav persian green hummous), maybe add it to a smoothie (stem and core veins removed) if I have excess. Chard is tender like to spinach, but has a thicker leaf flesh.

Dilly beans and plum chutney
Plum Chutney is like a sweet and sour or "duck" sauce. Only this version has no extra additives and really is made from plums! Plums are not grown well in my area, so I had to buy these but 6 pounds for a good supply of excellent quality sweet and sour sauce was worth it!

Melissa and I love almost anything dilled, green beans no exception. I knew I would need to learn how to preserve foods when we first started gardening, but I did not like the suggestions for the well known Ball canning guide. Either their recipes were to sugary or I didn't like the seasonings. Usually when I want to get a broad idea of what information is available on a subject I check out amazon.com and half.com (e-bay's book sellers), then I start checking them out interlibrary loan to see whether the book would match my needs and purposes. Of the gardening preserving information I checked out, I liked the work of Andrea Chesman the best. Her book called SUMMER IN A JAR was my favorite because she offers instructions on how to make a recipe by the pint or a quart. If you are thinking you would like to do any canning, I think this book is a must!

Bryanna's Chili Garlic Green Beans
P. 129 (Fiber For Life Cookbook) See recipe for her complete and excellent directions. My version deviates some from hers.

My absolute favorite way to do green beans!
1 lb fresh green beans, steamed slightly or blanched 2 minutes in boiling water
1 Tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
Wok this: Starting with oils, garlic and red pepper flakes, green beans, and then add the flavorings. Stir fry 3-5 minutes, until beans are tender. I like to sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Here's link to a former post I made about BRUSSELL SPROUTS. Roasted is my favorite way to make them.


Amy O'Neill Houck said...

Wow. I haven't canned in years--it looks great. We used to set up a big gas burner (marketed as a turkey fryer) and can outside to avoid heating up the house in the summer--I miss that west coast produce!

funwithyourfood said...

Oh my favorite are the chili green beans :)



KleoPatra said...

Oh, Dori, wishing you "luck" at the fair with your goods. How fun for you.

I also have had problems with canning and preserving fruits and what not because of the incredible amounts of sugar. I remember as a kid we would drive from Chicago to Michigan every summer and part of our Michigan trip would be blueberry picking out in the field.

My mom would then make blueberry jam and I recall gobs and gobs of sugar going into them and i could not believe that there was no other way to do this jam-making thing. I mean i always thought, "blueberries are sweet enough and so wonderful... why all the sugar?!"

Then i'd go eat about 5 Twinkies. Go figure!!


Great post as usual, nice link over to the recipes! Thanks, Dori.

Jody from VegChic said...


I was been lurking but not commenting much here. Bad, I know. You post recipes for so many things I want to try.

BTW - I am amazed that you can fit so much into your day. My tiny garden and work and the yard and everything else keeps me so busy.

This post on canning is great, I need to get that book. The last recipe I followed had way to much sugar and I hated it.

Thanks for the info and I hope you come home with another blue ribbon!

Tanya Kristine said...

jeepers. and i was proud of myself this morning for learning how to roast peppers.

you're amazing!

i wanna learn how to pickle. i heard commercial pickles are terrible fo ryou. and i LOVES me some pickles!~

congrats on the blue ribbon!!!

Megan the Vegan said...

I love that you are entering your canned goods into the county fair. I grew up in a small town and competed in the horseback riding competitions of our "fall fair". Once I entered my blueberry jam and won 1st place!! It was so much fun...I hope you have a great time.

Urban Vegan said...

Being a city girl, it is not always economically sound for me to can unless I find an amazingly cheap sourc eof produce. When I read your blog and wish it were.

You continue to amaze me, Dori. That zucchini relish looks tasty.

Good luck at the fair.

Freedom said...

Wow, congratulations on all those blue ribbons in the past - I hope this year is as successful (I'm sure it will be!)

Vivacious Vegan said...

I'm so jealous. I think I might want to try gardening on a full scale next year and will definitely need to learn to can. I cooked Bryanna's green beans last night and hey were so tasty.

Carrie™ said...

OK, no one has commented on your pickled cauliflower, so I will. YUM! I could so eat that! I'm like you with zucchini. I don't like the giant ones. They are all stringy and seedy. Not really much good for anything.
Good luck at the fair!

Midwest Vegan said...

I haven't canned in years but I'm still holding on to my water bath canner, just in case. This post makes me want to pull that canner out of the shed.

Your jars look great - I'm sure you'll win a blue ribbon!

Geraldine said...

Wow, great post! I loved all your preserves too, certainly a lot of work but so worthwhile.

glad I stopped by, got here via Fun With your Food and a couple of clicks of blogrolls after that LOL...

BFN, G (Veggies, Yarns & Tails)

Harmonia said...

In the Garden Category feel free to post a link to this entry in the forums! Great info here! Lovely pics!

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