|Test batch of tomatoes for dehydrating|
I have been wanting to make bread and butter pickles as seen in Fancy Pantry, so I spent quite a bit of time looking for pickling lime (slaked lime, calcium hydroxide), including asking at a pharmacy. No dice. So I googled it, and got a lot of conflicting information about its safety (ranging from - go to a hardware store and get them to shovel a few pounds into a paper bag - to - never eat even the food-grade stuff as it will kill you). But I was determined to have crispy pickles even if it literally killed me, so I found a recommendation for WalMart's pickling department. I went there, and found - not calcium hydroxide, but calcium chloride, marketed by Bernardin under the name "Pickle Crisp". You don't soak the cukes in it, you just add a bit to each jar after filling them. Sounds quick and easy, so I did it. (Watch this space for further details!) 6 - 1/2 litre bottles of bread and butter pickles.
Next I made cucumber relish, a new recipe this time, with an overnight brine soak - I have never had much luck with this, as I find they really soak up the salt and the taste stays in the pickles. However, I did it anyway, rinsing them three or four times and straining them through a piece of nylon curtain sheer, which is wonderful stuff for the purpose. So I have 8 - 1/2 litre jars of cucumber relish! If the cukes continue to produce, I would like to make icicle or nine-day pickles - I have only ever tried them once and they were a limp failure. But I love them, and now I have a secret weapon (Pickle Crisp!) so I may just try again. And of course there are dill pickles - my dill has finally sprouted in the garden, I think because there was finally some moisture for it.
As I have a big glut of non-plum tomatoes, and two batches of salsa already laid down, I made chili sauce. I don't know what I'm going to do with it - folks online are pretty disparaging about its use. However, I have 6 one-litre jars of it now.
|Chili sauce in back, with cucumber relish & one B&B pickles|
Last night we had rain (!) and a bit of a thunder-and-lightning show, so today is cooler, with a nice north-west breeze, so I have decided to make bread. I started with my favourite "Oatmeal Brown Bread" from The Laura Secord Canadian Cook Book, my very first cook book, purchased on 19 Feb. 1974. I remember the first time I made this recipe, it calls for 1/2 cup molasses, and I didn't have any. I called on my neighbour, a little old exPat British lady who lived across the hall in my apartment block in Winnipeg - she didn't have molasses either, but gave me 1/2 cup of corn syrup. I found I preferred it with the corn syrup, as I don't like the rum/molasses flavour, so I have been using corn syrup ever since...until today, when I substituted organic honey. I have decided that the evil corn syrup will never again be used by me, so I am hoping that honey will be a good substitute, I'd hate to have to go back to molasses after all this!