Kitchen Demo: Use It or Lose It! Preservation Workshop

Liveblog

Workshop leaders:

Kate Payne
Sara Tetreault
Sean Timberlake

Q: What is CSA: Community Supported Agriculture

There are a variety of ways to deal with over abundance of produce. We like to minimize the amount of food waste.

Stone Fruit tips:

Peaches: Sarah does a lot of freezing of foods. Uses a large freezer in her basement. If you’ve never picked fruit, peaches are a great fruit to start with. You can get 50lbs of peaches in less than an hour time. Kids love it! Cuts the peaches in half, removes the pit, does not even rinse the peaches. Put them on a baking sheet with parchment paper, and puts the whole pan in the freezer. Do not let the peaches touch. Once the peaches are frozen individually, place the peaches in a storage container. That way the peaches are stored individually. She uses them for smoothies.

Tip from audience: Clingstone peaches and wild plums: if you freeze the entire fruit, and then thaw this it will slough away from the fruit and you will get more of the meat.

Fruit butter: Tiny freezer= canning is a great option. Another good option is to make a fruit butter. Easier to do than a jam and has less sugar then a jam. Put chunks of fruit, ½ cup of sugar for 2-3 lbs of peaches. Place in slow cooker until it turns into a paste, leave the skins on… Then use the food mill for a smoother texture. Sugar acts as a preservative, and keeps the flavor. You could substitute honey.

Question: If you don’t have a food mill what to do?
Don’t mind a chunky texture, use a potato masher or a sieve.

Question: What do you mean by shorter shelf life?
3 months for no sugar at all. It will turn brown and flavor will diminish. You could also freeze the butter.

Another way to make fruit butter: Boil fruit, pit fruit, use food mill. If you have too much puree you can make fruit leather.

Fruit leather: Sugar gives it a nice leathery texture. Use a dehydrator at 135-145. If you don’t have a dehydrator, use an oven on as low as it will go. Leave a crack in your oven. In the oven, it takes about 3-4 hours.

Question: How do you store fruit leather?
Store in mason jar with a lid. At about 3 months, sugar starts to crystalize and you get crunchy fruit leather. You can keep it in the fridge.

Tip: You can find a dehydrator or food mill for cheap at a garage sales or estate sales.

Tip for a cute gift idea: Roll fruit leather up in the parchment with bakers twine and put in a mason jar.

How to use fruit peels and make vinegar: If you have to blanch and peel a fruit, what do you do with the skins? If you have mushy fruit, stick your fruit in a mason jar. Make vinegar: Use a quart of filtered water with ¼ cup of sugar dissolved in the water. Cover your scraps with the sugar water. Blog posts with full tutorials on hipgirlshome.com. Stick jar lid on the concoction, and shake the jar each day for a week. You don’t want mold to form on the top. Throughout the week, the jar might bet bubbly, just pop the lid. After one week, you’re essentially making peach booze. Then strain out your scraps, and let your remaining liquid sit in a glass bar with a lot of surface area. Your vinegar is done, when it smells like vinegar.

What to do with peach pits? In the center of pits, it the actual pit. You can crack into them or leave them hole and throw them into a mason jar and pour vodka on top. You are creating a liquor. After 2-3 months, you will get peach extract and you can also use it in cocktails. Tip: Don’t take shots of your extract, there is cyanide in it.

Loquats are related to apples and taste like a mix of between an apricot and a kiwi.

Tip: All of these principals can be applied to nay stone fruit.

Egg tips:

How to freeze an egg: You can not free the egg whole. Before freezing an egg, crack it, put it in a glass freezer safe container. Egg whites are the easiest thing to freeze.

4 things to do with egg shells:
1: Put egg shells in a circle around the base of plants to keep the slugs away. The sharper the eggs the better. The slugs don’t like the sharp.
2: Plant eggs shells with tomato’s. Dig a deep hole, and add eggs and fish scraps. Tip: when you buy a whole fish ask for the fish scraps in a separate package.
3: Break up egg shells and toast them. Dry out the eggs shells to feed to chickens. Chickens need calcium. Tip: eggs shells stink when toasted.
4: Throw them in your compost bin. It takes longer for the eggs shells to break down, if you don’t break them into small pieces.

Question: How do you store egg shells you are collecting for planting in your garden later?
I keep a zip lock bag of egg shells in the freezer. Eggshells will adhere themselves into a plate fast.
Question: Do you have to do anything to the eggshells before you freeze or use them?
No!

Tip from audience: Freeze eggs in muffin tins.

Question: Can you separate eggs into white and yolk and free separately? Will it affect the flavor?
As long as everything is sealed in the freezer, it will be fine.

Tip: Freeze things how you are going to use them and label everything with dates! Use masking tape and a sharpie.

How to use excess yolks: Make a curd. Using a recipe from book: Food in Jars. You can can curd. You can’t can anything; the acidity level has to be high enough.

How to pickle eggs: Hard boil eggs. Tip: Put raw eggs in a sauce pan with cold water, 1 in over top, put on stove, bring to boil, leave lid on, and eggs will be boiled 10 minutes later. Crack and let hot air escape so that eggs will cool faster.

Question: How to get shells off of eggs easily?
Write date on egg carton. You want to use older eggs (2 weeks) when boiling. Shells will come off way easier when 2 weeks old.

How to fridge pickle eggs (eat within a week): Stab boiled eggs with knife and place in mason jar. 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup water, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp sugar is a good basic brine. Bring brine to boil, and throw in ½ tsp of spices. Add Cayenne pepper, bay leaf, brown mustard seeds, garlic, all spice. Fill jar with brine.

Question: Can you experiment with different types of vinegar?
If you are doing fridge pickling, yes. If not, make sure vinegar has 5% acidity.

Tip: Use leftover vinegar brine in garden instead of Round Up. Weeds don’t like vinegar.

How to use an excess of carrots:

Freeze carrots: Don’t peel carrots unless in a salad. Break off tops of carrots and save them. Shred carrots with food processor. Put carrots in 1 cup amounts in a zip lock bag and freeze.

Question: When defrosting shredded carrots is there an issue with extra moisture?
Don’t use frozen carrots in salad. Use them for baking or soups. Perfect for baking.

How to use nibs and butts of carrots and other veggies: Throw them in a freezer safe bag and when bag is full make stock. Simmer until it is done. If you can it, you need a pressure canner.

Make bullion salt: Chop up carrot tops really fine, add thick layer of kosher salt, with layer of fine chopped stems, layer of salt, and continue. Put cheesecloth over top, and add ring. You want it to breath. Greens will ferment and dry out. After dried out, give it a quick blitz in food processor and/or oven to make sure it is completely dried out. Add a pinch to stocks to stews. Add lots of flavors. You can any leafy parfs of herbs. Just chop everything up really small. You can also use tops of green onions, chives, and garlic cloves. Don’t shake. The salt will shelf stable for a long time. Keep it out of direct sunlight.

Tip: Dry herbs hanging upside down in a dry spot. Use a thumbtack to the wall.

How to pickle carrots: Don’t use an iodized salt. Use a fine sea salt or kosher salt. Let salt dissolve in a room temperature water in a mason jar. You can ferment with any spice combo you like. Smash garlic, 10 black peppercorns, small bundle of fresh dill heads (or dill seeds, not dill weed). Stick all spices in large mason jar, add washed carrot sticks, 2 lbs of carrots in a ½ gallon jar. You want all veggies under brine. “Seat belt” your carrots with a carrot x at the top of jar. Pour salt solution over the top of carrots, and add a weighted jar to keep carrots under brine. Ideal temperature for veggie fermentation is 65-70 degrees.

Question: Original ratio of salt brine:
quart of water and 2 T of salt

Good books:
Wild Fermentation
The art of Fermentation
Food in Jars
Well Preserved by Eugenia Bone
Hip Girls Guide to Homemaking

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