Category Archives: Canning

Making Kimchi

Hello everyone. It’s been WAY too long since we’ve posted anything on the blog. However, we’ve graduated from residency, and we’re finding that we’ve got a bit more time on our hands. We’ve also moved to our dream house in the Sierra Foothills, so hopefully, we can start sharing our many homesteading projects from the new place.

First up though, it’s getting cold out, and for the Koreans, that means time for kimjang, aka making TONS of kimchi. We had a mini kimjang today and made ourselves 2 big jars of kimchi. Here are the highlights.

First, you start with your Napa cabbage. Chop coarsely, and brine in salty water for 1-3 hours depending on how salty you like your kimchi.  Rinse and drain.

Meanwhile, prepare the kimchi paste. There are many variations to this. I like to use a combination of a lot of gochugaru (korean chili flakes…there is absolutely no substitute for this), water, salt, garlic, ginger and a little fish sauce or korean salted shrimp. Sometimes, I’ll throw some scallions in there as well. Some people add a little sugar, but I omit this step if I’m using fish sauce.

Finally, throw some rubber gloves on and mix the paste and the cabbage together. Find some large jars and stuff away. You’ll want the kimchi to ferment on the counter for at least a few days before enjoying…but everyone has their own idea of when the kimchi tastes the best.

While traditional kimchi is all about Napa cabbage, you can experiment with pretty much any veggie. I’ve had carrots, green cabbage and daikon in this way and they’ve all tasted great.

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Canning Bonanza

Sorry for the lapse.  There’s a lot to catch you all up on.  I’ll start with what’s been going on in the kitchen. We recently had a pickling bonanza.  We made some dill pickles and we canned 10 pints of roma tomatoes from our garden. Here are some highlights.

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Orange and Lemon Marmalade

Despite the odd winter that we’ve had, there has been plenty of citrus around.  I wanted to preserve some of it, and marmalade seemed to be the perfect way to do it.  I’m feeling a bit lazy, so I’m not gonna type up the recipe but will show you the basic process through photos. I will say that if you are inspired to make it, it’s in a cookbook called Canning for a New Generation…an awesome resource for canning with great modern recipes.  I definitely recommend it!

You start by zesting several oranges with a veggie peeler. You then julienne the zest into marmalde-sized pieces.

Section the oranges using a sharp paring knife. Save the pith, skin and seeds and place in little cheesecloth pouches.

Throw the sectioned oranges, a diced lemon, julienned zest, sugar, water and the pouches in a pot.  Boil until the zest is tender then take the pouches out. Simmer until the mixture has a nice jelly texture. You can test this by placing a small amount of the marmalade on a freezing cold plate.  If it’s ready to be canned, the marmalade will crinkle when pushed with a finger. Place the marmalade in sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace and boiling for 5 minutes to process.

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Quinces

We have been in a canning kind of mood lately.  In the photo above, you can see our Habanero-Fig-Apricot Jelly and Pear Vanilla Jam in the foreground and Pickled Habaneros in the background.  Despite my life being nearly completely overtaken by working nights on the pediatric wards, I managed to make some time to preserve some quinces that we bought from the farmer’s market.We also bought a new canning setup and the pot is large and in charge…

I think it’ll come in handy when Greg brews beers.

Quince is a fruit that reminds me of a floral version of an apple or pear.  The only thing is that it’s so sour and astringent when raw, you have to cook it before it’s edible.  The flesh is white when raw and turns into a beautiful deep orangey pink when cooked.  Below, you can see how fuzzy the skin is.

I realized that I can use this batch of fruit to make both quince jelly and quince paste. I started by chopping and heating up the fruit.

I then mashed the fruit and drained the pulp of all its juices.

The juices were used for the jelly, and the remaining pulp was ground up, reheated and used for the quince paste.

Once heated up, I put the quince paste in a baking sheet and let it dry in the oven.

The quince paste goes perfectly with a mixture of sheep cheeses.

Here are the recipes I used…

Quince Jelly

Simply Recipes’ Quince Jelly

Chocolate and Zucchini’s Quince Jelly

Quince Paste

Simply Recipes’ Quince Paste

Cannelle et Vanille’s Quince Paste

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