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  • FoodSaver V3240 Vertical Vacuum Sealer, White
    FoodSaver V3240 Vertical Vacuum Sealer, White
    I just started using a FoodSaver vacuum sealer to seal foods and I can't believe I waited so long to get one. (Check out my first project: Sweet & Sour Green Bean Freezer Pickles!)
    For example: In the past I would take the time to pick beautiful berries, then would bring them home and stick them in a zippered baggie in the freezer. My berries would have ice crystals and taste freezer burnt after just a few short months. 
    Then I had a light-bulb moment: "Air is the enemy" of freshness. 
    When vacuum-sealed my berries last 3 to 4 times longer! I have similar results with other fruits, veggies and even meats & cheeses.
    The FoodSaver has been a fantastic discovery. ~ Brook
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    • Mehu-Liisa 10 Liter Stainless Steel Steam Juicer - Made in Finland
      Mehu-Liisa 10 Liter Stainless Steel Steam Juicer - Made in Finland
      Mehu-Liisa Products

      Some day I will replace my ancient graniteware Steam Juice Extractor with this gorgeous Mehu-Liisa brand Steam Juicer. My old Steam Juicer leaks steam, meaning I have to refill the water often, and it doesn't have anywhere close to the capacity of this one from Mehu-Liisa.
      If you want to experience the magic of a Steam Juicer, check out this 10 quart Mehu-Liisa. It will last you a lifetime and save you countless hours in the kitchen, whether your juicing fruit for  Plum Jelly or Apricot Nectar, not to mention it minimizes the mess of juicing large amounts of veggies!  ~ Brook

    • Ball Quilted Jelly Canning Jar 4 Oz (Pack of 12)
      Ball Quilted Jelly Canning Jar 4 Oz (Pack of 12)
      What's the one jar size I always keep a couple extra cases of? 
      The Ball 4 ounce jar.
      It's basically 1/2 cup, and just the right size for gift-giving and for experimenting with small batches. Perfect for things like my famous Pear Honey.
      People can't help but say "That is so darn cute!" when they seem them. 
      ~ Brook

    • Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker
      Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker
      Looking for an affordable, easy-to-use pressure canner, backed up by great customer service? Look no further than the Presto 23 quart Pressure Canner/Cooker. It's the one I recommend to all my students. ~ Brook


    Dilly Pickled Onion Slices on Punk Domestics

    • Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen (Orange) Instant Read Thermometer, Perfect for Barbecue, Home and Professional Cooking
      Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen (Orange) Instant Read Thermometer, Perfect for Barbecue, Home and Professional Cooking
      Do you have a great instant-read thermometer, or are you still buying the 20 dollar ones that only last a year or two? This was one of my best kitchen purchases.
      Can't imagine cooking jam (or meat or candy) without it! 
      Take your jams to 220º and you'll have a perfect gel set every time. Also available in other colors, but why wouldn't you want orange? It's only the BEST COLOR EVER. ~ Brook


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    • The Home Preserving Bible (Living Free Guides)
      The Home Preserving Bible (Living Free Guides)
      by Carole Cancler
      If you're looking for a book that covers every preserving topic imaginable, this is the book for you. It doesn't have a flashy cover or glossy pictures, but it's full of great info. One of my very favorite resources. ~ Brook

    • OXO Good Grips Corn Stripper
      OXO Good Grips Corn Stripper

      Last August my friend Kelli asked me if I wanted some fresh corn from her grandpa's garden. I said "Sure....I'd love to make a few jars of Sweet Corn Relish!"
      She showed up 6 hours later with 158 ears. Wasn't sure if I loved her or hated her for it.
      After a long hot day spent cutting kernels off all those cobs with a small paring knife, I decided I'd never be without a Corn Stripper again. ~ Brook


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    « Cinnamon-y Pear Sauce | Main | Evergreen Syrup »

    Dilly Pickled Onion Slices

    This is the best of both worlds: the flavors of a dill pickle and the convenience of a pre-sliced onion, just waiting for you in a jar in your fridge.

    These onion slices have no bite...the compounds that make onions sharp or hot tasting are cooked out. You are left with an almost sweet, but still crunchy pickle that is great on sandwiches of any type, including burgers, or on broiled or grilled meats and fish. Add a few to an antipasti platter and watch people's eyes light up when they bite into these fun-nions.

    Note: These can be made spicy, if you like, by adding a few red pepper flakes when you make the brine.

    Makes 1 pint jar

    • 2 medium yellow onions
    • 1 cup distilled white vinegar (or any kind, as long as the label says"5% acidity") 
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 Tablespoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon pickling, kosher or sea salt
    • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
    • 1 teaspoon dill seed
    • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

    1.) Cut the ends off of the onions, then cut in half (end to end). Peel off onion skin and tough outer layers. Place each half of onion cut-side down on a cutting board and slice into 1/2" slices. Set the onions to the side.

    2.) In a saucepan large enough to accommodate the sliced onions, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt (and red pepper flakes, if you are using them). Bring to a boil and stir just long enough to dissolve the sugar and salt.

    3.) Add the onion slices to the mixture and stir well to combine. Cook over medium-high heat, until the mixture boils. The onion slices should start to soften fairly quickly, and as soon as they do, shut the burner off.  You don't want the onions to become mushy, translucent, or lose their crunch, but you do want them to be flexible.

    4.) Using a canning funnel, if you have one, and tongs, transfer the onion slices to a pint jar, packing them in fairly tightly. (Depending on the size of the onions used, they might not all fit into one pint jar. You might need to step up to a bigger jar.)

    5.) Sprinkle dill seeds and chopped garlic over the top of the onion slices, then pour hot brine (vinegar mixture) over the top of the onions and cover with a tight fitting lid. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate, consuming within a month or so. 

    Note: Let the brine cool first if you are opting to use a plastic container. 

    If you want to process this mixture so that it's shelf-stable:

    6.) Ladle the onions into a clean, hot jar then pour hot brine over the onions leaving 1/2" headspace.

    7.) Using a chopstick or a plastic knife blade, remove any trapped air bubbles. Wipe rims, clean with a damp paper towel, then place lids on jars. Screw bands onto jars until finger-tight and process for 10 minutes in Boiling Water Bath

    8.) After processing, set jars aside to cool undisturbed for 24 hours. Check seal, and it it's concave, store in a cool dark place for one year. If seals didn't take (or if they pop back up when you press down on them) just stick the jar in the fridge. The vinegar will keep them preserved as long as you keep them cold.

    Remember, if they don't all fit in one pint jar, you can always just eat the extra slices right then and there. I have been known to do that even if it's 8:00 a.m. They are addictive, any time of the day OR night.


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    Reader Comments (1)

    Oooo, I foresee these being made very soon in my kitchen!

    January 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCopyKat Recipes
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