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  • FoodSaver V3240 Vertical Vacuum Sealer, White
    FoodSaver V3240 Vertical Vacuum Sealer, White
    FoodSaver
    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)
      Ball
      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
      Presto
      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
      ThermoWorks
      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
      OXO

      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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    I have attempted to share safe preserving methods however you alone are responsible for your health & safety in your own kitchen or location. Be aware of current safety recommendations. Please see "Full Disclaimer" page for suggested preserving resources.

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    International Food Blogger Conference 2011 NOLA

    « Comice Pear Sauce. This sweet cinnamon-y sensation will warm you up on a chilly day. | Main | Candied Orange Peels: sweet slices of sparkly sugared citrus. »
    Friday
    Jan072011

    Dilly Pickled Onion Slices...it's what you get when you cross an onion and a dill pickle. I think you're gonna like it.

    Dilly Pickled Onion Slices on an open-faced cheddar cheese sammy.

     

    Julia Child said "It's hard to imagine civilization without onions."

    I have to agree with her, but I might add a couple words to that sentence. For me, it's hard to imagine civilization without onions and vinegar.

    Vinegar has the ability to take fruits, vegetables, eggs and meats to another level, creating something entirely different.

    I often combine vinegar with fruit as part of the process of making refreshing Drinking Vinegars.

    We can use vinegar to pickle proteins, like Southern-style shrimp and that pub grub favorite, pickled hard-boiled eggs, and to marinate all types of raw meat too.

    But I think what vinegar can do to vegetables is the most versatile by far. You can make pickled vegetables in a matter of minutes, with very little mess, and have something that is ready to serve almost immediately, yet will keep, refrigerated, for up to a month and often much longer.

    You can also seal the jars and have a shelf stable product that will last for a year or more, in the right conditions, but be sure to follow a recipe which has been tested. Adding more water to a recipe can change the pH in a negative way. And by negative I mean you can get very very sick. Just don't do it.

    They look "blah" in the jar, but I promise you they are anything but...

    My Dilly Pickled Onion Slices recipe showcases onions by bringing out their best qualities. They retain their crispness, and are rid of any sharp or bitter notes. The brief cooking time brings their natural sugars to the forefront and makes them shine. Use any kind of onion you want. Today I used inexpensive yellow onions, because that is what I had. For that matter, go ahead and use another type of vinegar, but just be sure it is at least 5% acidity.

    These easy-and CHEAP-to-make Dilly Pickled Onion Slices are a hit on a burger. A home run on a hot dog. They add a zesty crunch to any sandwich. (I happen to know these babies are incredible with bologna and a dab of mayo on thickly-sliced white bread.) Fork a few over the top of a simply cooked filet of fish or a slice of smoked samon. Put a generous layer on a grilled cheese sandwich or a tuna melt. Really, do you need more ideas from me? I bet not.

    If all else fails, they are fun to eat out of the jar, just as you would eat a dill pickle, but the onion gives this snack a kick that a cuke doesn't deliver. Not a bite mind you. Just a little kick.

    >>>> Please go back to my main blog for more fun with vinegar, salt, sugar and/or other good things....>>>>>>

     

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