Canning Roasted Pickled Peppers: 5 Photos, 5 Stories: Day 5

Roasted pickled peppers in a mason jar
Roasted pickled peppers

My last post in this challenge is about my fourth canning project from last fall.  I made three pints of roasted pickled bell peppers and they were fabulous.

Like the tomato sauce, this second-ever canning project of mine also took a lot of work: first the roasting until the peppers got slightly browned, then putting in a paper bag to cool (this is allegedly supposed to make them easier to peel the skin), then peeling the skin (which didn’t seem to be easy despite sitting in the paper bag), then the packing and boiling.

I used peppers from the farmer’s market, which came in varying shapes, colors, and sizes because they were organically grown. I understand that naturally grown foods do not grow into the standardized, uniform shapes that we see at the grocery store–and I love that….but when it comes to peeling roasted peppers, all that variation was kind of a pain.

While I was swearing my way through the peeling process, I said I wouldn’t make these again. How could they be worth all the trouble? Well, a few months later, after the flavors had mingled and set, I discovered that they are totally worth it. I began adding them to everything and I look forward to more later this summer.

Canning was a fun experience and I’m looking forward to doing more this year. I think I unknowingly chose harder things first and easier foods later: tomato sauce, pickled peppers, apple butter and pickled beets. Now at least I know what I’m in for when I bring home a 45-lbs box of tomatoes or decide to start roasting 7 lbs of bell peppers. It was a fun learning experience.

This post comes as part of the Five Photos, Five Stories challenge sent to me by Nonny Moose. I thought my theme for the next five days would be food, since I haven’t written much about that lately. A theme is not necessary, but for me this is motivation to get caught up on some posts I have been drafting in my mind.

The challenge rules are:

  1. Post a photo each day for five consecutive days.
  2. Attach a story to the photo. It can be real, fiction, a poem, a quote or short paragraph – that is entirely up to you.
  3. At the end of each day, nominate one other blogger to take part.

Today I nominate Luke of LukeWymer. It’s a new blog and I hope Luke shows us some more beautiful Irish scenery. There’s no pressure, it’s just for fun 🙂

Canning Tomato Sauce: 5 Photos, 5 Stories: Day 4

Nine quarts of tomato sauce was my first canning project. I should have started out with something easier, but I didn’t realize that at the time. Using a recipe in the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving, I started by procuring 45 lbs of tomatoes from my farmer friend in early September. As I washed, quartered, and threw them in the pot, I realized that I would need several pots to do the job of cooking them down. I should have started out by throwing them in the pressure cooker/canner, because that’s where they all ended up. The next sad realization was that it was going to take forever to put it all through the food mill. It did take forever. I’m still doing it, in fact, with no end in sight.

I ended up with just about 9 quarts of tomato sauce. Since my pressure canner only holds 7, I just refrigerated the last two jars.

The sauce was delicious! I had read that you can use either citric acid or lemon juice to raise the acidity to safe levels, and I tried a couple jars of each. I didn’t notice much of a difference.

This project took most of the day and it was around midnight when I finally pulled the jars out of the canner and set them on the counter. I could hear the little popping sounds as I fell asleep. It was a lot of work but rewarding and completely worth it. I’m looking forward to doing it again at the end of the summer!

This post comes as part of the Five Photos, Five Stories challenge sent to me by Nonny Moose. I thought my theme for the next five days would be food, since I haven’t written much about that lately. A theme is not necessary, but for me this is motivation to get caught up on some posts I have been drafting in my mind.

The challenge rules are:

  1. Post a photo each day for five consecutive days.
  2. Attach a story to the photo. It can be real, fiction, a poem, a quote or short paragraph – that is entirely up to you.
  3. At the end of each day, nominate one other blogger to take part.

Today I nominate Guenny of Together and Apart No More. Guenny, are you up for another photo challenge? There’s no pressure, it’s just for fun 🙂

Tortang Talong: 5 Photos, 5 Stories: Day 3

tortang talong with pork loin and rice
Tortang talong with pork loin and rice

I recently came across a new dish that was so intriguing that I had to try it out: tortang talong. I saw a recipe for a “de-constructed” version on Upraised Living, where Abbi explained it is a common Filipino dish. The combination of  eggplant and eggs had me hooked immediately, and I looked for a recipe for the traditional version. I found this easy-to-follow recipe on Manilla Spoon, which shows how to dip a roasted eggplant in scrambled egg before frying.

roasted eggplant with skin peeling off
Peel off the skin after roasting

I did not cook the recommended ground pork to go on top, but I did have a pork loin in the fridge to roast so I served that along with some rice. It was delicious! The smoky roasted eggplant pairs perfectly with scrambled eggs. You should give both of these recipes a try!

This post comes as part of the Five Photos, Five Stories challenge sent to me by Nonny Moose. I thought my theme for the next five days would be food, since I haven’t written much about that lately. A theme is not necessary, but for me this is motivation to get caught up on some posts I have been drafting in my mind.

The challenge rules are:

  1. Post a photo each day for five consecutive days.
  2. Attach a story to the photo. It can be real, fiction, a poem, a quote or short paragraph – that is entirely up to you.
  3. At the end of each day, nominate one other blogger to take part.

Today I nominate Cheryle of Lightwalkers Blog. Cheryle, are you up for another photo challenge? There’s no pressure, it’s just for fun 🙂

Canned Pickled Beets: 5 Photos, 5 Stories: Day 2

pickled beets in mason jar
In October, I canned some pickled beets. This was my fourth canning project after tomato sauce, roasted pickled peppers, and apple butter. The pickling liquid included allspice, clove and cinnamon, which gives the beets such a delicious and warm spicy flavor. I hadn’t tried canning before this past fall, so it was nice to finally achieve my goal. I’m planning to do more canning this year!

This post comes as part of the Five Photos, Five Stories challenge sent to me by Nonny Moose. I thought my theme for the next five days would be food, since I haven’t written much about that lately. A theme is not necessary, but for me this is motivation to get caught up on some posts I have been drafting in my mind.

The challenge rules are:

  1. Post a photo each day for five consecutive days.
  2. Attach a story to the photo. It can be real, fiction, a poem, a quote or short paragraph – that is entirely up to you.
  3. At the end of each day, nominate one other blogger to take part.

Today I nominate lrod of lrod’s blog. lrod, are you up for the challenge? There’s no pressure, it’s just for fun 🙂

Udon Stir Fry: 5 Photos, 5 Stories: Day 1

Stir fry with udon noodles
Shrimp, udon, carrots, broccoli, greens, onion, roasted sesame seeds = fast and yummy

I have been on a stir fry kick lately. Maybe it’s the spring-ish weather that’s making me want a break from the roasting and wintery meals that I have been enjoying for the past few months. Maybe I ignored stir frying for too long and now it’s back with a vengeance. I just love the ease of quick-cooking veggies, adding some udon or soba noodles (both only take a few minutes to boil), and popping a few shrimp in at the end.

My technique is to throw together whatever I have on hand–add a little of this or that–but Andrea at Cooking With A Wallflower has a lovely recipe laid out. You know, with measurements and guidelines and stuff 🙂 You should give it a try!

This post comes as part of the Five Photos, Five Stories challenge sent to me by Nonny Moose. I thought my theme for the next five days would be food, since I haven’t written much about that lately. A theme is not necessary, but for me this is motivation to get caught up on some posts I have been drafting in my mind.

The challenge rules are:

  1. Post a photo each day for five consecutive days.
  2. Attach a story to the photo. It can be real, fiction, a poem, a quote or short paragraph – that is entirely up to you.
  3. At the end of each day, nominate one other blogger to take part.

Today I nominate Sarah of Chilly Bella Photo Art. Sarah, are you up for the challenge? There’s no pressure, it’s just for fun 🙂