Category Archives: POSTS

CANNING JARS IN NYC: Where to get them

POST #831
Living in New York City, we often get spoiled into thinking that we can get anything here (I know I imagined that it would be that way back when I was still scheming to get here).  Surprise! There are lots of things you can get in other parts of America which are virtually inaccessible to New York City residents — We have no Walmart, and canning jars (Mason/Ball jars) are really hard to track down. I’m lucky that I happened upon an interesting blog, Autumn Makes and Does, with a posting about how to get jars in NYC, and with lots of follow-up postings from her readers, with their own information abut where to get jars.

Last week, I followed Autumn’s advice to go to Ace Hardware, order on-line, and then pick up at an Ace Hardware in the city without  paying shipping.  I ordered on Friday night, and my jars were in the store on Monday.  I couldn’t pick them up until today, and I couldn’t make a copy of my on-line purchase receipt, but the folks at the store were sweet, and let me have my delivery once I told them my true name and showed them an ID which reflected that name.  (My total for a flat of 12 qt. jars was $14 something — $8 cheaper than even amazon with amazon prime)

Here are some other suggestions for places to find canning jars in NYC:
True Value will also ship free-of-charge jars you buy on-line to the local store you specify. The jar prices are competitive with Ace Hardware. There are a number of True Value stores in Manhattan.
Rainbow Ace Hardware at 1st Ave and 75th: Highly-rated canning supply section, with flats of jars in all sizes, lids, canning gadgets and utensils, as well as pectin and pickling spices. Prices said to be not bad for NYC.

Home Depot, 23rd Street: various sizes of jars, and lids.  They say that, if you find a lower price elsewhere, if you talk to the Head Cashier, they will match the price.

Surprise Surprise, 3rd Ave and 12th St:. Carries jars at prices ranging from $1.50 – $2.99. Small discount for flats.
23rd Street Hardware, 23rd Street between 3rd and Park: This is a True Value store. Good selection of jars and lids. May be willing to special order what you don’t see. You can also order on-line and have your order delivered free-of-charge to this or any other True Value store you choose.

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10/4/2012 CSA SHARE: The reality

POST #830
Escarole…… ………………………traded for kohlrabi
Mesclun Lettuce Mix……………traded for bok choi
Baby Bok Choi
Japanese Salad Turnips
Green Boston Lettuce…………..traded for kohlrabi
Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes…….traded for bok choi
Toscano Kale
Kohlrabi

There is some interesting dynamic going on. When I really want to get to the CSA distribution first, I get work that prevents that happening.  Work is good. I need the money.

So, today, I was second. The guy, bless his soul, who always gets there first and grabs everything in the share box, in a 3 for 1 deal, where he puts in one thing and takes three, got there first. Apparently he does not like lettuce.  The share box was filled with lettuce and nothing else…. ah, but I dug dug dug down to the bottom of the lettuce and found 2 kohlrabi bulbs. Ha! (apparently he likes kohlrabi, because he was hanging over my shoulder and, seeing me find the kohlrabi, tried to get it from me. Not a chance, big boy!)  I wanted to trade all of the lettuce and the potatoes, so I had to patiently wait for people to come and not want stuff.  Finally, someone didn’t want bok choy– MINE! Finally someone didn’t want kohlrabi– MINE!

Yea! I’ve got enough kohlrabi to make  a quart of pickles.

FIRST TASTE: the latest batch of fermented green beans

POST #827
I was trying to wait for the 4th day, but, finally, I just couldn’t wait, so I opened the jar closest to me to see what I’d got.

I had kind of expected this batch to be spicier, but, instead, it is garlicky, and not so dill-y.   The dill is still there in force, but the garlic is the primary flavor, and there is just a tiny kick from the jalapeno.  Still, these green beans are good, and I know they will be all gone soon.  

The big pieces of garlic are good, too, so I must remember to cut the garlic larger for these green beans, and other things I am adding garlic to.

Tomorrow I can try the carrots, or else, I can leave them another day or so.  Will I be able to wait?  Only the Creator knows at this point.

Meanwhile, yumm!  I am dining on a bowlful of the green beans! 

WHY I DON’T USE WHEY TO FERMENT MY VEGETABLES

POST #802
I’ve been reading a lot of raw fermenting recipes during the last few days (don’t know why it never occurred to me that others were reporting their ferments online before).

In books, and on-line, I’ve found a recommendation to use whey, but I never have and do not plan to (I am very milk allergic — it’s the casein– so I avoid milk products of any kind).  I’v also heard that whey ferments can fail.

I guess I am lucky.  When I set out to make my first batch of sauerkraut, I picked up from somewhere that I could use probiotics powder (or caps) to make a good ferment.  To date, I have only lost one batch, and that was the batch where I forgot to add the probiotics in.

I’ve always used New Chapter Probiotic All-Flora — I don’t rightly remember why I use this particular one, but I do recall that I made a point of chasing it down —  I suppose you could use any other probiotic you have lying around or choose to obtain.

Without having experience in any other way of making fermented vegetables, I think my way works very well, and ferments up in 3 days (for sauerkraut, and just about any other vegetable I ferment).  Sometimes, if I’m working with someone else’s recipe, if they recommend a longer ferment time, I’ll leave it for up to 14 days, but, usually, the longest I leave a jar is 5 days.

I’m excited about trying out all of these new recipes I’ve found recently,  but I expect I will continue my way of fermenting, because it works very well for me.  You might try it yourself.

SOMEBODY TAKE A PICTURE! I actually ATE a peach today.

POST #783
I do love peaches.  I don’t know why I don’t eat them — I’ll blend them into a smoothie or a shake/with cashews, or a pudding/with cashews, but, for some reason, for several years now,  I haven’t eaten a peach.  Today I ate a peach.  It was easy. It was surprising. It was, of course, delicious.  (I got up early and sliced a peach and put it in a little container.  It ended up being my lunch – after I ate the peach, I didn’t want any of the other cool stuff I had packed for lunch).  I think I’ll eat another peach tomorrow.  

If eating a peach is that easy, then I might well eat an apple soon (I’ll drink apple juice, and eat the pulp as apple sauce), but I never put apples in any food, and I never eat apples.  I think I will try slicing up an apple and eating it slice by slice.

Don’t get me wrong.  I do eat some fruit.  I eat grapefruit sections sprinkled with cinnamon.  I eat plums.  I eat prunes. I eat grapes. I eat strawberries. I eat blueberries. I eat raspberries. I eat blackberries. I eat bananas. I eat pineapple.  (There is no way I will eat mango, though.)  I think I’m ready to eat an apple. Maybe.  First, I have to eat my way through this bag of peaches.  I feel like an explorer.

8/23/12 CSA SHARE: What we got and what I took home

POST #786
Here’s what they said we would get, what we got, and what I traded for:

Green Beans – .75 lb bag……………………..traded for basil
Sungold Cherry Tomatoes – 1.25 lbs
Spaghetti Squash – 1 pc
Yellow Onions – 3-4 pcs………………………traded for tomatoes
Chioggia Beets – 1 bun…………………………got watermelon
Red Tomatoes – 6 lb bag
Basil – 1 bun
Apples – bag of 5
Peaches – bag of 5

I was disappointed that I did not get the beets- I was thinking of fermenting half and doing angelhair pasta with the other half.

I traded the onions because I still have a lot left, and the green beans because I didn’t think I would get around to eating them ever.

Watermelon tomorrow for breakfast.

I am going to juice the apples – that will get me applesauce, too – the pulp is enough like applesauce for me to call it like that.

I ate the cherry tomatoes as a quick dinner.

There are enough tomatoes that I can get at least one dehydrator tray worth of tomato flakes/powder (I’m going to grind them up in the food processor and then spread all out on a teflex sheet and dehydrate.  I like to use tomato powder or flakes in recipes, and they save longer dehydrated slices.

I will still have some tomatoes left to eat in slices or chop into salads.  (For some reason, using tomatoes for “spaghetti” topping hasn’t been working for me recently.)

I’m going to dehydrate some of the basil, freeze some of it, and eat a lot of it.  Pesto!

Boy oh boy! Am I ever going to be busy for the next couple of days, what with all that dehydrating.

30 FREE DEHYDRATOR RECIPES

POST #774
The blog Healthy Blender Recipes is offering 30 free dehydrator recipes this month.  You have to go to the blog every day to get the recipes, but the first few I have seen look luscious.  As the blog mentions, some of them look too fancy or expensive to mess with on a whim, but some of the ideas inside of the recipes I will probably never make are useful for things I would make.  Hey! Free recipes are nothing to scoff at.  If you don’t want to make one, don’t download it, or else, do download it on the off-chance that you might make it one day, or that you might use a technique for something else.