Sunday, August 2, 2009

Bad recipes online; I'm venting, sorry.

I was just browsing around for good recipe ideas, and I just had to vent about something. For one thing, I was reminded of sticking to USDA-approved recipes. Yes, I can hear some of the black-helicopter-fearing folks now, and how the US government is in the pockets of this, that and the other groups. However, I want to live a long and happy life, and there is a LOT of research and data behind their recipes. There are some very dangerous canning recipes online. "But Marty, my ma and her ma used this recipe and nobody ever got sick." Yeah, and a few people live to be 92 years old and smoke 2 packs per day.
Another bad-recipe finding I have seen is bad measurements. "Use 3 onions". Uh, duh, is that 3 onions-the-size-of-Buicks? Is that 3 small onions? The difference can be huge, and costly in the results.
How about recipes where the author doesn't know the difference between a 'T' and a 't', or a TS and a ts. It would be nice if they all used TBSP or tsp, or TB and ts, or simply TABLESPOON and teaspoon.
I just saw a recipe online where the person said 'fill a bowl with sliced cucumbers'. What's a bowl? Sliced how thick?
Proofread, people! 13 TBSP of turmeric (instead of 1 or 3 TBSP) is enough to taint the waters of a large swimming pool, and not to be used in a recipe.
The worst offending website is, where anybody can post anything. It's almost funny, some of the recipes; "Cook until done", "Hete on hi heet til it looks like itz about reddy" "Add enuf habeneros til you think yu have enuf"
OK, I'm not perfect, but things like this really drive me nutso, and I will strive to never post anything like these examples. If you see me straying off the beaten path of common sense and proper English usage, PLEASE post a comment and whack me upside the head.

Next: bread and butter pickles


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sauerkraut-making pictorial

Last year I posted a how-to for making sauerkraut (Here), but I didn't post any pictures. Since I made a new batch of kraut today, I wanted to show some pics of the process.

This was a 13.5 lb cabbage I picked. Honestly, I waited too long to pick it, I should have picked it a week ago.
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A big'n, 13.5 lbs. The variety is Late Flat Dutch
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Coring the cabbage
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Cutting/shredding the cabbage
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Shredded cabbage
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Work in batches of 5 lbs at a time. Add 3 Tablespoons of CANNING SALT to each 5 lbs of cabbage. Iodized salt(table salt) will discolor the kraut.
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Squishing down the cabbage until each batch is covered in its own liquid. I use an inverted flat-bottomed coffee mug that is made of pottery. A glass could break in your hand! There are some tools that are made specifically for squashing down cabbage, but a mug works fine for me.
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I use an oven roasting bag with a half-gallon of salt water (3 Tbsp of canning salt to a half-gallon of water) to cover the mixture
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Then let it set at room temperature for 4-6 weeks, until no bubbles rise to the top when the side of the crock/bucket is tapped. Then its just a matter of processing in a water-bath canner. See recipe post HERE.