Friday, March 6, 2015

Pickled Mushrooms and Cruet Caps

I wonder sometimes how much food preserving I'll be able to do when the baby comes in May, so I've been coaxing some canning projects from food that's available in late winter.

Most recently, canned pickled mushrooms from Preserving by the Pint. The mushrooms called for in the recipe were oyster mushrooms, but a pound would have cost me $16, so I emailed Marisa and asked her if I could sub in other mushrooms.  She said yes, so I used a pound of local, organic criminis for $4. I've asked Marisa several canning questions over the years, and she has always been very prompt and helpful.  I love that.

I was curious about the flavor of the pickled mushrooms, so we opened a jar after a week. We ate them next to a farmer supper Rebecca told me about:  roasted (or fried) potatoes with baked beans, hard-boiled eggs, and vinegar on top.  So delicious and simple.  I added a green salad, too.

And after months of shopping for oil and vinegar cruets in thrift stores, Etsy, eBay and the like, I remembered our local restaurant supply store and found a classic set with a handy holder for $7.

 I was planning to cover the pouring holes with a plastic bag and rubber band because I was worried that the constant exposure to air would degrade the oil and vinegar.  Pretty ugly, I know, but I couldn't figure out how else to do it.

Then my husband watched me knitting (and boy, do I need to write a knitting post!) and suddenly asked why we couldn't pop those little silicone point-protectors on top of the cruets?

 Genius!  So I took a coupon and went to AC Moore and look at the funny little lids on my cruets!  Four dollars with a coupon, the largest size they had.  I'm very pleased with my functional, nice-looking cruets and my pickled mushrooms.

More canning projects to come - I'm still hibernating inside due to the weather and the baby is still inside due to her age.  Let the work fly!


Marisa said...

I am SO happy that you guys enjoyed the pickled mushrooms. And as you know, I am always delighted to be able to answer questions. :)

AmyK said...

I also wonder how much canning and preserving I will do this summer with a late-June baby expected. Every summer since I've had children I remember my mom telling me that the the summer after I was born (April baby, 3rd child, siblings 4 and 6 years older, and my mom was a good 7 years younger when she had her third than I will be with my 3rd), she canned 150 quarts of peaches. I am pretty sure I won't be doing so much (I have yet to can that many quarts of any one item!). I'm also trying to give myself a "free pass" for this summer, but I do find myself trying to decide which items I would focus on if I do any. I hope you are able to find a good balance with all of the typical summer busyness and having a new baby. I'll be thinking of you!

Margo said...

AmyK, seriously, I have never canned 150 quarts of ANYTHING, but I bet my mom did! Yeah, I'm going to just roll with it this summer and see what happens, depending on what kind of baby we have and what energy I have left over (I'm turning 40 this month - yikes).

jenny_o said...

The point protectors as cruet caps ARE genius. Perfect! I love when something can be used in a whole new way to solve a problem.