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!
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. :)
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!
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).
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.
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