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Rec.Food.Preserving FAQ (v7.08) Part3

( Part1 - Part2 - Part3 - Part4 - Part5 - Part6 )
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Archive-name: food/preserving/part3
Posting-Frequency: monthly (on or about 20th)
Last-modified: 2002/08/15
Version: 7.08
Copyright: (c) 1998-2002 Eric Decker ( and others as specified within )
Maintainer: Eric Decker <ericnospam@getcomputing.com>

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
                          Rec.Food.Preserving FAQ

          FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ) in the newsgroup preserving

This FAQ and all its constituent parts, as a collection of information, is 
Copyright 1998-2002 by Eric Decker, as a work of literature. Distribution 
by any electronic means is granted with the understanding that the article 
not be altered in any way.  Permission to distribute in printed form must 
be obtained in writing.  The removal of this copyright notice is forbidden.
                         

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Disclaimer: No author represented in this FAQ is qualified to establish
scheduled processes nor is any author a competent processing authority in
the sense of 21 CFR 113.83 et alia.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

			

Part 3 of 6 


   
4. PICKLING

4.1 GENERAL QUESTIONS

4.1.1 [What do I *really* need to know about pickling?]

For storage of unprocessed foods at room temperature the acidity must be 5%.

**  Using 5% vinegar and adding water yields LESS than a 5% pickle - this 
is a VERY common error.

Salt brine must be 10% for vegetables. Sugar is often added to soften the 
effects. If process or storage temperature is above 21C higher levels of 
salt will be required. 

For lower salt and vinegar pickling you will follow a *tested* recipe which 
will specify processing.

4.1.2 [What pickle styles are there?]

     Pickling food encompasses several techniques, but usually involves
     equilibrating food in a salt solution, then one either adds an acid
     (vinegar), or allows the growth of free yeasts and bacteria to make
     lactic acid by fermentation. If you are trying to pickle food using
     fermentation, you need to insure that the salt concentration in your
     crock will support the microbes you need, and you need to control and
     monitor their growth. Since you are working with a salt and acid, you
     also want to make sure that you pickle in a non-reactive container
     (e.g. porcelain, glass). ----

     PICKLES AND FERMENTED PRODUCT SAFETY

     From Susan Brewer, files at the cesgopher.ag.uiuc.edu

     The acidity (pH) of a food is of great significance in determining the
     type of processing required for safe preservation of a food. In the
     case of pickled products, the foods preserved are often low-acid foods
     (cucumbers, zucchini), but their acidity is adjusted to bring the pH
     into the high-acid range so that may be safely preserved using boiling
     water bath processing.

     The most commonly used acid for pickling is vinegar, however some
     pickle products are produced by encouraging the growth of
     microorganisms which produce lactic acid from the naturally occurring
     carbohydrates in fruits and vegetables. The lactic acid selects for
     another group of microorganisms which produce acetic acid that gives
     pickle products their flavor and helps to lower the pH into the range
     where these vegetables can be safely water bath canned.

     The acidity of pickling solutions needs to be maintained below pH 4.5
     if water bath canning is to be used. For this reason, the amount and
     strength of the vinegar is critical.

     I. Types of Pickles

        o A. Brined or fermented: Depends on selection of natural micro-
          organisms which will produce acid. Selection is accomplished by
          using salt to inhibit unwanted microbes. Fermentation is usually
          for 3 weeks or more. Color changes from bright green to olive or
          yellow green and white interior becomes translucent. Examples:
          sour pickles, sauerkraut.
        o B. Refrigerator dills: are fermented for one week.
        o C. Fresh-pack or quick-process pickles: Cured for several hours
          or combined immediately with hot vinegar, spices and seasonings.
          Examples: pickled beets, bread and butter pickles.
        o D. Fruit pickles: Whole or sliced fruit simmered in a spicy,
          sweet-sour syrup. Examples: spiced peaches, crabapples.
        o E. Relishes: Made from chopped fruits or vegetables which are
          cooked to desired consistency in a spicy vinegar solution.
          Examples: horseradish, corn relish.
        o F. Pasteurized Pickles: Prepared pickles are placed in a canner
          half filled with warm (120-140 F) water. Add hot water to 1" over
          jar lids. The water is then heated to 180-185 F and maintained
          there or 30 minutes. Temperatures over 185 F may cause softening
          of pickles.

          USE THIS PROCEDURE ONLY WHEN THE USDA CANNING GUIDELINE RECIPES
          ARE USED.

     II. Ingredients

        o A. Vegetables or fruits for pickling
             + 1. Fruits and vegetables should be ripe but firm, and in
               good condition with no evidence of microbial or insect
               damage.
             + 2. Cucumbers should have a 1/16" slice removed and discarded
               from the blossom end.
             + 3. Use unwaxed cucumbers for pickling so brine will
               penetrate.
             + 4. Discard any cucumbers which "float"--they can make hollow
               pickles (use for relish).
             + 5. Prepare fruits and vegetables within 24 h of harvest.
             + 6. Cucumbers: need 14 lb for 7 quart canner load, 9 lb per 9
               pint canner load. One bushel weighs 48 lb and yields 16-24
               quarts (2 lb / quart). Use 1 1/2" for gherkins and 4" for
               dills.
        o B. Vinegar
             + 1. Vinegar needs to be of sufficient strength to assure that
               low-acid vegetables will be appropriately acid. The vinegar
               should be 5 to 6% acetic acid (50 to 60 grain), and should
               not be diluted except according to an approved recipe.
             + 2. White vinegar is preferred with light colored fruits or
               vegetables.
             + 3. Do not use homemade vinegar--there is no way to know the
               strength (% acetic acid).
        o C. Salt
             + 1. Canning or pickling salt should be used--it contains no
               iodine (which can cause darkening) or anti-caking
               ingredients (sodium silicate or tricalcium phosphate) (which
               cause cloudiness of the brine).
             + 2. Salt inhibits certain kinds of microorganisms and in
               fermented pickle products, it is required to prevent growth
               of spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms. Salt also draws
               water out of the cells making the pickled product more firm.
               Too much salt will cause shriveling.
             + 3. Do not use "sour salt"--it is citric acid and does not
               have the same inhibitory effect on microbes.
             + 4. Do not use reduced-sodium salt in fermented pickle
               recipes. Reduced sodium pickles can be made using quick
               pickle recipes given in the USDA Canning Guidelines. Fresh
               pack pickles, acidified with vinegar can be prepared with
               little salt but the flavor and texture will be affected.
             + 5. Salt concentration in brined, fermented products must not
               be reduced for safety. Do not try to make sauerkraut or
               fermented pickles by cutting down on the salt.
        o D. Sugar
             + Either white or brown granulated sugar can be used.
        o E. Spices
             + 1. Use fresh, whole spices in cheesecloth bag.
             + 2. Powdered spices cause darkening and clouding.
        o F. Hard Water
             + 1. Hard water minerals may interfere with acid formation and
               curing in fermented pickles. In addition, hard water may
               have a pH of 8.0 or higher.
             + 2. Softening hard water: boil water for 15 minutes then
               allow to stand for 24 hours. Skim off any scum that appears.
               Pour out of container so sediment is not disturbed.
        o G. "Crisping Agents"

          These products are not recommended as they may result in a
          product with a pH which is unsafe.

             + 1. Lime (calcium hydroxide) which is sold as "slakelime",
               "hydrated lime", "builders lime", or "household lime". When
               called for in a recipe, it is added to the brine before
               pickles are soaked. When used, lime is added for 12-24 hours
               of soaking. It must be removed from pickles by soaking (1
               hour) and rinsing three times in fresh water in order to
               make the pickles safe. The component of calcium hydroxide
               which firms up the pickles is the calcium--it cross-links
               the pectins making them insoluble.

               DO NOT USE: agricultural lime, burnt lime, quick lime--these
               are not food grade products and are unsafe.

             + 2. Alum (aluminum and potassium sulfates): Use no more than
               1/4 tsp of alum per quart of pickling solution. Excess will
               cause bitterness. Alum may be safely used--it does not
               improve the firmness of quick-process pickles.
             + 3. Grape leaves: contain substances which inhibit enzymes
               that make pickles soft. Blossom removal takes care of this
               problem.
             + 4. Hot process: pickle firmness may be improved by
               processing the pickles for 30 minutes in water maintained at
               180 F. Water must not fall below 180 F--prevents spoilage
               (pasteurization).

          Prepared by Susan Brewer/Foods and Nutrition Specialist/Revised,
          1992 EHE-696 ----

4.1.3 [What is the process for making dill pickles?]

     You have two options, depending on time, tastebuds, and ethnic
     heritage. First option is brine curing, where you scrub small size
     pickling cukes clean of hairs; dissolve pickling salt into hot or
     boiling water to make a brine; pack cukes, spices, and dill seed heads
     in a very clean crock; pour brine over the cukes; weight everything
     down with a clean plate; place crock in a cool, dark place; skim yeast
     scum as it forms for several weeks, adding salt brine as needed.
     [Check out the Tips 'N Tricks section for a tip to make this job
     easier.] When done, you either refrigerate or pack your dill pickles
     into canning jars, waterbath process. BTW, don't even think of taking
     a vacation during this procedure; uncontrolled pickle crocks are the
     most disgusting things in food preservation.

     The second option is to make quick dill pickles by packing vegetable
     spears/ chunks tightly in pre-sterilized jars with dill seed heads,
     then heat a vinegar, water, salt, sugar, spice brine, then pour the
     solution into the packed jars. Seal, then waterbath process.

     Check out some of the cookbooks cited in the back of this FAQ for
     recipes, and look at a couple of recipes at the back of this section.
     I have not tried any of these so YMMV.

4.1.4 [What makes pickles kosher?]

     Check out the Real New York Pickle recipe for one poster's opinion.
     Also tells you what half and full sours are...

     Kosher style pickle is commonly taken to mean a salt brine pickle. 
     A real Kosher pickle is an ordinary brine pickle but it is made under 
     rabinical supervison and inspection. 

     Leah H. Leonard in her book, Jewish Cookery, has recipes for pickles 
     that one will find in any supermarket ... they are so mainstream and 
     generic we know them as piccalli, pickled peppers, etc. 
     Strictly speaking Kosher in food is a very specific procedure(s) which 
     assure food conforms to Jewish Religious Law.    

4.2 GENERAL EQUIPMENT QUESTIONS

4.2.1 [What does it take to make pickles? Do you need special
     equipment?]

     The most specialized piece of equipment that you'll need is a crock,
     which is just a large, non-reactive, smooth container. You need a big
     container, because you might as well do a lot of pickles rather than
     just a few; you need a non-reactive one (see below) because you will
     be working with salts and vinegar, and you don't want metals in your
     pickles. You also want a smooth container, because a lot of microbial
     spoilers will cling to rough edges, making it hard to clean
     thoroughly.

     Other things you'll need: waterbath canner, canning jars and lids,
     timer, wooden spoons, heavy plates, cheesecloth. One of the most
     important things for successful pickles is a cool place. The crock
     shouldn't get above 70 F, otherwise the pickle bacteria/yeast grow too
     quickly and spoil the pickles.

4.2.2 [What's a non-reactive container?]

     Non-reactive things: ceramic, glass, stoneware, food-grade plastic,
     wood, porcelain. Reactive: copper, zinc, cast iron, brass, aluminum,
     carbon steel, or galvanized anything.

4.2.3 [Where can I find pickle crocks?]

     Citation? Crocks can be found at Williams Sonoma, a mail order store
     in California. They have two sizes and are quite dear, small size
     about $20. I found some great pickling jars at Pier 1 Imports. Largest
     size about 1 gal goes for $12. I like the next size down, about 1.5
     quart for $7. (1995-1996 prices). [Noticed that Alltrista (Ball
     Canning Co.) also sells crocks for about $15.--LEB].

     From Bubba Leroy Bubba.Leroy@FLYING.NET:

     (I get mine at the) asian market in my area-there are 4 such markets
     -they use them for kimchi and they do just fine, but then so do the
     gallon plastic jars that every restaurant gets mayo and relish in. I
     have a five gallon bucket that makes very nice dill pickles and most
     places will give you all you want. [Check out the food-grade plastic
     story (good for pickle crocks) in Tips 'N Tricks.--LEB]

4.3 TROUBLESHOOTING

4.3.1 [I followed this pickle recipe, but they don't look like they do
     in the store. What happened? Can I still eat them?]

     PICKLE AND PICKLE PRODUCT PROBLEMS

     Making home-made pickles is a time consuming and expensive operation.
     There are a variety of different steps along the road from cucumbers
     to sweet Gherkins, so there are a number of places where the process
     can break down. Pickle problems can usually be traced to the method by
     which the pickles, brine or syrup are prepared:

        o a. Weather and growing conditions (quality of your vegetables).
        o b. Kind of salt used (canning or pickling vs iodized table salt).
        o c. Vinegar (5% acetic acid, or 50 grain).
        o d. Temperature of storage conditions (fermentation).
        o e. Pickling method (fermented, quick-pack).
        o f. Time lapse between gathering and pickling the vegetables. [And
          you store them during this step.]

     1. White scum appears during fermentation--the scum is a layer of
     yeast and/or mold: Safe

        o A. Vegetables are not submerged in brine.
        o B. Pickling container is not sealed.

     2. Pickles or sauerkraut is soft or slippery: Unsafe

        o A. Brine is too weak (less than 10-12% salt)--allows growth of
          organ- isms which cause texture softening and sliminess.
        o B. Vinegar is too weak (less than 5% acetic acid)--allows growth
          organisms which cause texture softening and sliminess.
        o C. Temperature during brining was too high (over 75 F).
        o D. Too little brine--all cucumbers must be immersed.
        o E. Salt is unevenly distributed on cabbage.
        o F. Air pockets due to improper "packing" of cabbage allow for
          growth undesirable microorganisms. [Need to tamp well]
        o G. Failure to remove scum daily on surface of brine.
        o H. Failure to remove the cucumber blossoms--enzymes from the
          blossom will cause softening.

     3. Pickles are hollow: Safe

        o A. Improper curing: weak brine, pickles uncovered during curing,
          curing stopped short of full fermentation.
        o B. Too much time lapse between gathering and brining (ie. more
          than 24 hours).
        o C. Cucumbers have grown in an "abnormal" way.
        o D. Temperature too high during fermentation.

     4. Shriveled pickles--caused by excessive loss of water from the
     cucum- bers: Safe

        o A. Curing brine is too strong (more than 12% salt, vinegar more
          than 6% acetic acid).
        o B. Too much time lapse between gathering and brining (i.e. more
          than 24 hours)-- cucumbers are dehydrated.
        o C. Pickling solution which is too "heavy", or contains too much
          sugar.

     5. Pickles or sauerkraut is dark or discolored: Color development due
     to iron is safe to some extent but not with other metals.

        o A. Using hard water for pickling solution--minerals in the water
          react with pigments in the cucumbers. Iron in the water is the
          worst offender.
        o B. Use of brass, iron, copper or zinc utensils during pickle
          making - they contribute metal ions which react with cucumbers to
          form dark pigments.
        o C. Use of ground spices will darken pickles.
        o D. Whole spices were left in the pickles after packing.
        o E. Vegetables (cabbage) is unevenly salted.
        o F. Curing temperature is too high.
        o G. Vegetables are making contact with the air - pigments oxidize.
        o H. Use of cider vinegar with light colored vegetables.
        o I. Use of brown sugar with light colored vegetables.

     6. Sauerkraut turns pink: Unsafe

        o A. Too much salt (over 2.25%) = yeast growth on surface.
        o B. Uneven distribution of salt = yeast growth on surface.
        o C. Kraut is improperly covered or weighted during fermentation =
          yeast growth on surface.

     7. Moldy pickles or sauerkraut during fermentation: Unsafe

        o A. Fermentation temperature is too high.
        o B. Insufficient lactic acid production (too much salt).
        o C. Failure to keep cloth on top of kraut clean during
          fermentation (may need to be replaced after skimming).

     8. Pickles are strong or bitter tasting: Safe

        o A. Used too much spice.
        o B. Spices cooked too long in the vinegar.
        o C. Vinegar is too strong (more than 6% acetic acid).
        o D. If pickles are too acid increase the sugar, do not decrease
          the acid.
        o E. Use of "old" or overmature cucumbers with tough, bitter skins.

     9. White sediment occurs in the jars: Small amount of sediment normal.
     If pickles are soft and slippery---Unsafe.

        o A. Yeasts grow on the pickle surface then settle to the
          bottom--they are harmless, but can be prevented by water bath
          processing filled jars.
        o B. Use of table salt instead of pickling salt--it contains
          anti-caking ingredients which settle out.
        o C. Poor temperature control.

     10. Pickling liquid in the jars is cloudy: Unsafe

        o A. Pickles are spoiled--discard.
        o B. Hard water minerals may cause clouding.
        o C. Use of table salt instead of pickling salt--it contains
          anti-caking ingredients which cause clouding.
        o D. Use of unstrained brine (from fermentation) for pickling
          liquid may cause clouding.

     11. Pickles or sauerkraut "spoil": Unsafe

        o A. Use of unsterilized jars.
        o B. Use of ingredients which have lost their strength (i.e.
          vinegar).
        o C. Inaccurate measuring of ingredients.

     12. Pickles are "dull" or "faded" in color: Safe

        o A. Use of over-ripe or yellow cucumbers.
        o B. Use of fruits with pale color.
        o C. Overprocessing of beet pickles--pigments are damaged.
        o D. Pickles exposed to excessive light.

     Prepared by Susan Brewer/Foods and Nutrition Specialist/Revised, 1992
     EHE-695 ----

4.3.2  [ Pickles in the NW ]

Suzanne Chandler sends this article:

From PNW 355 (Pacific Northwest Bulletin 355 which is based on the USDA's
"Complete Guide to Home Canning"

"Preservation by Pickling
Microorganisms are always present on vegetables.  Home canning prevents the
growth of those that cause spoilage and illness.  When the scidity of a canned
food is high, harmful bacteria like 'Clostridium botulinum' <shudder> can't
grow.  That's why pickling (the addition of acid) prevents spoilage:

There are two types of pickles:
1.) Brined (fermented) pickles require several weeks of 'curing' at room
temperature.  During this period, colors and flavors change.  Acid is produced
as lactic acid bacteria grow.

2.) Quick (unfermented) pickles are made in 1 or 2 days by adding acid in the
form of vinegar.  It's critical to add enough vinegar to prevent bacterial
growth. 

[Suzanne's comments:  remember the bacteria you are preventing is the feared 
'Clostridium botulinum" which can be odorless, invisible, and still deadly.  

Also the last sentance of option one reads funny (according to me).  What it is
saying is that as the lactic acid bacteria grow, they produce enough acid to
wipe out there fellow bacterias. 

Also, the the lactic acid bacterias in the Brined  pickles are activated by the
salt, so you must follow the salt instructions to the letter and only use
canning or pickling salt.  The salt included in recipes for Quick pickles is
more negotiable.]

Sounds like you, Glen that is, have a fermented pickle recipe.  Here is a Quick
Pickle recipe from the same publication.]

4 lb pickling cucumbers (4 inch)
14 garlic cloves, split
1/4 C pickling salt
2 and 3/4 C Vinegar (5%)
3 cups water
14 heads fresh dill
28 peppercorns

Yield 6 to 7 pints

Procedure.  Wash cucumbers and cut in half lengthwise.  Heat garlic, salt,
vinegar and water to boiling.  Remove garlic and place 4 halves into each pint
or quart jar.  Pack cucmbers into jar, adding 2 heads dill and 4 peppercorsn.

Pour hot vinegar colution over the cucmbers to within 1/2 inch of the top. 
Adjust lids and use conventional boiling-water canner processing <snip>pints
for 10 minutes and quarts for 15 minutes at sea level. (15 and 20 at 1001-6000
ft, 20 and 25 at above 6000 ft.)

[more Suzanne comments:  the seasoning can be fooled with, but don't even think
about adjusting the vinegar water ratio.  I use the grape leaf trick for
crispiness and wouldn't even try to make pickles without it:  the tannins in
the leaf reduce the impact of pickle softening enzymes.

> I come to me knees :-)


Well toss up a little pickle prayer while you are there!  Good luck, let me
know if you need more info.

Suzanne

------


4.4. Collection of pickle recipes. Some typical, some odd, most ethnic.
YMMV, email the contributor for details.

4.4.1.RECIPE : Transylvanian Salt-Pickle Veggies

From: Wolfgang mailto:capuano@deakin.edu.au

I should have submitted this to the FAQ, but I never got around to it.
I like these pickles because I don't really like vinegar. Balsamic is
fine, but pure white commercial stuff is foul (on my tastebuds). This
recipe is the way pickle is made in Transylvania. It was given to me
by a non net person.

You will need :

Canning Salt
Water
Toasted Rye Bread
Canning Jars  

Veggies :
Gherkin Cucumbers (whole)
Cabbage, sliced
Carrot (finely sliced)
Raw Green Beans
Cauliflower
Garlic cloves
Sun chokes
DILL, DILL, DILL and more DILLseed!!!!! (A must)

Spices : 
Peppercorn (whole); Coriander (whole); Commercial Pickling Spice

Directions :

For every liter of water, add 40 grams of salt. Boil water and let
cool (with lid on). Wash and dry jars. Prepare the vegetables. Place
veggies in jar, tightly packed, and sprinkled with spices. Pour salt
water over and place a small piece of toasted rye bread on top of
veggies. Cap, and leave in a warm, dark place. You might notice bubbles
forming and a thick white sediment. This is caused by the yeast
fermentation that occurs in the jar. There are a few principles that
give this sort of pickle a long shelf life:

1.) No oxygen. Yes, its starts of with oxygen in the headspace,
etc, but the yeast fermentation uses that oxygen up. Remember,
oxygen causes oxidation, which spoils the pickle.
2.) Salt. It stops many organisms growing, and keeps the
vegetables fantastically crisp, and full of flavour.
3.) High Pressure. The yeast converts vegetable sugars into gas
[CO2--LEB], this gas increases the atmospheric pressure, like a
carbonated beverage. Not many organisms like high atmospheric
pressures.

In 3 weeks, you can try your pickle. It will last much longer if you
can put a few away. Taste your gherkin first, it will taste like a
gherkin you have never had before. The carrot actually tastes like
carrot, not a vinegar sandwich. Let me know what you think.

4.4.2. [Middle Eastern mixed pickles.]

From: Paul Holtpaulho@oub.ou.dk

Torshi Meshakel (Mixed Pickles)

1/2 lb. small, whole pickling cucumbers
2 large carrots, thickly sliced
1 small cauliflower, separated into flowerets
1 sweet green pepper, thickly sliced, seeded and cored
1/2 lb. small white turnips, peeled and quartered
1/2 raw beetroot, peeled and cut into medium-sized pieces [optional]
A few raw green beans, if available, cut in pieces
3 cloves garlic
1 small dried chili pepper pod
A few sprigs fresh dill and 2 teaspoons dill seed
1 1/2 pints water
1/2 pint white wine vinegar
4-5 level tablespoons [3 oz.] salt

Wash and prepare the vegetables and pack them tightly in glass jars
together with the garlic cloves, a hot pepper pod divided between them
and dill. Mix the water, vinegar and salt solution in a glass or china
bowl, and pour over the vegetables. Prepare and add more liquid if
this is not enough. Cover tightly and store in a warm place. The
pickle should be ready in about 2 weeks. The vegetables will be soft
and mellow, and tinted pink by the beet- root. However, the beetroot
can be omitted if you prefer the vegetables in their natural colours.

Do not keep longer than 2 months unless stored under refrigeration.

D.4.3. [ogorki kiszone/kwaszone]

From: "Arthur A. Simon, Jr." aasimon@tribeca.ios.com

POLISH BRINE-CURED DILL PICKLES (ogorki kiszone/kwaszone)

(from POLISH HERITAGE COOKERY, by Robert & Maria Strybl)

"The classic Polish dill pickle, whose preparation goes back well over
1,000 years, is naturally cured, hence it is a far healthier
alternative than any of the pickles pickled with vinegar. It is
extremely versatile, since it produces several products in a single
container: the crunchy, several-day undercured pickles some people
like, tart and tangy fully-cured pickles, and very tart and soft
overcured pickles, which are good for eating and a required ingredient
in dill-pickle soup. The leftover dill-pickle juice is a vitamin and
mineral-rich beverage as is, or in combination with other ingredients
(see dill-pickle brine below) and can be used to give a delightful
tang to soups, sauces, and meat dishes. Above all, ogorki kiszone are
so delicious that they will quickly disappear from your counter-top
crock. They are also easy to prepare."

     Wash and drain 4 lbs. roughly 4-inch, green pickling cucumbers. Cukes
     larger than 6 inches are not used. If you have cucumbers of varying
     size, put the large ones at bottom of jar, since they take longer to
     cure. The best cucumbers to brine-cure are those picked the same day.
     If yours are not, soak them in ice cold water 2-3 hrs. Wash, dry,
     scald with boiling water, and dry again large glass jar or crock big
     enough to accommodate the pickles. At bottom of container, place 3
     stalks mature pickling dill (heads or seed clusters as well as stems).
     Stand cucumbers in container upright. Add 3-5 cloves garlic, several
     small pieces of horseradish root, and several fruit leaves (cherry,
     black-currant or grape are best!).

     Bring to boil 6 c. water and 3 T. pickling salt. When cooled slightly,
     pour warm solution over cucumbers. Cover with inverted plate and
     weight down so cucumbers are submerged. Cover with cheesecloth and
     that's all there is to it.

     They should be fully cured in 7-10 days. You may leave them on counter
     until all are used up (and remove them with tongs, never with
     fingers!), or transfer to fridge.

     Optional: Other flavorings may include: 1 horseradish leaf, 1-2 green
     oak leaves (this gives pickles a barrel-like taste), 1 bay leaf, a
     pinch of mustard seeds or unground coriander, a small piece of chili
     pepper, a slice of celeriac or parsley root. Do not use all these
     flavorings in a single batch of pickles, but experiment on successive
     batches to see which combination suits you best.

     Personally, we feel the basic recipe is good just as it is.

     Poster's comments: I have made these on a regular basis and the recipe
     is almost foolproof. The only alteration I routinely make is to add a
     slice of hard/Jewish rye bread w/caraway seed on the top of the
     cucumbers. This serves to provide a starch base to hasten the
     fermentation (you did understand that these are fermented(!) pickles,
     I hope) and also to ensure a reliable yeast inoculum. Depending on
     wild yeasts can sometimes result in a spoiled batch, especially in
     warm climates. After 2-3 days, when the stuff really looks yucky-milky
     (from the yeast in suspension), I put in the fridge to slow down
     fermentation. Yeast will settle to bottom. Then I carefully drain,
     reserving liquid, oak/grape leaves, etc. but flushing away old yeast.
     You will discover the way that works best for you. I then replace
     liquid, place back into fridge and allow the ferment to continue
     slowly. Will keep for up to 3 weeks or more under those conditions. I
     do this for two reasons: (1) I am somewhat allergic to yeast, and (2)
     the rinsed product is esthetically more pleasing.

     One final comment: Another exotic but delicious addition to the crock
     is a single piece of fresh ginger root the size of a dime.

4.4.4 [3-Day Lime Pickle]
 
    From: George Shirley gshirley@iamerica.net

     Use cukes or green tomatoes. 8.5 lbs before trimming, 7 lbs sliced.
     3 cups household lime
     2 gallons water

     Dissolve lime in water, cover cukes/tomatoes with the solution in a
     non-reactive pot or crock. Soak for 24 hours, drain carefully and wash
     lime water off. Put back in container in plain water, soak for 4
     hours, changing water every hour. [This step is important for
     safety.--LEB]

     Syrup: 5 pints vinegar, 5 lbs sugar, 5 tablespoons pickling spice.
     Bring syrup to a boil. Pour over pickles-to-be, then let them sit
     overnight. Next morning strain off the syrup, then bring to a boil and
     simmer 1 hour. Add 4-6 drops of green food coloring for a nice looking
     pickle. Pack pickles in sterilized jars, pour the hot syrup over them,
     seal and hot water bath for 5 minutes. Makes about 8 quarts.

     I tried some blue pickles once just for the heck of it and no one
     would eat them but me. Looked nice in a salad though.

4.4.5. [A real New York deli Pickle?]

     From: Kurt Rieder

     A good deli pickle (Kosher dill to some) is made without vinegar. The
     pro- cess is a lactic acid producing fermentation. You need a crock or
     wide mouth container, a board or plate, and a weight...like maybe a
     rock.

     Scrub the cukes and put them in the crock. For a 5 gal crock layer the
     following among the cukes: 3 1/3 oz sugar, 3/4 lb fresh dill, 3/4 oz
     allspice, 3/8 oz mustard seed, 3/8 oz black pepper corns, 1/8 oz bay
     leaf, 1 head garlic...broken into cloves. Put the board on top and the
     rock on top of the board. Fill the crock with 8% cool salt brine. An
     8% brine will contain 3/4 lb salt per gallon brine. Store at 60 - 70
     deg F. That's cooler than ambient this time of year in most places.
     Consider the basement or some other cool place. Every few days use a
     paper towel or cloth to clean any scum from the surface. Sample a
     pickle when you have the urge... after a few days. At first they will
     be half sours. A bit longer, 2-3 weeks, and they will become full
     sours. Both are often sold in the deli. After they are done, lower the
     temperature if you can but don't allow to freeze. Most pickles, even
     sweet gherkins, that you buy in the store are made this way. They keep
     the brine and recover lac- tic acid from it. The brined cukes are
     bottled and covered with cheaper vinegar... and sugar, if sweet ones
     are wanted. This is why a deli pickle has it over all others.

     D.4.6. [Kimchee, 3 recipes including summer and winter versions.]

     From: Nicole Okun ariadne@mindlink.bc.ca

     Herewith, a kimchee recipe:

        Half a head of Chinese cabbage
        1 large daikon
        3 Tbsps salt

     Shred the cabbage and daikon. Place the shredded veggies in a large
     bowl and mix in the salt with your hands. Cover with cold water. Cover
     the bowl with a towel, and let it sit overnight. In another bowl, mix
     together 1" ginger root, minced 5 cloves garlic, minced dried hot
     pepper, crumbled, to taste Take the cabbage and daikon out of the
     brine with a slotted spoon or one of those wire Chinese things, and
     mix together with the spices. Put the kimchee in a large jar or bowl
     (I use a gallon glass jar that gets about half-filled by this) and
     pour enough of the brine over to cover by about 2 inches. Cover with a
     cloth (I just set the lid of the jar on it without screwing it closed
     at all) and let the kimchee mature for about a week. Start tasting it
     after four days. When you like the taste, transfer to smaller jars and
     refrigerate.

     Subject: Re: Kim Chi

     From: Naera Kim naera@panix.com, in rec.food.cooking

     These recipes are from a Korean cookbook (translated in English) I
     bought in Seoul, Korea. There should be other Korean cookbooks around
     at bookstores or at Korean groceries. You can find these ingredients
     at a Korean market/gro- ceries. The Korean radishes are lot larger
     than the ones you find in regular supermarkets. If there isn't a
     Korean market near you then you can improvise by using many smaller
     radishes. If you can't find salted shrimps then try using finely
     chopped, fresh oysters and/or salted anchovies. I've never used
     anchovies before but other people do.

     Radish Water-Kimchi (water-kimchi is not spicy but very tasty and
     soothing esp. during the summer)

        3 medium Korean white radishes
        1 bundle of scallion (about 4)
        2 firm pears (golden pear is better)
        2 red hot peppers, chopped.
        6 whole hot green Korean peppers
        1 C. coarse salt
        3 cloves of sliced garlic
        1/4 C. sliced ginger
        2 Tbsp. salted shrimp chopped water

     1) Select medium firm radishes. Remove roots. Wash and drain. 2) Chop
     scallions, 3/4 inch in length. 3) Slice ginger and garlic thinly. Then
     wrap garlic, ginger, and salted shrimp in a gauze or cheese cloth and
     tie. 4) Roll whole radishes in salt. 5) Peel pear and core the seeds.
     Slice them length-wise into 8 strips. 6) Place radishes, garlic,
     ginger, salted shrimp, pear, and peppers in a big crock or large heavy
     jar and sprinkle w/some salt. 7) Leave them out in room temperature
     for 3 days. 8) Pour enough salt water (not too salty) into the crock
     so it will cover all ingredients. Weigh them down with something
     heavy. Cover w/lid. 9) Let it ferment* to desired taste, slice
     radishes to any size before serving. * Make sure to leave some room in
     the crock so the kimchi juice can expand while fermenting. I use a
     heavy stone, washed and cleaned. This prevents the radishes from
     getting soggy. The heavier the weight will make radishes crunchier. To
     make water-kimchi ferment more quickly, let it stand in room
     temperature for 3 to 4 days (depending on how warm or cold the [room
     or out- door] temperature is, if its warm then the kimchi will ferment
     lot faster than when its cold). Refrigerate after. You can also leave
     them outside during the autumn season. If the water-kimchi is too
     salty then add some more plain water to get the desired taste.

     * The kimchi will last refrigerated for many months!

     Whole Cabbage Kimchi (known for winter kimchi)

        2 heads of Chinese cabbages
        1 1/3 C. coarse salt
        1/2 to 1/3 C. red pepper powder (depending on how spicy you want)
        1/4 C. salted shrimp, chopped
        2 knobs of ginger, chopped
        1 head of garlic, chopped
        1 bundle of chopped scallions (cut 3/4 inch lengths)
        1/4 lb. fresh oysters (shelled, cleaned w/salt water and chopped)
        1/4 bundle of watercress (cut 3/4 inch lengths)
        4 Tbsp. salt

     1) Trim roots from the cabbage, cut each cabbage lengthwise into two
     sections. 2) Make a brine with 8 cups of water and 3/4 C. of salt and
     soak the cabbage in the brine. Drain, sprinkle with some salt and let
     stand overnight. 3) When the cabbages are well-salted and a bit limp,
     rinse thoroughly in cold water and drain. 4) Mix the red pepper well
     with salted shrimp. Then add garlic, ginger, oysters, scallions, and
     watercress and mix well. Season with remaining salt. 5) Pack the
     seasoned mixture between each leaf of the wilted cabbage. 6) Place the
     stuffed cabbages in a large crock or large heavy jar. 7) Weigh it down
     with a clean heavy stone and cover. * To make the kimchi ferment more
     quickly, let it stand in room temperature for two days depending on
     how warm or cold the temperature is, if warm then the kimchi will
     ferment lot faster than when its cold. Refrigerate after. You can also
     leave them outside during the autumn season. * The kimchi will last
     refrigerated for up to 4 months or more! [Check out the Tip 'N Trick
     to keep kimchi from smelling.--LEB]

4.4.7. [Pickled ginger slices.]

     Subject: Re: pickling ginger

     From: "Col. I.F. Khuntilanont-Philpott" khing dong / ginger pickle

     Description: In Thailand this is made from khing ong, or young ginger.
     The skin of this is very tender, and if it is available it need not be
     skinned before pickling. However if you use regular ginger, the woody
     skin should be removed first. This is a simple pickling recipe for
     ginger. The resultant pickle can be eaten with meats and poultry. It
     is also eaten on its own as a snack, and even on ice cream (!)

     Ingredients To pickle 2 pound of ginger, prepare a pickling liquor
     with:

        2 cups of water
        2 cups of vinegar (preferably rice vinegar)
        1 cups of sugar
        1/4 cup of salt
        half a teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)

     Method Peel the ginger and then slice it thinly, cutting larger slices
     into smallish pieces. Rub with the baking soda and allow to stand
     whilst preparing the pickling liquor. Boil the water, and stir in and
     fully dissolve the sugar. Next dissolve in the salt, allow to cool,
     and add the vinegar, stirring thoroughly. Place the ginger in a one
     quart preserving jar, and fill with the liquor, seal and keep in a
     cool place for at least two weeks before using. Serving & Storage
     Keeps indefinitely.

4.4.8. [Zucchini recipes, because you can't grow just one!]

2 recipes.
Subject: Zucchini Relish
From: calhoun@gorge.net (Dave Calhoun)

About 6 months ago there was a great discussion about food made from
zucchini and I promised to post my grandmothers zucchini relish
recipe. Here it finally is. I love it and hope you do also.

Ingredients:

10 cups ground zucchini
4 cups ground onions
5 tablespoons pure granulated salt
2 1/4 cups white vinegar
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon each: Nutmeg, dry mustard, turmeric & cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons celery salt
1 each of sweet green & red peppers, chopped fine

Instructions: Put first 3 ingredients in large bowl and mix well. Let
stand overnight. Drain and rinse in cold water; drain again & put in
large kettle with remaining ingredients. Bring to boil & simmer,
uncovered, stirring occas- ionally for 30 minutes or until desired
consistency. Pour into 6 or 8 hot sterilized pint jars leaving 1/2
inch headspace & seal. Process 15 minutes in boiling water bath. There
you have it straight from my grandma. I love this stuff and a burger
just isn't right without it. Let me know if you try it and like it.

Pickled Bread-and-Butter Zucchini

From Shona Lamoureaux ,

Taken from an impeccable source: United States Department of
Agriculture, Extension Service

16 cups fresh zucchini, sliced
4 cups onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup canning or pickling salt
4 cups white vinegar (5%)
2 cups sugar
4 tbsp mustard seed
2 tbsp celery seed
2 tsp ground turmeric

Yield: About 8 to 9 pints Procedure: Cover zucchini and onion slices
with 1 inch of water and salt. Let stand 2 hours and drain thoroughly.
Combine vinegar, sugar, and spices. Bring to a boil and add zucchini
and onions. Simmer 5 minutes and fill jars with mixture and pickling
solution, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process
according to the recommendations in Table 1 or use low-temperature
pasteurization treatment. For more information see "Low- Temperature
Pasteurization Treatment," (HE 8220).

Table 1. Recommended process time for Pickled Bread and Butter
Zucchini in a boiling-water canner. Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes
of Style of 1,001 - 6,000 Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Pints or 10 min 15 20 Quarts

This document was extracted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning",
Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA. Reviewed 1994.

4.4.9. [And a recipe for another prolific fruit, green tomatoes]

From: Nicole Okun

Dill Tomolives

4 lbs tiny green tomatoes
1 clove garlic, peeled and quartered
2 sprays dill
20 oz water
10 oz white vinegar
1 oz salt

Wash tomatoes and pack into clean quart jars. In each jar place 2
quarters of garlic clove and one spray of dill. Boil vinegar, salt and
water toget- her for 1 minute and pour over tomatoes. Leave 1/4"
headroom and adjust lids. Process for 15 minutes in a boiling
waterbath. Makes two quarts.

4.4.10. [Green Tomatoes Rovia]

>From Brenda Sharpe :

This is my most requested preserve recipe, for a sweet green "ketchup"
that goes well with beef and cheese. The original recipe came from a
congregation of nuns in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Full recipe makes
approximately 12 500 mL (pint) jars. The recipe can be halved.

30 green tomatoes (the size of small apples), sliced (with skins
on but cut off stem and blossom ends and any nasty bits)
6 onions, peeled and sliced or chopped
1/2 cup pickling (coarse, non-iodized) salt

Slice tomatoes and onions (a food processor is great for this) and
layer in a non-reactive, large pot with salt. Let stand overnight. In
the morning, drain well. Add: 16 apples (hard and sour), peeled and
sliced 4 cups granulated sugar 1/4 cup pickling spices, tied up in a
cheesecloth bag (leave a long string on for taking out later!) White
Vinegar (must be at least 5% acidic) Add vinegar until three-quarters
(3/4) of ingredients are covered (DO NOT COVER COMPLETELY). Bring to a
boil and then reduce to a simmer; simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours until apples
are transparent and everything is well cooked and fragrant. Remove
spice bag. Pour into sterilized pint jars leaving 1/4 inch head space.
Seal and process in a boiling water bath canner 10 minutes. This is
great on burgers or eggs; one friend likes it on cheese sandwiches;
another eats it like a dessert!

4.4.11. [Pickled garlic.]

>From James Wesley Dunnington :

I hope the following is what you are looking for. I found it in THE
KERR KITCHEN PANTRY Volume 6, Number 4. It was concerning onions and
garlic.

Pickled Garlic

3 cups peeled garlic cloves
1-1/2 cups white vinegar (labeled 5% acidity)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pickling salt

Add garlic cloves to a pan of boiling water. When water returns to a
boil, boil for one minute. Drain and pack into hot half-pint jars,
leaving 1/2- inch headspace. Heat vinegar, sugar and pickling salt to
boiling. Pour boiling pickling liquid over garlic, leaving 1/2-inch
headspace. Carefully run a nonmetallic utensil down inside of jars to
remove trapped air bubbles. Wipe jar tops and threads clean. Place hot
jar lids on jars and apply screw bands firmly. Process in Boiling
Water Bath Canner for 10 minutes. Yield: 3 half-pints


4.5.1  [Salsa Tips]

Marie Martinek offers:

In addition to all the recipes you'll be garnering, I want to suggest my 
technique of Time-Shifting. This requires that you have freezer space....

As the tomatoes get ripe, wash them and chop them and toss them into a 
gallon-sized ziploc bag. I put my bag into one of the tupperware 
juice-or-cereal pourers, the tall rectangular thingies, to make it stand up. 
When it's full, pull it out of the holder and put it in the deepfreeze. Do the 
same thing with hot and sweet peppers (but in a pint bag).

In January, or sometime when the heat & humidity isn't in the 90's, pull out 2 
gallon bags of tomatoes, and 1 pint bag each of sweet and hot peppers. Peel 
them out of the bags (they're usually snagged enough by then that I don't try 
to save the bag; just cut it off) and put them in a big pot. As it thaws, 
scoop into a colander over another big pot. As it drains, scoop the pulp into 
YET ANOTHER big pot. 

Eventually, you will have one potful of pulp, and one of juice. Put the pulp 
back in the fridge. Run the juice through your finest strainer, or a food 
mill, to pull out some of the excess tomato seeds. Put back into big pot. 
Start cooking the juice down. Once you get it to boiling, turn down to simmer 
and let it go for several hours, stirring every once in a while. Let your 
kitchen windows steam up.

Once the juice is reduced by at least a half, add it back to the pulp and 
continue on with your recipe.

I don't even take the skins off -- my husband doesn't mind a bit of roughage 
in his salsa.



5.  CURING WITH SALT OR LYE

5.1 [What do I *really* need to know about curing foods, and what makes this
different from pickling?]

Sometimes the difference between pickling and curing is semantic, but 
generally curing is salting, etc, without an acid treatment.
Examples of salt curing: salt pork, olives, anchovies, herring, lox; 

Examples of Lye (NaOH) curing: olives, hominy, lutefisk. 

5.1.1 [Why do I have to cure olives? ]
  
>From On Food and Cooking by Harold Mcgee:

"Anyone who has bitten into a raw olive knows that olives must somehow 
be processed befoe they are edible. Olives are usualy pickled, and they 
contain a bitter glucoside called oleuropein ( from the olive's botanical 
name, 'olea europa') which is usually removed first. This has been done 
since Roman times by soaking the fruit in a lye solution and then washing
it thoroughly. The watery, oleuropein-rich residue left after raw olives 
are pressed for oil - what the Romans called 'amurca' - was used, so 
Cato and Virgil tell us, as a weed killer, insecticide, and a lubricant 
for leather and axles. Today's Greek olives are as strong tasting as they 
are because they have not been treated with lye to remove the oleuropein.

They are simply cured by packing dry in salt, or are pickled in a brine,
where they undergo a lactic fermentation. Green Spanish olives are picked 
before they are ripe, treated with lye, and then brined. California ripe 
olives are first dipped in a ferrous gluconate solution to fix the pigment, 
then treated with lye, and immediately packed in brine. Because they are 
not allowed to ferment for a few weeks, these olives have neither the 
pickled flavour nor the resistance to spoilage of theother kinds, and so 
must be sterilized in the can. The cooking makes some contribution to 
their characteristically mild flavour."





6.  SMOKING

6.1 [What do I *really* need to know about smoking food?]

    Smoke gets in your eys and hurts, on and in food it tastes great.    

    Seriously... 
Smoking food in order to preserve it is a bit different than smoking food on
the barbeque.  Generally, the meat or fish to be smoked is salt cured, which
preserves the tissue throughout, then is smoked either for flavor, or to 
preserve the surface of the meat.  Other items can be smoked to preserve
them and concentrate their flavors, e.g smoked hot peppers.  Smoking provides 
the flavor, but dehydration preserves the pepper.  If you are smoking or curing
meat, you need to be concerned the health of the animal (i.e.  trichina).


6.1.1 [ Where can I get the stuff ( like saltpeter ) used for curing?] 
Mark Preston wrote:

"Tri-Ess
1020 Chestnut Street
Burbank, CA
818-848-7838

sells many chemicals for food. Usually in CP (chemically pure) which is
about 5 or 6 grades higher than food grade. This is for the home sausage
maker quantities of such stuffs.

For the commercial end see:

http://www.kochsupplies.com/

who sells to all large, larger or largest sausage and ham makers."


6.2 [ MEAT CURING AND SMOKING Compliments of Richard Thead
(C) Copyright 1995 Richard Thead.  All rights reserved.

[--N.B. This is *not* the most current edition of the meat curing/smoking FAQ.
The most recent versions are on the Web, at URL http://www.azstarnet.com/
~thead/msfaq.html.  I put this file in simply to give the reader an idea of
what this FAQ contains. --LEB]

Cures described herein are not representative of those prescribed in 9 CFR
318 et al. for commercial applications.  They are for general information
purposes only.  No HACCP procedures have been included in this information.


6.2.1 [Why is meat cured?]

  For a couple of reasons.  One is safety.  When meat is cold smoked
its temperature often stays in the danger zone for several hours or
days.  Many environmental factors of this treatment are such that
the growth of dangerous bacteria is greatly accelerated.   The
curing of the meat inhibits this growth.

  The other reason is traditional preparation.  There are many curing
techniques that were developed in the days before refrigeration
that are continued today for traditional reasons.  A good example is
corned beef.

     Old time butcher shops closed every weekend.  Ice, the
     only refrigerant available, could not dependably hold
     fresh meat for two days.  To keep unsold meat from
     going to waste, the butcher soaked the meat in a strong
     brine or covered it with coarse salt to trigger osmosis.
     The grains of salt were called "corn" in England, and the
     name "corned beef" stuck with the product. [1]

6.2.3 [What is osmosis?]

  Osmosis is the movement of water across a membrane from weak solutions
toward strong solutions. [1]

6.2.4 [What is meant by "the danger zone"?]

  The "danger zone" is the temperature range between 40 and 140
degrees F. When uncured meat remains in this range for more than 2 hours
the growth of dangerous bacteria increases to a dangerous level.

6.2.5 [What other factors affect the growth of bacteria?]

  When meat is smoked, the environment is robbed of most if its
oxygen.
If this is combined with temperatures between 40 and 140F, the growth
of the bacteria that causes botulism is increased.

6.2.6 [What is botulism?]

  Botulism is an intoxication of the bacteria clostridium botulinum.
This bacteria is anaerobic meaning that it requires an environment
relatively free of oxygen to multiply.  It also requires a moist
environment and temperatures between 40 and 140F. The symptoms of
botulism are sore throat, vomiting, blurred vision, cramps, diarrhea,
difficulty breathing, and central nervous system damage (including
paralysis).  Symptoms usually occur within 12 to 36 hours. The fatality
rate is up to 70%.  [2]

6.2.7 [What are the commonly used curing compounds?]

  Salt, sugar, sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate.  Salt and sugar both
cure meat by osmosis.  In addition to drawing the water from the food,
they dehydrate and kill the bacteria that make food spoil.  In general,
though, use of the word "cure" refers to processing the meat with either
sodium nitrite or sodium nitrate.

  Sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate are the basis for two commercially
used products: Prague powders #1 and #2.  Prague powder #1 is a mixture
of 1 part sodium nitrite and 16 parts salt.  The chemicals are combined
and crystallized to assure even distribution.  Even though diluted, only
4 ounces of Prague powder #1 is required to cure 100 lbs of meat.  A
more typical measurement for home use is 1 tsp per 5 lbs of meat.
Prague powder #2 is a mixture of 1 part sodium nitrite, .64 parts sodium
nitrate and 16 parts salt.  It is primarily used in dry-curing.

  One other commonly available curing product is Morton's Tender Quick.
It is a mixture of salt, sodium nitrite, sodium nitrate and sugar.  Ask
your butcher or grocer to stock it for you.

6.2.8 [Where can these compounds be obtained?]

  If you are chummy with a local butcher who does curing, maybe (s)he
will sell you a small quantity.  Otherwise, the Sausage Maker offers all
items mentioned here and elsewhere in this FAQ mail order.  See the
books section for a phone number where you can obtain a catalog.

6.2.9 [What is spray pumping?]

  It is the process of injecting the meat with cure using a special
purpose needle. [Special purpose needle and syringe is called a stitch
pump--can get this item from either the Morton's Salt Company or the
Embarcadero Home Cannery, addresses are in part 6 of this FAQ.--LEB]

6.2.10 [What's trichinosis?]
 It is an infestation of trichinae.  The parasites invade the voluntary
muscles causing severe pain and edema.  It can be avoided by ensuring
that cooked pork reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees F.

6.2.11 [If my cured pork doesn't reach a safe temperature, what about
trichinosis?]

 Trichinae can also be killed by freezing the pork according to the
following chart:

       Temperature           Grp1-days      Grp2-days
       -----------           ---------      ---------
         5 deg F                20             30
       -10 deg F                10             20
       -20 deg F                 6             12

  Group 1 comprises product in separate pieces not exceeding 6" in
  thickness or arranged on separate racks with the layers not
  exceeding 6" in depth.

  Group 2 comprises product in pieces, layers or within containers
  the thickness of which exceeds 6" but not 27".  [3]

6.2.12 [What about dry-curing sausages and meats?]

  I'll leave this topic open for someone with real experience.  The dry
climate in Tucson makes it difficult to maintain the ideal 70% relative
humidity required for dry-curing so I've never even tried.

 A dehydrator will work wonders :-) 

6.2.13 [What is the difference between smoke cooking and curing?]

  Pretty simple; Smoke cooking is done at higher temperatures in order
to cook the meat.  Smoke curing is really just smoking cured meat or sausage.

6.2.14 [What are the proper temperatures for smoke cooking meat?]

  I prefer to keep the temperature around 220F.  This means the
temperature *at* the meat.  I use a large log burning smoking pit with
an offset firebox so it's easy to maintain this.  In an upright water
smoker you will have trouble keeping the temperature this low, since the
heat builds up at the top where the meat is.  You can achieve decent
results with a water smoker, but the cooking time will be shorter and
the depth of smoke penetration will be less.  My briskets and pork
shoulders smoke for 20-24 hours; pork ribs and loin roasts take less
time.

6.2.15 [How important is temperature control during smoke curing?]

  Very.  If you are smoking sausages, excess heat will melt the fat out
and leave the final product dry and crumbly.  This I know from
experience.  Here, we're talking about temperatures around 140F,
although it varies from recipe to recipe.  This is very difficult to
maintain in a wood burning smoker.  Mine has a slow smoking section
farthest away from the fire.  With experience, I've learned to control

the temperature in this section without overdamping the air inlet.  Some
other meats, like bacon and ham, are a little more tolerant of higher
heat, but it can affect the quality of the final product.

  The best solution is a thermostat controlled gas or electric slow
smoker like those sold by the Sausage Maker (see sources).  These are
not good general purpose smokers, in my opinion.  I just don't think
they do nearly as well as a log burning pit for smoke cooking.

  Unfortunately for the many water smoker owners, they just won't do for
slow smoking--don't even bother trying.

6.2.16 [Is closing down the air inlet dampers a good way to keep the
temperature down?]

  If you keep the temperature low by closing down the inlet dampers, the
smoke gets thick and sooty and produces an unattractive and bitter
coating on the surface of the meat.  I prefer to keep the fire burning
more freely and control the temperature by providing some draft between
the fire and the meat.

6.2.17 [What are the various woods used for smoking?]

     Alder
     The traditional wood for smoking salmon in the Pacific
     Northwest, alder also works well with other fish.  It has a
     light delicate flavor.

     Apple and Cherry
     Both woods produce a slightly sweet, fruity smoke that's mild
     enough for chicken or turkey, but capable of flavoring a ham.

     Hickory
     Hickory is the king of the woods in the Southern barbeque belt,
     as basic to the region's cooking as cornbread.  The strong,
     hearty taste is perfect for pork shoulder and ribs, but it also
     enhances any red meat or poultry.

     Maple
     Mildly smoky and sweet, maple mates well with poultry, ham, and
     vegetables.

     Mesquite
     The mystique wood of the past decade, mesquite is also America's
     most misunderstood wood.  It's great for grilling because it
     burns very hot, but below average for barbecuing for the same
     reason.  Also, the smoke taste turns from tangy to bitter over
     an extended cooking time.  Few serious pitmasters use mesquite,
     despite a lot of stories about its prevalence in the Southwest.

     Oak
     If hickory is the king of barbecue woods, oak is the queen.
     Assertive but always pleasant, it's the most versatile of
     hardwoods, blending well with a wide range of flavors.  What it
     does to beef is probably against the law in some states.

     Pecan
     The choice of many professional chefs, pecan burns cool and
     offers a subtle richness of character.  Some people call it a
     mellow version of hickory. [5]


6.2.18 [What is the bonafide official way to tell that beef jerky is done
         curing? ]

>From Perry Noid:


Drying meat is NOT "curing" it!!! Drying meat is preserving it. "Curing
meat" is treating it with a chemical to prevent food poisoning. I think
you're pretty safe drying store bought beef in a dehydrator, because
there's oxygen present which prevents botulism, and indians often dried
meat by simply laying them out on rocks in the hot sun. But i wouldn't
trust simply drying wild game or pork, unless you're an Indian who has
developed a natural resistance to parasites.


BUT IF YOU ARE GOING TO SMOKE YOUR MEAT THEN ***YOU DAMN BETTER FIGURE
OUT WHAT CURING REALLY IS*** because smoking does a real good job of
creating the 3 conditions necessary to trigger botulism: moisture,
temerature (about 40 to 140 F i think) and lack of oxygen. This
sometimes occurs when people try to cook their turkey crammed full of
stuffing, especially when it has sat full of stuffing in the
refrigerator all night.

Botulism doesn't always occur when those 3 conditios are met, and some
people dodge the bullet for a while, and infact botulism is rare, but
when it happens it is *very* deadly, mostly because you don't know
you're sick until you are really sick. In a survival situation where
going to the hospital is impossible, you can drink a slurry of charcoal
to save your life which is simply the charred, blackened bits of wood
from last night's campfire that is ground up and drank with water.
Charcoal will absorb certain poisons.

certain chemicals can block botulism. I think old timers used things
like potassium nitrate and salt or something, not sure. But the modern
"cure" that practically all commercial producers who smoke meat use
specialized cures, which i think are made up of a combination of sodimum
nitrate and sodimum nitrite. There gobbs of different brand names
(Prague Powder and Insta-cure) but they are all basically the same two
types, one for meat to be refrigerated or even recooked, and the second
for dried meat not to be refrigerated nor recooked.  But the perscribed
amount of cure is disolved into a brine solution in which the meat is
soaked for a number of hours or days, depending on the type of meat and
the size. In addition to this, some people with electric smokers will
run their smoker without the dampwood chips so it acts like a big
dehydrator and dry the meat out before applying the smoke, which keeps
the 3 conditions botulism from being met and providing a further margain
of saftey.

It is really inexpensive and requires very little. 5 lbs costs about $20
and is enough to "cure" about 1600 lbs of beef, fish, whatever. That's
sure a lot cheaper than a trip to the emergency room.

Here's a soarce for both types: Insta-Cure #1 and Insta-Cure #2. 

The Sausage Maker, Inc.
1-716-876-5521
Fax 1-716-875-0302

All commercially smoked meat and all jerky is required by law to be
"cured" using these same cures. The "cure" also adds to the color and
taste of the meat. It also adds shelflife to the meat you simply dry in
a dehydrator. A good book on the subject is also money well spent.

Be safe.


6.2.19  [ What temperature is right for smoking ( fowl) turkey? ]


From jay@heyl.org 

I have a cookbook here that says 165-170F.  There is a lot of paranoia 
about poultry being underdone.  I haven't done any turkey yet (I have the 
same smoker you do), but I've done several chickens and have had no 
trouble pulling them off at 165F.

> The problem I am having is that although I follow the recipes exactly I
> have a very difficult time reaching this temperature.   I installed an
> oven thermometer in place of the "cold - ideal - hot" thermometer that
> came with the smoker.  I even placed a second thermometer inside to

The stock thermometer is worthless...  I replaced mine.

Are you brining the bird before cooking?  If not, I strongly recommend 
you do.  I took a class in grilling and barbequeing and for chicken parts 
they suggested a brine of 1 cup kosher salt and 1 cup sugar dissolved in 
1 quart of water.  Soak the pieces for up to 90 minutes.  Don't go longer 
than this or the chicken will take up too much salt.  I think the basic 
idea here would work for turkey breast also, though I'd reduce the salt 
to maybe 1/2 cup and soak the turkey for 3 or 4 hours.  (For a whole 
chicken they recommended 1 cup kosher salt in a gallon of water, brining 
the chicken for 6 to 8 hours.  I'd guess the turkey breast would be 
somewhere in between the two methods.)

Also, you're going to have a tough time getting a turkey breast to 180F 
if the external temp (external to the turkey) is only 20 or 30 degrees 
warmer.  To achieve an internal temp of 180F I'd push the smoker temp to 
at least 240F.  But, as I mentioned above, 180F is higher than you really 
need to go.  If the meat thermometer reads 165F and the juices run clear 
when you pull the thermometer out, that bird is done.

6.2.20  [ Freezing cured ham, smoked or preserved meat is salty after a 
         month. What can I do? ]

From: Robb Dabbs 

There's an old trick used in the South to reduce salt in country ham 
(which is salt cured), and it should work for your frozen ham.  Thaw 
the ham, cut in slices if not already sliced, and soak overnight 
covered in milk.  Next day, rinse and pat dry, and prepare as desired.

I don't know of any different storage method that would prevent the 
saltiness from occurring.




6.3  Specific Foods

6.3.1 [Can I make a Smithfield Ham at Home?]

  These are unique since the hams come from only peanut-fed hogs.  They
are worked with cure for 30-45 days.  Then they are smoked for at least
7 days and left in the smokehouse for another 6 months.  "The Smithfield
ham or a reasonable facsimile is rather difficult to produce unless you
have a steady supply of peanuts and a huge smokehouse 3-4 stories high."


6.3.2 [How do I make my own bacon at home?]

  It is my experience that bacon is the easiest product to produce at
home and the results are as good as, or better than, the best
commercially produced bacon.

  I use Morton Tender Quick and brown sugar.  Rub down a slab of fresh
bacon (pork belly) with a liberal quantity of the Tender Quick.  You
can't really use too much but a cup or so should do.  Then follow with a
thorough rub of brown sugar (again, start with a cup or so).  Then place
the meat in heavy plastic and allow to cure for 7 days at 38F.  I use a
small refrigerator for this.  I run a remote temperature probe inside
and monitor the temperature, tweaking the thermostat when necessary.
The temperature is important; too low (below 36F) and the curing action
will cease, too high (above 40F) and the meat will begin to spoil.  I
also cut the pork belly in two and cure it with the meat surfaces face
to face and the skin on the outside.  It helps it fit in the fridge and
improves the curing action.  I then smoke it at 140-150F until the
internal temperature of the pork reaches 128F (about 8 to 10 hours).  I
find it best to remove the skin about 3/4 of the way through the smoking
process.  This way the fat is protected but still acquires some color.

Chill overnight before using.

  If you are using Prague Powder #1, mix 2 oz with 1 lb of salt and use
like the Tender Quick.

  Other sugars can be used instead of brown sugar.  Try honey or even
some maple syrup.

6.3.3 [How do I make my own corned beef?]

  For best results, use trimmed briskets.

  Start with a curing brine.  This recipe comes from [3] and makes
enough for 25 lbs of meat.

  5 quarts ice water (about 38-40F)
  8 oz. salt
  3 oz. Prague Powder #1
  3 oz. powdered dextrose

  Spray pump the briskets to about 12-15% of their original weight.
After pumping, the briskets are packed in a vat, and sprinkled with
whole pickling spice.  If more than one brisket is done at a time, pack
them flesh to flesh with the fat sides out.  Add enough brine to cover
and allow to cure for 3-4 days at 38-40F.  The meat is then ready to use
(but still requires cooking).

6.3.4 [What is pastrami and how do I make my own?]

  For best results, use trimmed briskets.

  Start with a curing brine.  This recipe comes from [3] and makes
enough for 25 lbs of meat.

  5 quarts ice water (about 38-40F)
  8 oz. salt
  5 oz. Prague Powder #1
  5 oz. powdered dextrose
  1 Tb garlic juice

  Prepare and cure as for corned beef.  After curing, remove from brine
and rub liberally with cracked black pepper and coriander seeds.  Smoke
at 140F until the meat is dry and then increase smoker temperature to
200-220F and hold until internal temperature of meat reaches 170-180F.

Chill overnight before using.  This meat is fully cooked.

6.3.5  [ How do I make beef jerky?]

  There are a jillion recipes for jerky--take a look in the recipe archives.
[There is a template recipe in the Dehydration section; you can find an arc-
hive at ftp.rtd.com:/pub/rthead/jerky.rcp]
--LEB)

I prefer a teriyaki-based marinade (use 1/2 tsp of Prague
Powder #1 or 1 tsp of Tender Quick for safety) with other spices,
lightly smoked.  My recipe is not for publication, but it's nothing out
of the ordinary.  Experiment with your own combinations of spices and
find something you like.




6.4 Other Sources (besides this FAQ) for info on meat Curing and Smoking

BOOKS:

 Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing (1984).  Rytek Kutas.
Self published.  Can be obtained from the author at The Sausage
Maker Inc./ 26 Military Road/ Buffalo NY 14207. (716)-876-5521.

6.4.1  [ references ]

[1]  Food Science--Osmosis, Rita Sorci Planey, "Fine Cooking",
     Aug/Sep 1994, pp 12,13

[2]  The New Professional Chef (1991).  The Culinary Institute of
     America.

[3]  Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing (1984), Rytek Kutas.

[4]  On Food and Cooking (1984), Harold McGee.

[5]  Smoke and Spice (1994), Jamison and Jamison.

Please direct questions, comments, criticisms, and contributions to:
  Richard Thead
  thead@azstarnet.com -or-
  thead@igate1.hac.com


6.4.2 [I bagged my deer.  Now what do I do?]

Subject: Venison Processing FAQ, final version
From: pleasure@netcom.com  (Tanith Tyrr)

**Since I've been asked for inclusion in a FAQ, I figured I'd go over this
account and do it right.  Here's a pretty well complete tutorial on what
to do with Bambi (or more accurately Faline) when you pot one.  Reprint or
archive it anywhere you want electronically, just credit the author.
Enjoy!**

"Euwwww," cry the husband/wife/children of the mighty hunter who has just
dragged home the antlered kill.  "This stuff is gamy and yucky.  Do we
hafta eat it?"

Disappointed, and maybe secretly agreeing with the spouse and kids, the
mighty hunter chokes down his or her portion of venison and declaims in a
hearty voice that it's perfectly good and really just like beef if you
grind it into burgers and mix it with salt pork so you can't taste the
deer.

This is a rather sad scenario that has undoubtedly been played out more
times than most hunters (and cooks) care to think about.  Why?  It isn't
because venison is a poor quality meat; far from it.  The finest chefs
serve medallions of venison braised with sauce Perigourdine and Merlot in
their fancy restaurants, and they get a hefty price for it because they
know how to cook it properly to maximize the enjoyable flavor.  More
importantly, they know how to obtain it from the right source, which is a
young and healthy animal in prime eating condition.

The majority of game that tastes gamy, nasty, raunchy, sour or just plain
awful does so for one of two reasons: either you messed up in the process
of picking a target or you didn't treat the meat properly after you killed
it - sadly common outcomes among today's generation of sport hunters who
kill for antlers and not for meat.

Pick and treat your meat properly in the first place, and you will not
have any gaminess to worry about, nor will you need to disguise the fine
taste of properly prepared venison with strong flavored marinades.
Venison which is butchered quickly and professionally with a high standard
of hygiene and care is comparable to the finest cuts of lean beef - only
better and more flavorful - and it has absolutely no gamy or unpleasant
taste.

However, if you pick an animal to shoot that is not a good meat animal,
for reasons of age, sex or rutting condition, you don't have anybody to
blame save yourself if the results are not pleasant.  If you shoot an old,
tough, nasty buck in rutting condition because you want trophies, your
dinner will taste crappy and you will have silly pointy things to hang on
your wall and brag about.  Enjoy your bragging rights and choke on your
tough, testosterone-laden dinner, and don't say you weren't warned.

If you want to eat as opposed to rustically decorate your fireplace,
eyeball out a young doe with a nice chunky brisket-shaped chest bespeaking
plenty of fat.  Look for graceful rounding in the hindquarters as well;
you want fat hams, and the rump is where well-fed deer tend to put on padding.

Choose your target not for massive size or horned protuberances, but for
a body conformation that indicates a plump, young, tasty meat animal.

Read agricultural texts or butchering handbooks for better information on
how to judge this, and study the pictures of cows, pigs and sheep
carefully until you are confident that you know by the eye at least some
of the characteristics that distinguish a fine meat animal from a poor
one.   Then go out hunting; your taste buds will be better pleased with
the results.

Some folks say that wild game fat is rancid; I suspect that these are the
trophy-hunting folks who want to go shooting aged, tough males for the
dinner table.  Silly people.  If you must take bucks, take the spikes; an
old animal is a tough animal.  You wouldn't eat a cow that old, would you?
Well, maybe you would, but my palate will take a pass, thanks.  I'll take
the plump young meat animals every time, preferably 18 months to 2 years
old.

Fresh yellow-white fat from a well-marbled deer which has been grazing in
somebodies' cornfield is perfectly good food; the main danger here is eating
too much of it and getting fatty deposits on your hindquarters your own self.
;P  Check each carcass as you process it by frying a small portion of the
fat and tasting it; individuals can vary.  But don't chuck this lovely stuff
until you have at least tried it.  Venison confit crocked in its own fat and
drained is stunningly spectacular with garlic mashed potatoes and sun-dried
cranberry sauce, among other things, and the sizzling fat from a side of
deer ribs popping and browning over the fire is an almost primal trigger to
the hunter's appetite.

If you want this clean-tasting fat, don't hunt in areas where the deer are
known for desperate grazing habits; strong tasting fodder can and does affect
the taste of both fat and muscle meat.  You'll figure it out if you shoot an
otherwise good meat animal and it tastes like a pine pitch and mud marinade.
Grouse is game that is famous for this problem in particular, but deer suffer
from it too if they're browsing too much on scrub or tree bark.  Get as quick
a kill as you can, for mercy's sake and also for the meat's sake; an animal
that dies in pain and fear is not as good eating as an animal that dies quick
and clean.

So much for the hunting precautions.  On to the butchering.  Once you kill
the animal, draw it as quickly as possible.  Forget any silliness about
cutting its throat; if you must finish it with a mercy stroke, use a brisket
stick, thrusting your knife into the brisket at first a straight then an
upward angle to sever the arteries around the heart.  See a good butcher's
handbook for pictures and information on the correct method of brisket
sticking.

If you are not confident you can do an accurate brisket stick and the
animal must be put down quickly, use a throat stab, not a throat slice.
Insert (stab) the knife blade side facing outward as close to the animal's
spine on the throat side as possible.  Pull straight forward with a single
swift move until everything from the front of the spine out to the throat
is severed.  This technique reliably severs a throat; slicing tends to be
useless and unnecessarily cruel if you do not have the strength or the
expertise to do it properly.  Often, an inexperienced hunter will miss one
or both jugulars or cut insufficiently deep to bleed the animal out
quickly using the slice technique.  The stabbing technique essentially
can't miss and it *removes* the throat from the spine out, also severing
the windpipe.

If you are approaching a downed deer that is still alive, approach from
the back if possible.  Those hooves are razor sharp and horns are no joke
either.  If you can get on its back and an arm around a doe's neck forcing
the chin up, the throat stab-and-pull maneuver is easy and finishes the
deer rapidly.  If your downed quarry has antlers, use them as handles and
pull the head up this way instead.  Speed is of the essence; every second
your downed quarry remains alive, terrified and struggling increases its
suffering and decreases the quality of your fine steaks and chops.
Expect there to be some struggling and continued attempts to breathe even
after the throat is severed.  If this bothers you, sever the spine just
between the skull and the first vertebrae with the deft insertion of a
knife.  WARNING - Don't attempt this technique on a live deer until you
have practiced it and can do it reliably and quickly, one-handed, on a
dead deer.

There is a reason I don't advocate spine severing, eye stabs or braincase
stabs as the first method of dispatch - it's dangerous, as the knife can
slip on a struggling animal and hurt you badly.

It's better to wait for a clean shot in the beginning, but should you miss
and cripple, it is your responsibility to finish the animal as quickly as
possible.  Some hunters use a second bullet or arrow at this stage, but
there are certainly reasons to prefer finishing with a knife.  Should you
wish to save the blood, mix it immediately with vinegar in roughly 10-1
blood to vinegar proportions to use in a civet or sauce.  You have about
one to two minutes before it clots completely and is unusable for most
culinary purposes.

Get those innards outwards as quickly as possible and wash and/or wipe the
carcass down with a towel.  If you have to field transport, leave the skin
on, but get the skin off as soon as you make it to camp and get the
temperature of that carcass down by any means you can, as fast as you can.
A carcass left at blood temperature will quickly sour and ruin good meat,
and getting the skin off helps heat to dissipate.  Ice can be helpful, but
be aware that moisture is not a good thing in general for meat, so you
want to keep it dry if possible as well as cold.

To start processing Bambi, fist the hide off the deer while it is still
warm from the kill, and mind those thin stringy flat pieces of muscle
under the forelegs that will stick to the hide and make your job a pain if
you don't catch them early on and separate them by slashing lightly ahead
of the muscle and into the silvery-white, slimy translucent membrane that
separates muscle and hide.  Pliers may help in getting the "slippers" off
from the lower legs.  Watch out for those nasty hairs that get stuck in
the membrane and take forever to wash out.  Pull that hide and get it off
your butchering floor.  Plastic tarps are your friend.

Don't pull the membrane from the muscle (the silverskin) if you plan to
hang the meat.  Personally, I don't age venison if it's a fat young doe,
but that's a matter of taste.  Once you've hung the meat, you can trim
the silverskin, which should be a bit dry and hard in texture if you've hung
it right (and it might even be blackened; this is common enough for an
extended aging process).  Some meat will go with it, but this is the price of
aging.

I have two favorite ways to process a carcass.  One of them is the
traditional gambrel hang, with a cross-hatched stick splitting the legs
and the deer hung from a tree.  T'other, the one I pick when in my home
facilities under ideal conditions, is a waist-height table with a raised
metal surface which is holed to allow blood drainage.

Hang the deer up by its forelegs to let gravity do your work for you in
removing those unpleasant bits.  Unzip the front end of the deer carefully
as you do not want the guts on your shoes in a hurry and by surprise, and
have a barrel lined with a big Hefty garbage sack between the deer's legs.
I make a *tiny* cut first, then slip my hand inside the carcass and keep
two cupped fingers on the back of the knife as I cut.  This keeps the guts
from accidentally being slashed, which is as you probably can figure a
really disgusting mess.  Unzip slowly and let the guts fall down unbroken
out of the slit you are making.

If you've done this technique right, you will have a mess of guts neatly
in the barrel.  Urge them into the right place with your hands.  Wear
latex gloves if you're fussy.  Don't forget to get the stomach out too,
and carefully sever any connections between the stomach and other
organs.   Let the stomach fall into the barrel; it's tough and won't
burst unless you were clumsy with the knife earlier.  The rest of the
mass will likely remain attached; fish around the diaphragm (just
under the heart and lungs) with a short bladed knife that is not too
sharp and find the connections to cut when you're ready to dump the
stomach and guts.  You may find it helpful to haul out the guts in your
fists and try to have the connective tissue visible before you cut into
it.  Small scissors can also be invaluable at this stage.

Don't forget to tie off the bung and *carefully* find and remove the
bladder, or your meat will be unsanitary and smell funny.  I once clumsily
dropped a deer bladder I had just carefully removed, and it burst on my
tennis shoes.  The results were really unpleasant.  Dispose of the bladder
carefully and don't let go of the tube on the other end until you have a
wastes bucket to dump it.

Likewise, cut off the bung (the intestine leading up from the rectum)
about eight inches from the bottom and tie it off carefully, after
squeezing its contents to clear the area of your cut.  Tie off both ends
with a standard square knot.  Without letting the cut ends touch flesh,
dump the stomach and attached guts into the waste bucket and push the
tied-off bung end through the rectum.  Yes, I know this is gross.  Do it
anyway.  Wear latex gloves and discard them when you are done touching
these less than sanitary parts of the carcass.  Take your knife and cut
out the deer's entire rectum, with some flesh around it, including the
tied-off bung.  Carefully discard this unclean bit, without letting it
touch the meat.  Wash your hands.  Wash any meat which has come in contact
with this yuckiness very thoroughly, and cut out any discolored or suspect
pieces.  Discard the guts and waste away from your butchering area.

You can then fish around and grab a tough bundle of flesh up past the
heart that is attaching the rest of the more solid innards to the carcass.
Cut it as high up inside as you can reach, and pull.  The whole mess will
come down, so have another clean sack ready.  This mess, except the green
bubble attached to the liver, is good eating, don't waste it.  Wash it
well and save it on ice.  You can eat the heart, the liver, the lungs, the
spleen and the diaphragm, though I recommend throwing the latter scrap of
tough flesh into the stock pot with the bones.  Remove the nasty green
gallbladder from the liver carefully and pitch it along with stomach and
intestines.

You may wish to be extremely anal retentive about using all of your kill,
and try to get something out of the deer's less pleasant parts.  I used to
be.  Two experiences washing out deer stomach and intestines and using
them in haggis and sausage was enough to convince me to never mind.  They
take hours to wash free of ick and they don't taste all that wonderful
anyhow.  The only use for deer gall that I know of is authentically
medieval ink, which you make by mixing in pounded oak ashes.  Not in my
food processor, thanks.

One small warning: the kidneys of a deer can range from flavorful to
pungent and disagreeable;  you can either discard or soak in milk overnight
to reduce ammoniacal odor and taste.  The kidneys of a rutting buck aren't
even worth discussing; no marinade can save them, except possibly turpentine.
There is only one recipe worth thinking about for buck kidneys in my opinion,
and it is this: bake the kidneys underneath a hot brick in the oven for 8
hours.  When finished, discard the kidneys and eat the brick, which will
probably taste better.

Take a hose to the inside of the carcass once it is gutted out, or if you
are field butchering away from a water source, wipe down with a damp cloth
thoroughly.  Dry the meat with a clean towel before proceeding.  If the
day is hot, throw some ice in the carcass instead and skip the dry towel 
the moisture content of the meat might suffer, but the temperature is more
important.

At this point, you have a whole mess of tasty and hopefully clean-smelling
meat ready for your processing.  You can hang at this stage if you like (I
don't, especially with a doe whose hindquarters are covered in nice yellow
fat - mmmm!), but you can also proceed to dismember into neat freezer
and fridge packages.  A fresh-killed deer keeps a surprisingly long time
in the refrigerator, but your results may vary depending on the condition
and holding temperature of your refrigerator.

I separate the meat into: shanks for long braising (venison osso bucco is
delish!), two shoulders, two hams which I usually bone out, a whole saddle
roast (that's the butt end minus the bare bone you have left after the legs
are gone), a crown tenderloin roast with the backbone split in half and
about 6" of the ribs still on, two slabs of ribs for immediate BBQ slathered
in homemade sauce, the neck for stewing and the flank for scrap.  You can
further reduce the saddle or the crown tenderloin roast into chops; it
depends on how many folks you want to invite over to eat.

Now, all of this is *damn* fine eating and the only parts I would turn into
burger or sausage would be the flank, the neck and the shoulders of a lean
deer.  (A fat deer makes a nice shoulder roast!).  The innards are nothing
to waste, either.  Stuffed deer heart with breadcrumbs and onions and bacon
is marvellous, and if you're a medieval cook like I am, haggis is always in
the works when I get hold of a nice chunk of internals that includes spleen
and liver and lungs.  Boiled deer tongue is not unlike beef tongue if you
are fond of such things, and you can also use the jowl and palate meat in
slivers in any French recipes calling for ox palate.  Warning: skinning a
deer head really and truly sucks, so less than die-hard medieval recreation
enthusiasts may choose to skip this step.  I've done it a number of times,
but since I managed to get carpal tunnel syndrome, I'm not sure I'll ever do
it again.  It is some tedious and painful work, though you do get a nice
"deer face" that you can flesh out and tan to make an interesting hat or
shaman's pouch.  Deer brains are good poached, but make sure you cook them
well and don't mind the bottfly larvae that you will occasionally find in
the nasal cavities of the skull as they're not uncommon to find.  If you're
squeamish, don't delve in there at all.

Even the bones of a deer can provide some amazingly good eating.  Cut the
bones into fairly small chunks (1-2") or have the butcher do it for you,
roast them until lightly browned and boil down with the scrap meat for 4-6
hours for venison demiglace, which stores for months in the freezer and
adds amazing flavor to all kinds of dishes.

If you must make sausage, make it well.  Venison can actually make a very
good sausage product that showcases rather than disguises its unique
flavor.  Much depends on whether you do the sausage "black" or "white"
style, ie, do you bleed and rinse the meat thoroughly first for a more
delicate product, or do you make a civet with the reserved blood mixed
with vinegar?  The former will produce a mild, delicate product which
takes well to a bit of sage, basil and shallot in the mix.  The latter
takes to onions and garlic or perhaps fennel or caraway.  The middle
ground is to use fresh venison that is neither washed and beaten free of
blood or civetted, and much depends on the individual carcass - age, sex,
diet, condition, etc.

A lot of hunters ignorant of fine venison cuisine turn the works into
deerburgers or hash or sausage, trying to disguise its taste rather than
showcase it with fine cooking.  I suppose if you shoot a rutting buck deer
and then don't gut it out before it sours, burgers or sausage or dogfood
is a reasonable destination for such a wasted kill.  But geez Louise, if
you have a mountain of fine gourmet steaks and roasts and chops in front
of you and you make mush out of them or allow them to spoil, you have just
effectively pissed money away into the snow.  Also it's bad karmic brownie
points, y'know?  Eat what you kill.  Don't waste good food, or the life of
an animal, senselessly.  The Goddess is watching you.  ;P

It is all very well I suppose to want to kill the biggest boy deer with
the biggest antlers if you wish to prove your fitness to rule the herd and
to mate with the does.  I guess it's a phallic kind of guy thing.  ;P
Since I'm not a guy, I'll just take good venison where I can get it and
never mind the big rack of antlers, a sure indication to me of a less than
prime meat animal.

Rare roasted venison, fragrant with bay leaves and garlic on a bed of wild
rice with pecans, is serious cuisine.  Deer neck braised Moroccan style
with lemons and honey and olives is delicious over cumin-scented
couscous.  Venison shanks osso bucco, steam-braised for hours in your
oven, will fill the house with its tantalizing perfume until the neighbors
sniff their noses into your yard and cry, "What's for dinner?"

In a rougher setting, wrap chunks of lean hind leg or whole tenderloins in
bacon and shishkebab them over the fire with a little cracked black
pepper, or throw a slab of deer ribs on the fire and baste at the last
minute with the best sauce your granny ever gave you a recipe for.

If you must make sausage, make it well.  Don't disguise the taste of the
meat; enhance it with the freshest herbs and the finest ingredients.  The
conventional wisdom is that deer fat is rancid; sometimes this is so and
more often in my experience it isn't.  Fry a small piece and judge for
yourself for each carcass.  If there isn't enough of it, add some fresh
pork fat of the best quality, and possibly some veal meat, which does not
overpower the venison as pork can do.

Venison should be done either rare or falling-off-the-bone well stewed for
the tougher cuts such as neck or shank.  To enhance the meat, marinades
are permitted, but remember that if you've done your job well in selecting
a good animal and butchering it cleanly, you don't need to overpower any
gaminess with the marinade.  Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlots are traditional
companions of venison, and should you have some money to splurge, a fine
red Bordeaux from one of the great vineyards would also not be amiss.  These
can be sipped along with the venison as well as making a fine marinade with
the addition of some fresh herbs, garlic and best quality olive oil.

Dry coatings for a venison roast are as good as marinade and in many cases
better; try powdered porcini mushrooms and pink peppercorns in seasoned
flour, or crushed dried chanterelles and hazelnuts as a crust before
roasting.  Drizzle on some extra virgin olive oil for additional basting
on your lean meat.  Herbs du Provence, with lavender and rosemary, can add
a note of delicate sweetness when balanced by the mellow sweet tang of
balsamic vinegar.  Keep your aceto balsamico in a small spray bottle; you
will find it amazingly easy to do a thirty second spray-on "marinade" to
all sorts of meats and vegetables that way, and it can give a lovely
caramelized look and taste to dishes like mashed potatoes or baked savory
pies if you spray it on at the last minute.

To accompany venison, I recommend simple dishes with hearty, earthy
flavors - a duxelle of dark wild mushrooms perhaps, or wild rice with
roasted chestnuts and brandied dried cherries.  The simplicity of fluffy
mashed potatoes drizzled with a bit of olive oil and served with a head of
softly sweet, caramelized roasted garlic always complements a good piece
of venison.  Vegetables on the grill can be sprayed briefly with balsamic
vinegar and dipped in fine olive oil and herbs, and then seared briefly
before joining the tender pieces of meat and the creamy pillows of mashed
potatoes on your plate.

Any sauce you want to use on your high quality meat can of course be
enhanced with truffles, and if you find yourself the fortunate possessor
of some of this Perigourdine black gold, chop it very fine and simmer
gently in a simple sauce made from the roasting venison juices thickened
with a little cream and flour.  Simmer (but do not boil) until your whole
kitchen is perfumed with the indescribably savory aroma of venison and
truffles.  Then eat like the kings and queens of old, feasting on the
finest viands in your kingdom.  Your deer deserves it, don't you think?
Not to mention the hunter.

Larousse Gastronomique gives recipes in plenty for venison done in this
royal style, often enhanced with foie gras or other delicacies or enclosed
in fine pastries.  They knew how to properly treat a deer in that culinary
era, to be sure; and none went wasted or unappreciated by the serious
gourmet.  The phenomemon of "deerburgers" is a modern abomination of
antler-mad sport hunters who care nothing for cuisine and consider venison
a mere by-product of the hunt instead of its object.

I have no moral qualms with hunting, but when it comes to wasting and mis-
treating fine meat, I will certainly have some words to say to the ignorant
boor who does not respect his kill enough to use it properly. (The mildest
are: Give it to me, you bozo, and I'll enjoy it properly if you're not
going to!)

However you cook your deer, you should certainly enjoy the rightful reward
of the hunt - the taste of venison in all its glory, not disguised but
showcased and enhanced by careful handling of the meat and respectful
cooking.

6.4.3 [Virginia Ham]

From dgill  from the bbq mailing list at
bbq@AZStarNet.  com:
CURING PORK VIRGINIA STYLE
The process of curing pork is essentially one of creating conditions favor-
able to good microbes and unfavorable to bad ones long enough for the meat
to absorb enough salt so that it won't rot before it is can be used.  Before
refrigeration the primary objective was preservation but now curing is used
as a means to flavor meats.  In addition to salt, sugars are used to enhance
the action of salt, improve flavor and keep the meat more moist and soft
during aging.  Nitrates and nitrites are often included as anti-bacterial
agents, particularly effective against the botulism organism, but they tend
to make aged meat hard and dry.

Other seasonings such as black pepper, paprika, and red pepper are used as
flavorings and may have some preservative effects but I suspect that their
use is more psychological than functional.

Methods of naturally curing pork vary greatly in different areas because
of climate and other variables.  Since curing conditions are unpredictable,
the methods I will describe are more art than science and procedures are
admittedly vague.  The general principles are pretty simple, though, and
there is plenty of room for variations.

In the Tidewater area of Virginia, hogs are killed from mid-November to late
January.  We try to pick a time when cold weather has settled in but we do
not expect it to get too cold.  Once meat has frozen, it does not take the
cure properly and extended periods of warm weather (50 F ambient) before the
cure has penetrated will spoil the meat.  Fresh meat freezes at 28 F but as
the cure is absorbed, the freezing temp is lowered.  The ideal conditions for
the first phase, taking the cure, is about 38 F with relatively high humid-
ity.  The curing process stops at meat temperatures below 34 F. and curing
time must be increased to compensate.  Time varies depending on the cut and
weight from 2 weeks min. for bacon to over two months for large hams.

After the initial cure, the meat can stand a gradual warm-up through the
aging process.  Good cures start with good meat.  We raise our own hogs and
fatten them on a corn based ration supplemented by whatever is available -
stale bakery products, household garbage, etc.  Garbage should not dominate
the ration as the fat will be soft.  Top hogs weigh 220 pounds and yield
about a 16 pound ham.  We like to cure hams between 20 and 30 pounds.  Large
hams with adequate fat layers age better and don't dry out as much during
extended storage. Country cured hams will keep indefinitely but achieve their
full flavor after about one year when "white flecks" appear in the muscle.
We feed our hogs to 300 pounds or better but don't let them get too fat.
Some cuts may be slightly tougher with heavy hogs.

Hams, shoulders and bellies may be bought from packing houses and can be
ordered by butchers if you are not in position to grow your own.  You may
have to buy box lots but make absolutely sure that the meat is fresh and
quickly chilled.  Pork should be put in cure as soon as possible after

chilling and trimming but, properly handled, it can be a couple of days old.
I once bought ten, 25 pound hams that had been two days in transit to the
butcher and then were left in his cooler over the weekend.  I lost the whole
batch!  Those hams had also been trimmed excessively leaving little skin and
fat covering.  As a result, I have gone back to raising my own so I know what
I have to work with.  I am supposed to talk about curing bacon and I will get
around to it.  As hams (and shoulders) are more valuable, demanding and
risky, the entire process is keyed to the larger cuts.

Curing and smoking facilities vary greatly.  Traditional farm hamhouses/
smokehouses are windowless wood frame buildings about ten feet square with a
dirt floor.  Wooden plank benches provide work areas for mixing the cure and
salting down meat.  Joists are within reach and studded with 20 penny nails
for hanging meat.  The dirt floor allows a higher humidity in winter and al-
lows a smoldering fire to be built inside - both for smoking and to keep
meat from freezing during extreme cold.  Some hamhouses have external smoke
generators - simply a firebox with a stovepipe stuck through the wall.  This
arrangement makes it easier to cold smoke for several days (or weeks) in the
spring without exceeding 100 F. and is essential if the smokehouse is made of
wood and insulated.  Either the eaves are loosely fitted or there are oper-
able vents to allow for air exchange, especially during smoking, so that
there is adequate fresh air and the smoke does not become stale and acrid.
Openings are covered by fine screen mesh and the interior is kept dark to
discourage skippers (larvae of a small black fly which also likes pork).

My smokehouse follows the tradition except that the walls are poured concrete
and the roof is metal.  The thick walls store a lot of heat and smooth out
daily temperature fluctuations.  I have no smoke generator or operable vents
but there is plenty of air exchange at the eaves.  In places where conditions
are not favorable, curing and smoking chambers with temperature and humidity
controls and a smoke generator can be easily fabricated or small cuts may be
cured in the refrigerator.

My dry cure is mixed by the "pour 'til it looks right" method.  My daddy
showed me how.  There was a request from a pork eater in Israel to provide
metric measurements.  Unfortunately, I don't know how to convert the SAH
(Standard American Handful)!  I buy plain (not iodized) dairy salt in 50
lb. bags from a farm supply co-op and other ingredients from one of the ware-
house retailers.

I had better stop writing and start posting. Sorry about the verbosity,
Rick, but it should be clear. Will finish this one soon and then talk
about bagged sausage - my favorite!

6.4.4 [Sausage]

>From Bryan L. Gros :
If you're really nervous, just grind some pork (maybe 2 lbs).  If you don't
get the leanest pork roast, you won't need to add fat.  Or maybe just a lit-
tle.  If you don't have enough fat, the sausage will be a bit dry.  You can
often get fat for free from the meat guy at your local supermarket.  Oh,
grind on the coarse plate.

Now to your ground pork add spices.  For a spicy Italian, add about 1 Tbsp
salt, 2 tsp black pepper, 2 tsp (or whatever) of cayenne.  I find that to
get really spicy sausage, use crushed red pepper rather than cayenne.  Add
paprika for a more red color.  Add chopped fresh parsley, about 8 cloves of
garlic, maybe some fresh basil.

Now mix real good and form a couple small patties.  Cook the patties and try
it.  Is it good?  Add whatever you need.

You now have bulk sausage.  If you want to stuff it in casings, that isn't
too hard with a Kitchen Aid.  Grease the casings holder a little, slide the
casings on, and feed the sausage through the feeder.  Having two people
helps, and it is a bit messy, but fairly quick.  I'll try to post a couple
recipes if that is okay on this digest.  I'd like to see others' recipes as
well as tips on smoking sausages.

6.4.5 [ dry-curing sausage chemistry ]

>From Paul Hinrichs :
Someone asked here a while back what Fermento was and, collectively, we got
them sort of an answer, that it was a starter culture for fermented sausages.
These are of the general family of dry-cured sausages and the process making
these has been greatly accelerated and made more dependable by Fermento (or
Lactocel, a similar product).

Specifically, there are two stages in dry-curing.  The first is called pan
curing.  It takes about 3 days at 37 degrees and is used specifically to
allow time for some of the NaNO3 (saltpeter) to convert to NaNO2 (sodium
nitrite), which is the inhibiting agent for _C. botulinum_. The disadvantage
of this 3 day wait is that worked meats become harder to stuff into casings
since it "sets" some, becoming more viscous.  Lactocel accelerates this es-
sential conversion process by using a _micrococcus aurantiacus_ culture which
converts NO3 to NO2 more rapidly.  Products using Prague Powder #3 do not
require pan curing at all, since this already has nitrites (as well as nit-
rates for the longer run) in it.

Second process is called greening. It takes place after stuffing and is the
time that fermentation takes place, in which sugar is converted to lactic
acid for the characteristic "tangy" flavor. This would normally take 10 days
at 73 degrees F.  However, with the _lactobacillus planarum_ starter present
in both Lactocel and Fermento, greening takes place in about 16 hours at 85
degrees F.  The drying process used with these sausages (the period in which
the nitrates come into play for long term safety, converting to the _clo-
stridium_-inhibiting nitrites slowly) still takes 10-90 days, depending on
the type of product being made, but the use of starter cultures reduces the
13 days needed for pan curing and greening to a mere 16 hours.

6.4.6 [Salami]

>From Paul Hinrichs :
Here's the salami recipe I concocted/adapted:
        2 1/2 pounds pork butt, trimmed lean, ground through 3/8" plate
        2 1/2 pounds beef shoulder (both of these were on sale for $1.49 a
                        pound), ground through 1/8" plate
        1 pound bacon, diced into 1/8" cubes (easier with homemade bacon
                        because it's more firm than most store-bought)
        3 tablespoons corn syrup solids
        1 tablespoon freshly-cracked pepper
        1/2 tablespoon whole pepper
        1 tablespoon cardamom
        1 teaspoon ginger
        1 teaspoon nutmeg
        4 cloves smoked garlic
        1 cup soy protein concentrate
        1 slightly-bulging teaspoon Prague Powder #2
        1 1/2 cup Gamay Beaujolas

I mixed the meats together around noon and let them chill until early evening.
Then, I mixed together all the other ingredients in the blender, adding wine
until it became the consistency of pancake batter.  This all went into a well
in the middle of the meat, then got kneaded in.  Meanwhile, I had been soak-
ing some 3 1/2" fibrous casings in vinegar, which keeps them from sticking
to the meat.  I stuffed them in about 10" lengths and got 3 and a half
salamis.  These went into the smoker at 100 degrees and at 8 o'clock in the
evening.  There they stayed while I napped until midnight.  Then I cranked up
the smoker to 130 degrees F for one hour.

Time to smoke 'em! Temperature raised to 150 F and a pan of sawdust in the
smoker.  By 3am, the first pan was gone, so I added another and went back to
bed.  When I got up at 6am, I cranked up the temperature to 165 and got a cup
of coffee.  It's now 8:30 and I'm ready to finish them off by steam-cooking
them.  I'll put a pan of boiling water in there until they get to 152 degrees
internally, shower them down to 120 so they don't shrivel, then let 'em
"bloom" until noon when they'll hit the fridge to set up solid.

I am hoping the various textures of meat add a nice touch, but you never
really know until you slice it.

6.4.7.  [Where do I find kosher sausage casings?]

From our Thomas Jefferson of rec.food.preserving, Paul Hinrichs
:
Both the Sausage Maker (1-716-876-5521) and Stuffer's Supply Company
(1-800- 615-4474) sell beef and lamb casings.  I am not aware of the
slaughtering requirements for a casing to be deemed "kosher", but if all 
that is needed is for the product to be free of blood, then these will pass.

You might also check the Con Yeager Spice Company, who I've been told have
very reasonable prices.  I don't have their number, but I believe their web-
site is http://www.nauticom.net/w-pa/yeager.htm.  It shows mainly spices for
sausage making, but you can get a list of stuff available mail order by
calling 1-800-222-2460 or faxing 1-412-452-6171.

6.4.8 [Pickled beef.]

>From Sallie Montuori :
A while ago, somebody requested recipes for pickling beef.  This weekend I
finally saw my mother long enough to winkle out of her our family recipe.
Please note that amounts are approximate at best, and I'm sure someone is
going to point out that the traditional method is an invitation to food poi-
soning in one or more ways for a variety of reasons.

Spiced Beef  (Christmas tradition, made in early December)

1 small box each ground cloves and ground allspice  (about 1 oz.?)
1 1/2 cups salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons saltpeter (optional; all it really does is keep the meat pink)
4 to 10 pounds of boneless beef.  My mother uses chuck because she likes the
   taste; her grandmother used prime rib, boned, rolled, and tied. The
   tougher cuts work fine, since it gets sliced paper-thin in the end.
In a non-reactive container (hereafter referred to as "the crock", although a
large bowl with a plate to cover works fine) large enough for all ingredients,
mix the spices, salt and sugar.  Rub the saltpeter into the beef, then drop
it into the crock and rub the spice mixture into it.  (You may want to use
rubber gloves to save on scrubbing your hands.)  Cover and set out from under
foot; the garage works fine in the winter when this is traditionally done.
Use the fridge if you'd rather.

Every day for 7 to 14 days (depending on the size of the piece(s) of meat
you're curing), turn the meat and rub more of the spice mixture into it.
After a day or so, the mixture will be wet from the meat juices.  Try not to
overcure the meat; it will get dry.

After the meat is cured, you need to cook it.  Do this on a day you weren't
planning on doing anything else!

In a large, non-reactive pot, put a rack on the bottom to keep the meat from
sitting and burning.  Wipe as much of the spice mixture off the meat as you
can, then put it on the rack, and add cold water to cover.  Bring slowly to a
boil; reduce heat and simmer until the meat floats.  This will take a couple
of hours for a small piece, longer for a larger one.  Turn the heat off and
let the meat cool in the pot (again, allow a few hours).  Wrap (not in alum-
inum foil) and store in the refrigerator.

6.4.8 [Sources for wood chips for smoking.]

From: Kit@maine.com/ eskwired@shore.net
I obtained a bag of lump natural harwood charcoal. It comes from Brookline
Ice & Coal. (617)232-0941. I called my local hardware store and they are
going to start carrying it. Maybe yours will too.

Kit--
... I called them up--they said that they manufacture the charcoal 
themselves, using only oak and hickory.  $7.75 for 20 lbs.  They carry apple, 
mesquite and hickory chunks at $12 for 50 lbs.  They also carry 1 in chips of
maple, cherry, apple and mesquite for $1 per lb. [1996 prices--LEB]



6.5 VEGETABLE/FISH CURING AND SMOKING

6.5.1  [Salt curing items.]

6.5.2  [How do I cure olives?]

Nothing I like better than a home cured olive, and they are very
easy to make.  All that's required is patience, yer olives, a rolling pin or
a paring knife, canning salt and a non-reactive container.

You can cure olives at nearly any stage, but the really tiny green ones
aren't worth it.   Green olives are green colored; red ripe olives have a
reddish 'blush' to them (if you have olives, you know what I mean); black
(or dead) ripe olives are deep black throughout.  Just make sure that the
black ripe olives are still firm, and don't cure 'drops', olives that have
fallen to the ground.  You've got several choices, depending on your cur-
iousity and your fanaticism.

Water curing. 
Generally you water cure the big green ones, right before they turn red.
You pick the olives, crack each of them with a rolling pin, then immerse
them completely in cold water, changing the water *each* day for at least
25 days.  Stir them up when you think about it.  Immerse and change the
water, etc, taste one after 25 days.  If they are too bitter, keep up this
regime until they are edible.

Brine curing. 
Brine cured red-ripe or black-ripe olives are Greek-style; brine cured green
olives are Sicilian style.  The red-ripe olives generally turn a grey green
to pink, while the black-ripe ones keep their color, becoming a Kalamata-deep
purple.  Again, you pick the olives, or you shake the tree over a tarp, and
collect the olives.  Deeply slit each one using a sharp paring knife, then
plunk them into a brine (brine is 1/4 cup pickling salt in 1 qt water).
Weight down the olives, make sure they are fully immersed.  Cover your vat
of olives, stir once in awhile, wait one week.  Rinse, and change the olive
brine once/week for at least 3 weeks.  Taste, if still too bitter, keep
changing brine 1/week.  Mine usually take about 6 weeks.  Scum will form on
the top of the vat; its harmless *if* olives are immersed, but get rid of it
when you see it.

Lye curing. (No fanaticism necessary)
You always lye cure green olives.  If you bubble air through the lye solution,
those green olives turn black; the California black olive is born.  You pick
the olives, clean them.  Save a few of your biggest olives for the top of
your vat.  Immerse all those olives in a lye solution (2 tablespoons flake
lye in 1 qt water) for 12 hours.  Dispose of lye solution, reimmerse olives
again in new lye solution for 12 more hours.  Take and cut into some of your
largest olives to see if the lye penetrated the olive (olive will be soft to
the pit, easy to cut to the pit, and the flesh will be yellowish green when
ready).  Soak olives in water for 3 days, changing the water at least 3-4
times/day.  Taste an olive on the fourth day.  Should taste sweet and fatty,
with no bitterness, a little like a tiny avocado.  Immerse for 1 week in a
light brine, about 6 Tbs salt in gallon of water.

***Lye is nasty, remember to wear rubber gloves, use lemon juice or vinegar
to neutralize lye burns, and your olive vat shouldn't be plastic.***

Can also make marinades for your cured olives, good flavors/herbs to use in
various combinations are: garlic, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, dried chiles,
fennel seed, peppercorns, coriander seed, orange peel, lemon peel, lemon
slices, cumin seed.


6.5.3 [Salt cured (pickled/preserved) lemons and limes.  Used in
Middle Eastern/ Moroccan cookery.]

From: Paul Holt
Hamad M'Rakad  (Preserved Lemons and Limes )
This preserve gives a mellow lemony flavour to many North African dishes and
is easily made.  Choose ripe unblemished lemons or limes. Wash them and make
two deep vertical cuts in a cross, almost, but not quite through them, so
that they still hold together at the stem. Sprinkle plenty of salt inside on
the cut flesh, about 125 g (4 OZ) for 1 kg (2 lb) fruit.

Then close them, and put them in a sterilized jar so that they are jammed
tightly together.  Squeeze enough fresh lemon juice over them to keep them
covered.  The salt will draw out the juices and the peel will soften within
a week.  They will be ready to use in 3 or 4 weeks.  Rinse off the salt be-
fore using and discard the flesh; it is the peel alone that is used for
flavouring.  It is cheaper and easier, but not as good, to cover the salted
lemons or limes with strong brine, or a mixture of sunflower oil and water.
Claudia Roden:  MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD, Harmondsworth 1970 (Penguin Books)

Lamoun Makbouss (Pickled Lemons)
A delicacy which is also magnificent made with fresh limes.

Scrub lemons well and slice them.  Sprinkle the slices generously with salt
and leave for at least 24 hours on a large plate set at an angle, or in a
colander. They will become soft and limp, and lose their bitterness.  Arrange
the slices in layers in a glass jar, sprinkling a little paprika between each
layer.  Cover with corn or nut oil. Sometimes olive oil is used, but its
taste is rather strong and may slightly overpower the lemons.

Close the jar tightly. After about 3 weeks the lemons should be ready to eat-
soft, mellow and a beautiful orange colour.

[Email note:  My mother accidentally discovered a way of speeding the process
when left with dozens of lemon wedges which had been used to garnish a large
party dish.  She put them in the freezing compartment of her refrigerator to
keep them until she was ready to pickle them.  When she sprinkled the frozen
lemons with salt, she found that they shed a large quantity of water and
softened in just over an hour.  They were ready for eating after only a few
days in oil and paprika.]
--
Lime Pickle (Hot)
12 whole limes
2 Tbsp salt
Juice of 3 lemons
2 bay leaves
4 oz green ginger (see page 160)
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 oz green chiles

Peel and slice the ginger.  Remove the seeds from the chiles.  Wash and dry
the limes and cut them into slices and remove the pips.  Put a layer of lime
slices in the bottom of a jar, sprinkle with salt and crushed bay leaf, add
some of the chopped chilies and strips of ginger. Repeat these layers until
the ingredients are used up and then pour in the lemon juice.
Having tied a piece of cloth over the jar, shake it thoroughly but carefully
and put it on a windowsill in the sunshine.  Each day for 4 days add some
more salt and shake the jar again.  Remove the cloth and put on a glass or
plastic top (never a metal one).  Then leave the pickle to mature for a fort-
night.[2 weeks]

This makes a strong sharp pickle, not for over-sensitive palates.  To make it
even stronger, put in more cayenne pepper, and leave the seeds in the chiles.
To make it less strong, halve the amount of chiles and omit the cayenne
pepper.  This is really a basic recipe which can be added to or subtracted
from as you wish.  It can be made with half limes and half lemons, or lime
juice may be substituted for the lemon juice. in a pinch it can be made
entirely with lemons and just the juice from half a dozen limes, or tinned
natural lime juice, if you can get it.

Spiced Lime Pickle

This very hot pickle is usually served in Indian restaurants with curry and
can be bought ready made up in jars, but is well worth making up for yourself.

10 limes
2 tsp fenugreek
5 lemons
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
2 Tbsp dried chiles
1 1/2 pints olive oil
1 dessert spoon ground black pepper
3 Tbsp salt
6 cloves crushed garlic
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp mustard seed

Wash and dry the limes and lemons and cut them into pieces removing all the
pips [seeds].  Shake the mustard seed and fenugreek in a dry frying pan over
a good flame to roast them for a minute or two, and then grind them down
finely.  Grind the cumin seed or crush it, but not too fine.  Put together
the salt, garlic, ginger, mustard and fenugreek, and sprinkle them all over
the fruit, stirring well. Then pack the fruit into a jar, adding in the rest
of the ingredients in layers so that they are well spread through the pickle.

Heat the oil until it is smoking, and keep it hot for 5 minutes, but do not
burn it.  Let the oil cool so that it will not break the jar, and pour it
over the pickle.  Leave it loosely covered for a week, then screw down the
lid and keep it for another week before using it.

To make a milder pickle cut down on the chiles, or leave them out altogether
and substitute a pinch of chili powder or cayenne pepper.



6.6.1  [Lye and Mud curing items.]

6.6.2  [A friend of mine is looking for the recipe for "preserved
eggs" or "1,000 year old eggs". Jim Kofler ]

from Katherine Pepers , rec.food.cooking
I just got a new Chinese cookbook - "The Chinese Gourmet" by William Mark.
It has a detailed description of "Hundred-Year-Old Eggs", though not an actual
recipe.  I'll pass on what it says, in case it may be of use/interest.

"Rather than being dug up from an ancient tomb, as the name might suggest,
'100-year-old eggs', or as some call them '1000-year-eggs,' are actually
preserved for only 100 days at most.  Fresh duck eggs are mixed with various
preservative compounds that permeate the shell and alter the consistency of
the egg.

There are two main methods for preserving eggs in China:  P'i tan are coated
with an alkaline mud and then covered in ash, rice husks, or tea leaves, be-
fore storing in large crocks for 100 days.  The yolk becomes creamy and very
pungently flavored, the white turns an amber-gray color and coagulates into a
firm, gelatin-like consistency.

They are shelled and the egg sliced to serve as an hors d'oeuvre with slivers
of preserved ginger and a vinegar dip.

Hom tan are preserved in brine and saltpeter, or a mixture of finely ground
charcoal and brine.  The yolk hardens to a firm, grainy texture and acquires
a pleasing salty taste.  These must be cooked before they are ready to eat,
as a snack with a splash of sesame oil and vinegar and a sliver of ginger, or
to add, sliced, to congee.  The yolks are an ingredient in the fillings of
many sweet pastries.

Hundred-year-old eggs are valued not only for their taste, but also for their
medicinal value.  The preservation process raises their alkalinity, making
them a good antidote for ulcers and other conditions caused by hyper-acidity.

They are also considered a cure for hangovers."
--

6.6.3  [After some discussion on posole (aka, hominy) on the Chile-Heads list,
someone in France asked how you make hominy, since it isn't really available
there. ]

from Justin M. Sanders , the Chile-Heads list..
Traditionally not lime, but *lye*.  Here is a recipe paraphrased from a de-
lightful recipe book called "Seems Like I Done It This A-way", by Cleo S.
Bryan. (Mrs. Bryan was an Extension Home Economist in Oklahoma, and many of
her recipes are traditional Native American recipes).

Hominy
2 qts. dry shelled corn (white or yellow)
8 qts. water
2 oz. lye

Boil the above 3 ingredients 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand 20
minutes.  Rinse in cold water until all the skins and the "eyes" on the corn
are loose.  Return to heat, cover with water, bring to boil for 5 minutes.
Pour off the water, and repeat 2 more times (for a total of 3 five-minute
boilings with fresh water).  Cover again with water and cook 30 minutes and
can.  Process in a pressure canner at 10 lbs. pressure for 70 minutes for
quarts, or for 60 mins. for pints.

Apparently, if you don't wish to can the hominy, you can eat it after the 30
minute cooking period.

In more traditional recipes, the lye was obtained by straining water through
hardwood ashes-- or by boiling the ashes along with the corn.
--

6.6.4  [Sugar curing or candying items]

6.6.5 [Does anyone know how to make candied orange rind, grapefruit rind or
pineapple, etc?]

From: Barbara Mayo-Wells :
Here's how my grandmother (1880-1965) and mother (1908-1982) made candied
fruit rind:

1.  Remove as much of the white stuff as you can from inside the rind.
2.  Cut the rind into strips about 1/4 inch wide and as long as you like.
    Remember that the size you cut now is the size you'll wind up with.
3.  Submerge the rind in a pan of cold water.  Bring to a boil.  Drain.
4.  Repeat step 3.
5.  Repeat step 4.  (That is, boil the rind in three successive waters.
    The purpose is to eliminate bitterness.)
6.  While the rind is boiling, prepare a simple sugar syrup: 1 part sugar to
    1 part water.  How much you make depends on how much rind you want to
    candy.
7.  After draining the thrice-boiled rind, put it into the sugar syrup.  Boil
    gently until almost all of the syrup is absorbed.  Keep a close eye on
    this process.  Stop too soon, and the rind will be gooey.  Wait too long,
    and you'll have scorched sugar.
8.  While the rind is boiling in the sugar syrup, put some granulated sugar
    (a cup or so) in a bowl and arrange some cake racks over cookie sheets.
9.  A few pieces at a time, drop the sticky rind into the sugar, roll them
    around to coat them thoroughly, and transfer the pieces to the cake racks
    to dry.  Let them get quite dry to the touch before putting them into an
    airtight container.

6.6.6  [Candying fruits]

>From Ellen Wickberg :
Martha wanted the candied fruit instructions, so here they are.

Choose firm ripe fruit.  Peel, then core peaches or pears and cut into quar-
ters, pit cherries, cut small thin wedges of pineapple, can leave small crab-
apples whole, apricots and plums should be pricked several times to the
centre with a fork.

Cover the fruit with boiling water and simmer until just tender (test this
with a skewer).  This should take about 10-15 mins for firm fruits, 3-4 for
tender ones.  Test this frequently - over cooking makes fruit squashy, while
undercooking makes them dark and tough.  Drain fruit into a large bowl, but
save the cooking water.

For each 1 lb of fruit make a syrup combining 5 fluid oz of the water in
which fruit was cooked and 6 ozs (by wt) of sugar.  Stir until the sugar dis-
solves and then bring to boil.

Pour the boiling syrup over the cooked, drained fruit.  If you have insuf-
ficient syrup to cover the fruit, make up some more (same proportions as
above) with water.  Note how many times you have to do this.  Weight down the
fruit with a plate, and leave the fruit in the syrup for 24 hours.

On the 2nd day: drain the syrup into a saucepan, add 2 oz sugar for each
original 5 fluid ozs of water, bring to the boil and pour again over the
plate.  On the 3rd day, 4th day, and the 5th day repeat what you did on the
2nd day.

On the 6th day, add 3 oz of sugar for every original 5 fluid oz of water,
heat and stir to dissolve in the saucepan.  Add the drained fruit and boil
for 3-4 minutes and then put all back in bowl.  Leave for 48 hours.  On the
8th day, follow the day 6 instructions and then leave the fruit for 4 days.
If you notice that the syrup is still thin as it is cooling on the 8th day,
repeat the instructions for day six again before leaving it to soak for the
4 days.

At this point you can leave it in the heavy syrup for up to 3 weeks OR remove
from the syrup after the 4 days, drain on wire rack (put a sheet below to
catch the drips).  The instructions then say to dry in a cool oven, but I
don't, usually just air dry.  Pack or put in sugar to coat and then pack.
Keep in cool place.  Have fun.  Ellen

6.6.7 [Candying flowers]

>From Lynn Otto :
Last summer I spent many hours sugaring violets, geraniums, daisies, borage
flowers, and other types of blossoms.  The conclusion that I came to after a
lot of botched attempts is that the simpler the flower, the easier to sugar
(or candy).  Here's my method:

1--Pick blossoms early in the day, and put them into cool water.
2--Have ready a wide bowl of extra fine, or berry, sugar.  Sometimes I grind
the sugar just a bit more.
3--Beat equal parts eggwhite and water--mixture should not be too gelatinous.
I have heard that it is possible to obtain powdered eggwhite and if you can
get it in you area I would suggest trying it.  It was nowhere to be found in
Edmonton last summer.
4--On a steady surface ready everything for sugaring: eggwhite, sugar, a
plate or wax paper on which to dry blossoms, tweezers, a bowl of water for
washing hands, and the flowers.
5--Take tweezers, and grasp stalk of flower close to stem.  With paintbrush
dipped in eggwhite, paint all surfaces of flower leaving no dry spots.  Areas
not painted will darken and decay in time.
6--Quickly, while eggwhite is still wet, sprinkle blossoms with sugar.  You
may wish to use your fingers or a small coffee spoon.  The idea is again to
cover all areas of blossom.  Tap spoon on tweezers to shake off excess sugar.
7--Place sugared flower down on plate or sheet of wax paper to dry.  You may
want to put a fine layer of the sugar down first to avoid sticking.
8--The flowers should be left undisturbed for several days in a cool area.
When removing from plate/paper you may wish to use a razor blade to gently
pry blossoms from plate.
9--Always candy more flowers than you need as there is bound to be some
wastage.

I still have candied flowers left over from last summers work.  I simply keep
them in a covered container.

6.6.8  [Smoking vegetable/fish items.]

6.6.9  [How do I smoke chiles?]

Some recipes and techniques are available at the chile heads www site.  Check
the Other Sources List for the URL.

From Garry Howard, , taken from the chile-heads
list..

Americans who love the smoky taste and fiery bite of chipotles have recently
been hit with high prices and a scarcity of product.  With prices for these
smoked jalapenos reaching $15 a pound wholesale, home growers yearn to smoke
their own.  But the Mexicans have been fairly secretive about their techni-
ques, and none of the books on chiles describe home smoking.  After a trip
to Delicos Mexico, I think I have solved this mystery -- but the process
takes some dedication.  First, let's look at how the Mexicans do it.

They use a large pit with a rack to smoke-dry the jalepenos.  The pit con-
taining the source of heat is underground, with a tunnel leading to the rack.
The pods are placed on top of the rack where drafts of air pull the smoke up
and over the pods.  The jalapenos can be whole pods or pods without seeds.
The latter are more expensive and are called "capones", or castrated ones.

It is possible to make chipotle in the back yard with a meat smoker or Weber
type barbecue with a lid. The grill should be washed to remove any meat
particles because any odor in the barbecue will give the chile an undesir-
able flavor.  Ideally, the smoker or barbecue should be new and dedicated
only to smoking chiles.

The quality of homemade chipotle will depend on the maturity and quality of
the pods, the moisture in the pods, the temperature of the smoke drying the
pods, and the amount of time the peppers are exposed to the smoke and heat.
The aroma of wood smoke will flavor the jalapenos, so carefully choose what
is burned.  Branches from fruit trees, or other hardwoods such as hickory,
oak, and pecan, work superbly.  Pecan is used extensively in parts of Mexico
and in southern New Mexico to flavor chipotle.  Do not be afraid to experi-
ment with different woods.

The difference between the fresh weight of the fruits and the finished pro-
duct is about ten to one, so it takes ten pounds of fresh jalapenos to pro-
duce approximately one pound of chipotles.  A pound of chipotles goes a long
way, as a single pod is usually enough to flavor a dish.

First, wash all the pods and discard any that have insect damage,
bruises, or are soft.  Remove the stems from the pods before placing the
peppers in a single layer on the grill rack.  Start two small fires on each side
of the grill with charcoal briquettes.  Keep the fires small and never
directly expose the pods to the fire so they won't dry unevenly or burn.  The
intention is to dry the pods slowly while flavoring them with smoke.  Soak the
wood
in water before placing it on the coals so the wood will burn slower and
create more smoke.  The barbecue vents should be opened only partially to
allow a small amount of air to enter the barbecue, thus preventing the fires
from burning too fast and creating too much heat.

Check the pods and the fires hourly and move the pods around, always
keeping them away from the fires.  It may take up to forty-eight hours to dry
the pods completely.  The pods will be hard, light in weight, and brown in
color when dried.  If necessary, let the fires burn through the night.
After the pods have dried, remove them from the grill and let them cool.  To
preserve their flavor, place them in a zip-lock bag.  It is best to store them
in a cool and dry location.  If humidity is kept out of the bags, the
chipotles will last for twelve to twenty-four months.
Buen apetito!

NOTES : From the article: The Chipotle, Mystery -- Solved at Last!
       by: Dr. Paul W. Bosland, Agronomy and Horticulture Department
       New Mexico State University

       Chile Pepper Magazine - October, 1992

       MasterCook formatted by Garry Howard, Cambridge, MA
       garhow@hpubmaa.esr.hp.com

[And remember, you can smoke anything.  Fruits, garlic, cheeses..]

>From Paul Hinrichs :
... for anyone who thought I was losing my mind when I smoked garlic, let me
prove I was not the first.  Here is the procedure given in the book for
smoking blueberries:

"Pacific coast Indians used to smoke-dry blueberries for winter use.  They
may be successfully processed in an ordinary smoke oven.

Spread the blueberries on a fine wire screen and cold-smoke at 75 to 85 F,
[you guys in the heat are out of luck--LEB] until they are partly dehydrated.
The skins become wrinkled, and they look somewhat like dried currants.  Keep
in a covered - though not airtight - jar or dish under refrigeration."
"The smoked berries make a very tasty dessert served with ice cream or sher-
bet." ...the same section also tells about smoked nuts, eggs, and garlic
bread.

6.7 [What do I need to know about smoking a fish?]

from Doug Smart, ...
This isn't a recipe, but it is good information and does offer something on
the strength of the brine:

Pacific Northwest Cooperative Extension publication PNW 238 advises the fol-
lowing (somewhat paraphrased) for safety in smoking fish:

- Fish must be heated to 160 F internal temp and held there for at least
  30 minutes during the smoking process.
- Fish must be brined long enough to absorb adequate salt for preservation.
  A brine solution containing 1 part salt to 7 parts water by volume for 1
  hour will usually suffice.
- Oily fish such as salmon, steelhead, shad, and smelt take longer to absorb
  brine, but tend to absorb smoke faster.
- Fish should be air dried before smoking for better smoke absorption and to
  minimize the chance of spoiling during smoking.
- It is best to smoke at a low temp for 3-5 hours before elevating to the
  160 F cooking temp. This helps eliminate "curd" formation as juices boil
  out. To avoid spoilage during smoking, the magic 160 F temp should be
  reached within 6-8 hours.
- Commercial smoked products must meet an FDA requirement of at least 3 1/2%
  water phase salt after smoking. Since most home smokers cannot make that
  measurement, refrigeration is essential for safe storage of home-smoked
  fish.
- Use only hardwoods for smoking. Maple, oak, alder, hickory, birch and
  fruit woods are recommended. DO NOT USE WOODS FROM CONIFERS.

6.7.1  [Smoked salmon]

From Brian Bigler ...
I recently responded to a thread concerning oily versus non-oily fish by
listing my recipe for smoked salmon.  I figured it may be of use to others on
this newsgroup, so I'm posting this to the group.  I hope to hear from some
of you who have improvements on this, but be advised, this recipe has received
rave reviews from my colleagues in the salmon business:

First of all, the smoker you use will greatly effect the final product.  I'm
not familiar with all the various brands, but the hobbyist smokers that I've
seen tend to be small, for the sake of shipping, and not really practical for
the performance I need.  I like to use cool smoking for cheeses, as well as
warmer smoking for salmon or trout.  I'll describe my ideal smoker at the end
of this. [I put a copy of this under equipment sources--LEB]

                        SMOKED FISH
I use the following for at least two-six pound fish

Brine:
1 gal                   water (at least a gallon, I use a couple)
1/2 lb (at least)       pickling salt
1/4 lb (at least)       brown sugar
3-4 tbs                 pickling spice
2-3 tbs                 paprika

Put the water on to boil, adding the entire 1/2 lb of salt, stir until salt
is dissolved.  Add sugar and stir.  Add the pickling spice and paprika.  You
may not be able to get the sugar to dissolve, but if you can, add more salt.

Irrespective of the amount of water, you want to achieve a super-saturated
saline solution with the salt and sugar.  The mixture will be super-saturated
when you have salt granules on the bottom of the pot at a boil.  Speaking to
details, the sugar is absorbed by the meat much slower than the salt.  I've
used half salt/half sugar mixtures with great success, but the amount I re-
commend here will allow you to reach the point of super-saturation and keep
the salt content down.

Boil the mixture (covered) for five or so minutes, and either set it aside to
cool, or put it in a sink of cold water (change the sink water several times
as it gets hot).

I cut my fish in fillets and then in pieces about two to three inches wide.
Brine the pieces for 3.5 to 5.0 minutes, depending upon thickness.  Timing is
important, don't brine longer than 5 minutes, no matter the thickness of the
meat.  This brine time imparts salt/sugar/pickling spice flavors to the outer
tissues, that then diffuse through the meat as it dries.  I've tried the pro-
ducts of people who leave the meat in brine for so long all you taste is
salt.  Don't make that mistake, too little salt is MUCH better than too much.

Take the pieces from the brine and place on a paper towel-covered board.
Allow to dry at least until a pelicle (hard outer surface) has formed.  This
could take up to two days if the weather is wet, a lot less if you put it in
the sunshine.  I like to dry mine for a long time to attain a chewy texture,
but you at least want the excess moisture to evaporate off.

Smoke the pieces, skin side up, alternating the ones on the lower racks with
those on the upper racks between chip loads.

If your smoker is warm, the paprika will cause the meat to darken without
your having to smoke the heck out of it.  Too many hobbyists impart a creo-
sote flavor to their meat in the attempt to make it LOOK like it's smoked.
Paprika is a great way to make it look really well-smoked without having to
leave it in too long.  If your smoker is cool, the cooking will turn it dark.

Remove the pieces to a cookie sheet and place in an oven that has been heated
to 350 degrees.  Put the cookie sheets in the oven, close the door, and turn
off the oven.  Leave the smoked meat in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or
until you can see that it's cooked.

I vacuum pack mine, one to three pieces at a time, right out of the oven
while it's still hot.  At the least, use Freezer Bags to store your fish.
I've had success with Freezer bags by closing the ziplock to one end and
sucking out the air to mimic the vacuum sealer.  Vacuum packing assures
that the salt/sugar/pickling spice flavors will be diffused through the meat.

I hate to have to freeze mine, but I do anyway out of necessity.  My vacuum
packages will stay fresh if I refrigerate, but freezing makes certain.


6.7.2 [Lox, Nova Lox, and Gravlax]

1. from Ray Goddard :
Gravlaks(Norway)- buried or grave fish, for a modern version:

Take a 6-7 lb salmon, 1 tablespoon brandy, 3/4 oz sugar, 1 1/2 oz salt, pep-
per, fresh dill.

Clean and wipe out fish (do not wash), fillet, sprinkle with brandy.  Mix
sugar, salt and pepper and sprinkle over fish.  Put one fillet skin down on
plate, chop dill and spread it over, place other fillet on top skin side up.
Cover with foil and place board on top and a weight (1lb) on top of that.
Put in cool place 3 - 4 degrees C.  Turn fillets twice a day and pour liquid
back onto fillets.  Remove weights after two days.  Ready in three to four
days. Serve cut in thin slices with more pepper and chopped dill, accompany
with rye bread and butter.

By way of Leah Smith:
Lox comes from the German word "lachs," which means salmon, and came here
with German-Jewish immigrants.  Note that true lox is not smoked, merely
brined, although the smoked salmon called Nova is often incorrectly referred
to as lox.  The name Nova comes from Nova Scotia, which is where that type of
cold-smoked salmon first came from.  Old-fashioned Jewish lox is saltier and
oilier than Nova.

Here's a recipe:
1 - qty of VERY fresh, VERY fatty (with whole skin) salmon
1 - large earthenware crock (or wooden keg) Kosher Salts (or rock salt)
Qty of clear flavorless oil comparable to the qty of salmon

- Skin the salmon keeping the skin as whole as possible.
- Cut the salmon meat into thin slices.
- Within the crock, (or keg), lay down a layer of salt to cover evenly.
- Place one side of the salmon skin scale side up flat onto the salt layer.
- Drizzle the oil lightly over the skin until shiny.
- Lay one salmon slice atop the oiled skin.
- Drizzle the oil lightly over the salmon slice until shiny.
- Layer the salts thinly atop the salmon slice to cover.
- Repeat the layers as above alternating salt, salmon, oil for all remaining
  slices.
- Before adding the final layer of salts, lay the other side of the skin
  scale side up atop the oiled salmon.
- Drizzle with oil until shiny.
- Layer salts atop the final layer of skin to cover.
- Cover entire crock (or keg) with multiple layers (3-4) of plastic wrap.
- Weigh down the top of the sealed crock (or keg) with heavy stones.
- Store in a cool place 2 weeks prior to usage.
- Eat when ready!~

NOTE: This will keep almost indefinitely, but refrigeration is
recommended.


Alitak Pickled Salmon 
>From  Brian Bigler :

Alitak is not an incorporated town, although many people can claim it as a
birthplace.  It's the location of a salmon cannery on the southern shores of
Kodiak Island (Gulf of Alaska) that was first established around the turn of
the century.  The following recipe was actually developed years ago by one
of the many fishermen hired by the cannery to harvest and deliver fish.

This recipe has become the standard for Wards Cove Packing Company, where I
have retained it and pass it to you.

                ALITAK PICKLED SALMON RECIPE
Fillet salmon (sockeye works best) and remove skin, cut into bite sized
pieces.  For one batch of the pickling mixture listed below, you'll need
three quarts of fish pieces (one fish) and three sliced onions.  This will
make 10-12 pints of pickled salmon.

Soak salmon pieces in a stainless steel, plastic, wood, or crockery pot for
8-12 hours in a mixture of half salt and half water.  Refrigerate and turn
the mixture with your hands or a soft spatula every few hours.  When brining
is complete, gently rinse for one hour, changing the cold water three times.
Air dry about 1 hour to let pieces firm up and a slight glazing will
form.

Pickling Mixture:
        8 cups white vinegar
        3 cups white sugar
        1 cup brown sugar
        7 Tbsp pickling spices

Mix all the above ingredients in a large stainless pot and boil for 15-30
minutes, stirring frequently.  Let cool to room temperature, placing the pot
in cold water or refrigerating if necessary.  Mixture must be cool when
poured over fish.

Slice three medium-large white onions thin and layer fish pieces and onion
slices in pint jars.  After each layer or two, add pickling mixture.  Stir
the pot of pickling mixture before dipping out a portion to insure spices
are evenly distributed when mixture is spooned into jars.  Fill jars and
seal using fresh lids.  Refrigerate and turn jars upside down for a day or
two during the first week.

Tastes best about two weeks after pickling, and at Alitak it's gone in one
day!


6.7.3.  Many Salmon and Trout Recipes - http://www.dejanews.com 
        search for "Salmon and Trout" in rec.food.preserving archive.




7. POTTING 


7.1 [What is potting anyway?]

Potting generally involves preserving food (meat, cheese) by smothering it
in a layer of oil or fat, much like paraffin wax is used to seal up a jar of
jam or jelly.  This method of preserving food is not for amateurs, or for
folks who have to watch their fat intake.

7.2  [How do I render lard?  Which pieces of pork fat are used?]

from Imogen .
Hi Jon, nothing simpler than making lard!  The fresh fat from under the skin
should be passed through a meat grinder. Your butcher will do this when you
have your meat cut. Take small portions and heat them in a large, shallow
pot. Safety is very important here!

1. Keep a tightfitting lid handy in case the fat catches fire.
2. Use a stainless steel pot, if you have one. They are easiest to clean
   later.
3. Use a wooden scraper to constantly loosen the fat from the bottom of the
   pot. Plastic one's are no good as they will melt.
4. Keep a metal ladle and WARM, HEATPROOF jars handy to fill as the lard
   dissolves.
5. Continuously remove liquid lard as it becomes available.
6. Try to push the raw fat under, so it can dissolve versus the rest spitting
   all over the place, while it starts to roast.
7. When all your fat is crisp and your lard out, remove pot from the hot
   element immediately.
8. Never try to refill your pot. ALWAYS do one batch at a time!
9. If you want to use the fried fat later, freeze it in small portions. It is
   very greasy.  Little portions go well though in spaghetti sauce for exam-
   plea.
10.You should either pressure-can your lard or simply freeze it.

[In answer to pressure canning it, also from Imogen...]
When I pressure-can lard, I use the hot-pack method. The temperature of the
lard should have at least 170 degrees Fahrenheit, when you seal the jars with
new lids coming directly from a pot of boiling water.  Always try to fill the
jars as full as possible. You only fill as many jars at a time, as your pres-
sure cooker will hold. I use the remainder of this batch of lard for freezing.
That way, I don't have to reheat it.

As for time and pressure that I use, 120 mins. at 10 lbs (70 kpa).  The above
mentioned information are based on what I have read in several books on the
subject of pressure-canning procedures for meat.  They all seem to agree on
these figures.  Nobody expressively mentions lard in their recipes though.
Most have recipes for pork cuts of various sorts with the addition of either
broth or lard.  I want to mention, that I, for my part, never sell canned
lard, only the freezer variety.

Besides for cooking purposes it tastes well as breadspread on Pumpernickel
with cheese or just plain with a dash of salt.

11.Good luck and be careful. This advice comes to you from a porkfarmer!
12.NEVER leave the hot grease on the stove out of your sight!

Hope I didn't sound like a preacher, but over the decades that I have been
doing this, I have seen too much go wrong. Besides some nasty little burns
from spitting grease I have so far always been lucky.

From: mboddy@peg.apc.org
Subject: Re: Help with lard making???

No doubt you've been flooded with advice, but I might just as well have a go.
Your request has brought back many pleasant memories.  Rendering lard was the
first cooking operation I can remember doing as a child. Watching the lard on
the fuel stove, the bubble off of the water, and the rise of the cracklings.

The best lard is made from the leaf and kidney fat which is stripped from
inside the carcass.  Trimmings left from cutting are also suitable.  You
won't get a huge amount from baconers.  In large, older pigs, backfatters,
you can also use the excessive fat on the back.

The fat from the mesentery or caul (round the stomach), and the fat round
the gut (ruffle fat) should be kept separate.  The lard rendered from this
is darker in colour than other lard and can often have an unpleasant odour.
Makes good soap.

In any case, do not render the caul.  Use pieces of caul to wrap up sausage
meat and suchlike for slow frying or baking--an experience in itself, and
rare these days.

In preparing the best fat for rendering, remove all skin and traces of

muscle meat.  Muscle will cause an unpleasant flavour in the lard, if burned
during rendering.

To remove the skin from the back fat, etc., cut the fat into 25 mm (inch-
wide) strips.  Lay the strips on a table, skin side down.  At one end of
each strip, make a cut in the fat to the skin and pull the skin between the
knife held flat and the table.  Then cut the fat into 25 mm (one inch)
cubes, or put it through a coarse mincer before putting it in the vessel
for rendering.  We find the mincing method well worth while.  Cutting top
quality back-fat from a good pig into cubes is a bastard.

You can render in a kettle or other vessel over a slow fire, or in a shal-
low dish in the oven.  We much prefer the slow fire method--it is more
personal and interesting to do.  And you can control it.

We often use an electric frypan, so that we can regulate the heat easily.
One frypan doesn't hold much, so we do it in batches, or borrow a pan or
two.  If using a stove, set the pan at the back as the heat gradually rises,
then move the pan to the hot-spot.  But watch it!   Overheated lard tastes
peculiar and often darkens in colour.

Always add a little water to prevent burning before the fat melts.  The
water will boil off, and when it has boiled off, the lard is ready.

Bring fat and water up to heat gradually.  Stir frequently and skim off any
cracklings (little cooked fragments of this and that) as they rise to the
top.  Press out the lard that remains in the cracklings.  Cracklings are
delicious, with a dash of salt, and can also be used in baking.

If you have a frying thermometer, you will find the optimum temperature to
render the lard is about 120 Celsius (about 255 Fahrenheit), but watch care-
fully and don't push it.  The cracklings will come to the surface, the water
will bubble off, any cracklings left in the lard will sink again.  The lard
is ready.  Strain the melted lard through clean cheesecloth into jars or
other containers for storage.  Cool quickly in order to obtain the best
texture.  We like to stir or whip the setting lard gently.  Lard can become
grainy as it sets.  Stirring or whipping gently stops this.  I also follow
my grandmother and put a fresh sage leaf in each container.

Lard can be stored in the freezer for at least six months and probably
longer without becoming rancid. If you wrap the lard, or seal the lard in
its container so that no air gets to it, it will keep for a long, long time
in the fridge as well.

Do you want uses of lard?  It is the baker's friend.  Makes excellent oint-
ments (we used to make calendula).  Fries potatoes.  Cooked meat and solid
meat sausages can be stored in lard.  Melt lard in pot, put in meat, pour in
more lard until meat is sealed off from air.  Melt it again gently to get
meat out and make sure the rest is still sealed off with lard.  Much like
the confits of duck and goose, done this way in the goose or duck fat.

[More on this technique below--LEB]
Older recipe books, before people became panicky and paranoid about
fat, are full of recipes using lard.  The difference between your own rendered
lard (done slowly!) and supermarket lard is marked.  Home-made lard,
stirred as it cools, is of a soft, creamy texture and always used to fill me
with
wonder.

Other bits from the pig's inside are worth having--spleen, testicles, kidneys,
etc.  In our time, we have cleaned the guts to make runners
for the sausages, but it's a hell of a job.  Any questions?
----

7.3 [Mini FAQ on Meat Potting]

From: Al Durtschi :
Mini FAQ on Meat Potting

Before refrigeration changed everything here in Southern Alberta, meat
potting was a more prevalent way of preserving meat than either salt curing
or drying.  In my mind, 'meat potting' was an accident waiting for a place
to happen, but under the appropriate circumstances it could have a place
again.

7.4 [ This is how we used to do it... ]
As told by Gorden Schaufert (born 1942)

Meat potting is preserving meat in its own grease in a large crock pot.
This is how we did it.  Early in the morning Dad killed a pig and started
cutting it up.  He gave the pieces to Mom who had the wood stove in the
kitchen hot and ready to cook.  She started frying the pork and prepared the
crock pot.  This pot was about 18 inches in diameter and 24 inches deep.
Mother washed it, and got it just as clean as she could get it.  As the pork
fried, it gave off lots of grease.  She took some of this very hot grease
and poured it into the bottom of the crock, sealing and sterilizing the
bottom.  Then she put the meat she had just finished cooking down onto this
grease.  As she continued to cook throughout the day she added the well
fried meat and covered it with the hot fat that came from the cooking
process.  By the evening the pig was all fried up and in the pot, covered
over with a nice layer of lard that had hardened.  As the days passed by, we
dug down into the lard to where the meat was, pulled out what we needed, and
put it in the frying pan.  We cooked it good a second time to kill any
bacteria that could have possibly gotten into it.  Doing this not only
re-sterilized the meat for eating, but melted off all the excess fat.  The
meat was taken out of the pan and the fat was poured back into the pot to
seal up the hole we had just made getting the meat out.

Frequently Asked Questions:

7.5  [ How long can pork be preserved in this way? ]

In the Summer time we could expect it to last about six weeks.  Of course in
the Winter it would last much longer.  When it went bad there was no question
about it, as it really started to stink. (In my research for this subject, I
talked with many old timers who never had any meat go bad through many years
of potting.)

7.6 [ How much did you have to cook it to be sure it was cooked enough? ]

We cooked it until all the red was gone, then cooked it some more.  If there
was even one piece put in the barrel partially cooked it could have easily
destroyed the meat in the whole barrel. (Leslie Basel ,
the custodian of the FAQs for rec.food.preserving, suggests the meat be
cooked to 240 degrees F and the fat that is poured in after it be even
hotter.)

7.7  [ What other meats can be preserved in this way? ] 

Really, you can preserve any type of meat.  But if a low fat type of meat is
potted, there must be an adequate supply of extra fat to cover the meat as
it is cooked and placed in the pot.  (Several old timers talked about potting
beef.  But mostly it was used for pork as it furnished it's own fat.)

7.8 [ Could meat be salt cured and then potted? ]

Yes, and this was done by some families.  It is hard to say how long this
extended the shelf life of the meat in the pot.


7.9 [ What can I do to enhance my chances of potting safely? ]

Insure your crock pot is clean and sanitized before you start.  Be sure the
grease you pour into the crock is always nice and hot as well as the meat.
Keep everything as clean as possible.  Don't use the came cooking utensil to
take the meat out of the pan as you used to turn or handle the raw meat.
Leave the utensil you use to move the meat from the pan into the pot in the
frying pan where it can stay hot and therefore sterilized.  Do not touch the
cooked meat with anything except the cooking utensil you transfer the meat
from the pan to the pot with.  When putting meat into the crock, don't touch
the sides of the crock pot and don't touch the meat.  Cover the crock with a
lid when not putting meat or fat into it.  Remember, your success depends
entirely on insuring that not one cell of bacteria is permitted to remain
alive in the pot.  And on using the meat, schedule things out so you plan on
using the last of the meat within 6 weeks.  (This was not a problem for the
early folks as they often had 10 or more children.)

7.10 [ Should I give this a try to gain experience in this type of meat
preserving?]

Potting is no longer done for good reason.  It's just not an approved way of
preserving meat, considering our present technology.  This information is
given here for three reasons:

          a.  Save the skill from being lost in a rapidly changing world.
(There are fewer old timers every day.)
          b.  Help people realize it is an option (in very hard times).
          c.  Preserve our heritage. [Potted pork (rilletes) is a common
technique in France, Belgium, and Germany; in the UK, potted beef and
shrimps potted in butter are delicacies.  And if you substitute shred-
ded meat of duck or goose, potted in its own fat, you have a
confit.--LEB]

Should you want to give it a try, go ahead.  If you follow these instructions
you will probably have good luck.  Remember when you re-heat your meat, cook
it good a second time to kill any bacteria that might have gotten into it.
If it starts to smell bad, don't mess around with it, but throw it away.
Finally, always pull your potted meat out with a very clean utensil, not
your fingers.

7.11  [ A last comment about "scraping the bottom of the barrel"]

The term 'scraping the bottom of the barrel' came from potting meat.  By the
time the old timers got to the bottom of the pot, the quality of the meat
was often very questionable.  And hence the term means even today 'using
something rather undesirable because it is all there is.' (Ref: Leslie E.
Basel)




8. Making Vinegar  

8.1  [How do I make vinegar from wine?]

As the French vintners used to say, God loves to make vinegar...
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 1995 13:35:18 -0400
From: EWhiteVHP@aol.com
To: london@sunSITE.unc.edu
Subject: FAQ Making Vinegar

These directions show how to make vinegar at home using readily available
ingredients and supplies.
------------------
In the late 1800s chemists learned to make acetic acid. Manufacturers added
water to reduce its strength to 5%, colored it and sold it as vinegar.
Imitation vinegar is still manufactured and by law the label must state that
it is diluted acetic acid. Diluted acetic acid is inexpensive and lacks the
vitamins, minerals and esters found in fermented vinegar; its flavor and
aroma are also inferior.

It takes good alcohol (wine or beer) to make fermented vinegar. The
hit-or-miss method of making vinegar by allowing sugar and water to ferment
is not wise. The fermentation of sugar to alcohol by wild yeast is followed
by a conversion of the alcohol to acetic acid by wild bacteria.  Chances of
failure or undesirable tastes and aromas are high. Control the process by
using great care in cleanliness and introducing chosen yeast and bacteria to
obtain quality vinegar every time.

General Directions
Winemaking suppliers list acetobacter as "mother" or vinegar culture.  These
cultures convert alcohol to acetic acid (vinegar). Most suppliers sell red
and white wine vinegar cultures. Some sell cider, malt and mead cultures as
well. Any culture may be combined with any type alcohol to produce vinegar.

Vinegar should contain at least 5% acid as required for preserving or
pickling. Specialty vinegar contains acid as high as 7%. Beer containing 5.5%
alcohol will yield about 5% acid. Wine containing 11 to 12% alcohol must be
diluted to 5.5 to 7% alcohol before using it to make vinegar.

Acid test kits, sold by winemaking suppliers, are used to determine the
acidity of vinegar. Acid tests are easy to perform and instructions come with
the kit.

Sanitize
Sanitize utensils and containers that will touch the vinegar by soaking them
for 20 minutes in a solution of 2 tablespoons chlorine laundry bleach to 1
gallon water. Rinse everything well with hot tap water. Hot tap water is
relatively sterile after being held at high temperatures for several hours in
the hot water heating tank.

Vinegar Method I
3 measures beer, ale or vinegar stock (5.5 to 7% alcohol)
1 measure vinegar culture with active bacteria

Directions
Vinegar leaches molecules from iron and aluminum. Use sanitized glass,
enamel, stainless steel or stoneware containers less than two-thirds full.
Cover the container with a cloth or stopper it with cotton to keep insects
out, while allowing air to freely reach the stock. Store the mixture in a
dark place.

Temperatures:
Temperatures between 80 and 85 degrees are ideal. Low or fluctuating
temperatures slow the process. At 75 to 85 degrees F, it will take 6 to 8
weeks for conversion. At 85 to 90 degrees F, it can take 4 to 6 weeks for
conversion. Temperatures over 95 degrees F slow conversion; above 140
degrees F, the bacteria die.

An acetic film called "mother" will form. This smooth, leathery, grayish film
becomes quite thick and heavy. It should not be disturbed. It often becomes
heavy enough to fall and is succeeded by another formation. If the mother
falls, remove and discard it. An acid test will indicate when all of the
alcohol is converted to vinegar. Part of the vinegar may be withdrawn and
pasteurized. The remaining unpasteurized vinegar may be used as a culture to
start another batch. Living bacteria are in the liquid. A piece of the mother
is not necessary to start a new batch.

Add beer or diluted wine to the culture every 4 to 8 weeks, depending on the
temperature maintained and when most of the alcohol is converted to vinegar.
Adding more alcohol to the culture keeps it alive, prevents spoilage and
increases the quality of vinegar. If unpasteurized vinegar is exposed to
oxygen without alcohol present, bacteria can convert the vinegar to carbon
dioxide and water.

Vinegar Method II
2 measures dry wine (11 to 12% alcohol)
1 measure water (boiled 15 minutes and allowed to cool)
1 measure vinegar culture with active bacteria
Follow the directions in Method I. Purchased wine can be used, but some
commercial wines contain sulfites or preservatives that could kill the
vinegar bacteria.

Vinegar Method III
(For winemakers only)
Wine containing less than 10% alcohol is subject to spoilage. This formula to
make 7% alcohol is an ideal vinegar stock. Follow good winemaking procedures.
When the fermentation is complete (specific gravity 1.000 or below) this
low-alcohol wine can be converted to vinegar as directed in Method I.

1 1/2 pounds weight honey (or any sugar source to obtain a specific gravity
of 1.050)
2 teaspoons yeast nutrient or energizer
4 teaspoons acid blend (7.5 ppt tartaric acid with an acid test kit)
1/4 teaspoon tannin
wine yeast
add water to equal 1 gallon

Homemade wine
Dry wine containing 11 to 12% alcohol can be diluted after fermentation
(specific gravity 1.000 or below). It's important that the wine contain no
excess sugar. Excess sugar increases the chance of spoilage and formation of
a slime-like substance in the vinegar. The wine does not have to be clear as
this is accomplished when the vinegar ages. At the last racking, do not add
campden tablets or potassium sorbate. Dilute the mead as directed in Method
II and follow the directions in Method I.

Preserving vinegar
To preserve vinegar, add 3 campden tablets per gallon of vinegar -or-
Heat the vinegar to 155 degrees F and hold the temperature for 30 minutes.
After pasteurizing vinegar add one tablespoon 80-proof vodka to each gallon
and age it. If desired to enhance the bouquet, up to one cup oak or beech
chips may also be added.

Pasteurized or sulphited vinegar can no longer produce more vinegar.
Pasteurizing kills vinegar bacteria and prevents the formation of "mother"
which could lead to spoilage. Pasteurized vinegar keeps indefinitely when
tightly capped and stored in a dark place at room temperature.  Temperatures
above 160 degrees F cause a loss of acidity, flavor and aroma.

Aging vinegar
Vinegar has a strong, sharp bite when first made. It becomes mellow when
aged. The esters formed during aging, like those in wine, develop after a
period of six months or more when stored at a cool, steady temperature (50 to
60 degrees F is ideal). This undisturbed rest also allows suspended solids to
fall, making the vinegar clear and bright. Siphon the clear, aged vinegar off
the deposit of solids into sanitized bottles. Introduce as little oxygen as
possible. Winemaking suppliers sell attractive vinegar bottles. Use corks or
plastic caps to avoid vinegar contact with metal. If corks are used, the
necks of the vinegar bottles should be dipped several times into melted wax
to form an air-tight seal. The quality of vinegar improves for up to two
years and then gradually declines. Fermented vinegar can be sold without the
special permits or licenses required for alcoholic beverages. It costs the
same as a good bottle of wine.
----------------------
This article is taken from "Super Formulas, Arts and Crafts: How to make more
than 360 useful products that contain honey and beeswax"  Copyright 1993
Elaine C. White. All rights reserved. ISBN 0-963-7539-7-5. This book is
available by mail. Contact EWhiteVHP@aol.com for more information, or
contact: Valley Hills Press, 1864 Ridgeland Drive, Starkville MS 39759 USA.
In the US telephone 1-800-323-7102; other countries call 601-323-7100.
----

8.1.2  [So, does anyone know how sour grapes are converted to verjuice?]

>From Joyce Miller :
This isn't the Roman or medieval method, but it is the Southwestern French
method.  I haven't tried this recipe out.  When I was still thinking about it
I found bottled verjuice by Roland.  This recipe is from Paula Wolfert's _The
Cooking of South-West France_.  Let us know how this works out.

"...The grapes - the bourdelois, the gressois, and the farineau - are no
longer grown.  Some types can make the process a little tricky. If the grapes
are picked too ripe, their liquor will be too watery; if too green, the 
verjus will not taste good.  We want grapes in the middle of their ripening,
whose juice can be allowed to ferment slightly.

To make verjus, choose the sourest green grapes available.  Holding on to the
thick stem, dip them in bunches into boiling water for three seconds to kill
the yeasts.  Remove at once and drain on a towel.  Roll the bunches, one by
one, in the towel while removing the grapes from the stems.  Discard any
blemished grapes.  When dry, place grapes in the workbowl of a food processor
and process 10 seconds; then strain, pressing down on them to extract all the
juice.  Let stand for 10 minutes, then ladle juice into a sieve lined with a
damp cheesecloth and strain again.  Use at once, or freeze in plastic ice
cube trays.  Store the cubes in a plastic bag in the freezer.  Use frozen or
immediately upon defrosting for maximum flavor.  Keeps 3 months.
Some people add alcohol to their verjus along with vinegar & sugar so it
will keep, but this distorts the flavor.  Another way to obtain the sour
taste of verjus is to add a pinch of tartaric acid, which one can find at
a wine-making shop.  Don't go over 2 pinches, it is really strong."

8.1.3  [How do I make flavored vinegars?]

I tend to want to make very powerfully flavored vinegars because you can
always dilute, so I add a packed cup of herb/chile/fruit to 2-3 cup of
vinegar.  For delicate flavors such as delicate herbs and fruit, white wine
vinegars, rice wine vinegar, or champagne vinegar are unobtrusive.  Rice wine
vinegar is probably the cheapest of those choices.  For strong flavored
herbs, chiles, and most berries (e.g. blackberries--strawberries are too
delicate), any vinegar will do.  Combine, let sit for at least two weeks,
depending how strong you want the flavor, then filter out the solids.  A
little heat, using either the stove or the sun is helpful to extract more
flavor.

[Check out the herb flavored vinegar recipes in Henriette Kresses' herb FAQ
at http://sunsite.unc.edu/herbmed/culiherb.html]

8.1.4  [How do I make flavored oils?]

Okay.  Flavoring oils are a bit trickier than vinegars, because like potting,
the oil creates an anaerobic situation.  Its quite possible to culture _C.
botulinum_ in this way.

[Check out the herb flavored oil recipes in Henriette Kresses' herb FAQ at
http://sunsite.unc.edu/herbmed/culiherb.html]

Oh yes, one last thing.  I prefer to label my bottles, instead of putting a
token sprig of whatever in.  The token sprig is a spot for spoilers to grow,
at least in my hands :).

8.1.5  [Garlic (chiles, herbs, dried tomatoes, etc.) in oil.  How safe is
it?  How can I make them safely?]

You can flavor oils with garlic, etc. within reason.  Frankly, garlic is
best preserved as dried heads in a garlic braid, not in a garlic and oil
paste.  It has been tragically shown that garlic and oil pastes, and by
extension garlic cloves in oil, provide a good anaerobic medium, perfect for
_Clostridum botulinum_ to develop.  You want to pickle garlic and other
root vegetable flavorings in some sort of acid, either vinegar or citric
acid.  Check out the botulism questions in Section 5 for more information.

Here's another solution for garlic in oil flavoring..

From: kallisti@merle.acns.nwu.edu (Patrick Grealish)
Subject: Re: Garlic and spices in oil

I have been making garlic olive oil for a few years now.  After I heard of
the possible contamination troubles I didn't like the idea of using vinegar,
so I, instead, roast my garlic which makes IMO an even better tasting oil.
I roast a whole head of garlic double wrapped in aluminum foil for about 2
hours @ 250 F.  Then squeeze out the garlic cloves into the oil. ~300 ml per
one head of garlic.  This may be too strong (or weak) depending on your like
of garlic.  Also I've tried adding dried herbs (rosemary, thyme and oregano)
to the garlicked oil. It is very good. I hope this is helpful.

Cordials
From: Daisy the gardener
To: lebasel

>From book: MAKING LIQUEURS AT HOME  Complied by Carmen Patrick,

About Liqueurs:
The history in making liqueurs goes back almost 2,000 years.  It was not until
the Middle Ages through, that liqueurs came into great use, developed by the
alchemists, monks and sorcerers of that period.  Monks, whose monastery
gardens provided the raw materials, were the chief experimenters.  The first
liqueurs were used as medicines and aphrodisiacs.  The medicinal qualities of
some liqueurs are well established, especially those made from coriander,
caraway seeds and various roots and herbs.

How Liqueurs Are Made:
About the only thing easier then making liqueurs is drinking them.  They
require no special equipment, skill or culinary talent - just a bit of
patience.  Liqueurs are generally divided into two categories; those made
with plants and those made with fruit.  Although there are various methods
for making liqueurs, this book (in your case these typed pages I'm sending
you) only gives recipes for two methods; "by scratch" using the steeping
method, and with "extracts" - the addition of the flavor extract.

To steep, all you do is put the various ingredients in an alcohol base for a
specific period of time.  Sweeteners are added for palatability.  After this
period, the liqueurs are filtered until clear, bottled, and then set aside to
mature before serving.  Instructions for making these scratch liqueurs are
included with each individual recipe.

The Extract Recipes simply involve adding the flavoring extract to the spirit.
The extracts that I have found to work extremely well, and are used here, are
made by the T. Noirot firm of Nancy, France.  By using extracts, which can be
found in wine-making supply shops, the liqueurs can be served the same day
they are made.   Of course, like all liqueurs, these also improve with age.

Extract liqueurs are easily made.  All you do is make a simple syrup
of 2 parts water to 1 part sugar.   Add the Glucose Solids [????], also
available in wine making shops, to this mixture and boil slowly until dissolved.
When this cools, add the flavoring and spirit.  To mix the ingredients more

thoroughly, blend them in a blender for a short time.  Then bottle the liqueur,
let settle and enjoy!

In making your own liqueurs, you can determine the strength wanted by using a
40, 80 or 100 proof spirit.  The sweetness, flavor and color can be adjusted
to your taste.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Equipment Needed:  Most if not all of the equipment for making these liqueurs
can be found in your own kitchen.   These items include:

- a small saucepan
- a blender
- cheesecloth or cloth
- tight sealing glass jars
- measuring utensils - cups, spoons etc.
- paper filters (I use coffee filters that work just as well as the special
  filters you can buy at the winemaking shops.)
- a colander or strainer
- a funnel

GENERAL HINTS:
- It is best to use fresh fruits and vegetables, washing them well.
- Make sure the jars and bottles are clean and sterilized.
- Dissolve the sugar in boiling water unless otherwise stated.
- Make sure the jar is always tightly closed, or the bottle firmly
corked.
- Label the jar with the name and date.
- Store all liqueurs in a cool place away from bright light.
- For those liqueurs, which are stored for several months, it is wise to
  seal the lids with wax.

8.1.5.1 [Fruit cordials]

This is a recipe that I got from a non-net person in Seattle.  I've had some
of his blackberry cordial, and it was spectacular.  He claimed that it was
the easiest recipe that you could ever imagine, and I'd have to agree.  He
has doubled it, halved, tripled it, and suspects that it would work with
any kind of fruit, so try it!  LEB.

Fruit cordial recipe:
1/3 part cleaned and drained fruit, 1/3 part granulated sugar, 1/3 part
vodka.
Crush the fruit, mix all ingredients together.  Store for 2 weeks covered,
in the dark.  Strain.  Pour into sterilized bottles.  Cork.  Drink.

Even the fruit dregs are great over ice cream.

8.1.5.2 [fruit cordial recipes ]

From: tamale@primenet.com (Teresa Bruckner)
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking
Subject: Re: HOMEMADE LIQUEURS

INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING FRUIT LIQUEUR
---------------------------------------
(Tested on raspberries, blackberries and a mix of both).

Start with fresh fruit.  Place cleaned fruit into a jar.  Add very strong
alcohol just so it barely covers all of the fruit.  I used double distilled
vodka (alcohol content probably about 55-65%). Beware though- Apparently
operating a still is VERY illegal ;-)

Let the covered jar sit for about a week and a half (it's covered so
the alcohol doesn't evaporate). Note that no fermentation takes place
here- all that happens is that the fruit soaks up the alcohol, and releases some
of its juices. Depending on the type of fruit the level of fluid may
decrease.  Once you've decided that the fruit has soaked in much of the alcohol
gently pour off the fluid so as not to blemish the fruit (try one now for a
taste experience :-). Call this (very strong) fluid rack #1.

During the following steps you probably should avoid blemishing the fruit if
at all possible.

Replace the fruit in the jar, but layer it with sugar.  How much sugar is a
bit difficult to say here.  I usually tried to do my best to cover almost all
of the fruit with _some_ sugar.  Cover the jar again.  What happens now is
that the sugar makes the fruit give off its alcohol and shrivel slightly.
In a couple of days the level of juice in the jar should reach almost the
top of the fruit.  This means it is time to pour it off again.  Call this
rack #2.

Now we repeat the layering with sugar step (getting rack#3, rack#4, etc)
until only a very small amount of juice is released. I have been told that
with cherries this can be kept up until only a tiny little bit of cherry
skin is surrounding the pit. Each rack is sweeter and sweeter.
With rasp[black]berries I got to rack #4 and then got bored waiting for
really small amounts of juice.  So I took the berries, threw them into a
cloth and twisted the hell out them to release the vestiges of alcohol and
juice.  This was rack#5.  The left over pulp can be used with ice-cream.

Note that rack#5 is entirely optional, four racks were plenty enough (but
why waste alcohol :-).  Now comes the fun part.  Invite several friends (I
used 5) and mix the different racks in various proportions and get some
feedback on how they taste (too sweet, too alcoholic, too dry, etc).  Don't
use too many friends or else you won't have any left after the tasting.  Now
you should know what proportions to mix the final product in.  Disposing of
juice _not_ used in the final mix is left as an exercise to the reader (I
had some sweet stuff left over and use it on ice cream).

Thoughts on the final mix:
In my case the final mix was very close to the ratio of rack#1: rack#2:
rack#3 etc. This was convenient because I got the maximum of liqueur with
minimal leftovers.

Afterword: After a visit to a friends house in Poland and a sampling of his
Cherry Liqueur (THE BEST liqueur I have EVER tasted)- I have decided to make
liqueur also. Here are the directions he gave me (for cherry liqueur):

Fill a Jar with cherries.  Add alcohol to cover all the cherries.  Let sit
for a week or so, by this time the cherries should have swelled and there
should be less liquid in the jar.  Pour off the liquid.

a)Layer the cherries with sugar and let sit another week.
b)Pour off resulting fluid.
c)Repeat steps a) and b) until the cherries are so small that they're
just basically the pit covered with a very thin skin.
Now mix all the batches that you poured off to suit your taste.  The
first is most bitter, the last is the sweetest.

8.1.6  [Brandied fruit, i.e. tutti-frutti.]

From: Teresa Bruckner :
I've not tried the following yet: { Exported from MasterCook Mac }

Bottomless Brandied Fruit Crock
mixed fruit:  peaches/ plums/ apricots/ berries/ cherries/ grapes.
brandy OR dark rum [vodka, Marsala, Madeira, and good sherry work
too--LEB]

* Use brandy or rum for this recipe, with ripe, unblemished fruit in season.
  Use a crock or jar with tight fitting lid.
1. Remove stems from fruit but leave fruit whole.  Peel large fruits such as
   peaches, apricots and plums.
2. Place fruit carefully into the container of your choice.  Fill the
   container completely but without packing the fruit to avoid bruising.
3. Add enough brandy or rum to completely cover fruit.  Close container
   tightly and store at room temperature.  Let stand at least 3 weeks before
   using; 4 weeks is even better.
4. As you use the fruit replenish with more fruit and cover with more brandy
   or rum.

* Use a variety of fruits and berries. Some suggestions are: peaches, plums,
apricots, grapes, blackberries, raspberries, cherries and nectarines.
[Another variant: sprinkle granulated sugar between the layers of fruit
before you pour the liquor.  Brown sugar might work particularly well with
rum, if you are using that.--LEB].

8.1.7  [Vanilla Extract]

Wes and Kelly Wyatt  write:
>I have just received 6 nice vanilla beans from a friend.  I would like to
>make vanilla extract with them.  What is my best approach?

>From Sylvia :
Here's the recipe I have for Vanilla Extract:
Place 6 long beans, split open and cut into pieces into 1 quart of good qual-
ity vodka.  Cap tightly and place in a cool dark place.  Leave for 1 month to
6 weeks, shaking the bottle occasionally.

Before using, sieve through a strainer lined with cheesecloth (or use a cof-
fee filter), rinse the bottle to remove residue, and pour back into the bot-
tle.  Add one whole vanilla bean and cap tightly until used.




9 ROOT CELLARING AND STORAGE OF STAPLES

9.1  [What do I *really* need to know about root cellaring?]


Root cellaring is one of the simplest acts of food preservation.  Many
vegetables, especially root crops, can be preserved in a root cellar, a dry
dark place, with temps held just above freezing.  In some climates, one can
even leave garden produce in place during the winter.  What you really need
to know are the precise conditions needed for optimal storage, and know what
cannot be stored next to what.  Also, your pile of produce needs to be care-
fully monitored.  Overripe fruits and vegetables produce ethylene which can
quickly age all of your produce.  (The scientific reason why one rotten
apple does what the old adage says it does.)


9.1.1  [How long to do stored items last?]

From: Dunross@dkeep.com (A. T. Hagan)
Newsgroups: misc.survivalism

(Situation 1)  Grains, beans, pasta (off the shelf) stored in airtight
plastic containers in a dark, dry environment at a temp of between 55 and
70 degrees.

In that temperature range and if they are kept DRY, in well sealed, air-
tight containers with no bugs included then your beans and whole grains
(excluding brown rice discussed elsewhere) then they ought to be good for
three to five years.  I'd assume three and rotate them out.  Use dessicant
to keep the atmosphere they're in dry.  I don't recommend keeping white
flour pasta for more than a year at the most under the above storage con-
ditions.

(Situation 2) Canned food (commercial-off the shelf) in airtight, waxed
cardboard boxes in the same environment as the above.

Recently discussed here, you might want to try to pick up the last week or
two's traffic from this newsgroup.  Cans are good about six months from time
of purchase.  Inspect the cans to be certain they're sound and inspect again
before opening to be certain nothing is bulging.  Cool and dry are the im-
portant conditions here.  I'm told that high acid foods are canned with a
different kind of liner in the can so they'll keep better, but I have no
hard information on that.

(Situation 3) MRE's in the same environment as the above.

I don't have a lot of personal experience with MRE's other than the fact that
I don't much care for the taste so I'll leave others to comment.


9.1.2  [Storage of grains and flours, possibly also of rice.]



9.1.3  The dry ice method....
From: Mick Kunstelj

One thing I was after was how long such grains as wheat/rice etc., last for.
Rice is an interesting alternative, as it is cheap, can be used for a lot of
dishes (not least making bread), and would appear to be quite hardy.  A
method that I use for storing is really suited to wheat and flour, but can
be applied to a number of other grains (rice) and foodstuffs.

I buy large drums (44 gallon drums or importers pickle container drums) but
any type of airtight drum will do.  Naturally, make sure that the drum is
clean and dry. (I use a bleach solution, not the least to remove the smell of
pickles... :-)  )

At the bottom of the container place a good layer of (rock?) salt, this will
over time remove any moisture from the container.  Then, dry ice wrapped in
newspaper is placed into the container, followed by some more layers of news-
paper, then the rice. (I keep the rice in the bags I bought them in)

The drums are closed but not completely sealed (see important note).  As the
dry ice (it's frozen carbon dioxide) melts, the gas expands to many times
its original size, forcing out the bulk of the original air.  After some
time, the dry ice will completely melt, and the container can be sealed.
Important note: If the dry ice has not completely melted, the sealed con-
tainer will contain a lot of pressure, and may bulge, causing a possibly
dangerous condition.  What a friend did in this situation was to punch a
small hole in the top of his metal 44 gallon drum, and the pressure abated.
He then arcwelded the small hole he'd created.

The carbon-dioxide atmosphere ensures that any little weavel/bug eggs that
may be in the grain will die once they hatch, instead of eating/multiplying
and giving you a nasty shock.  Remnant moisture within the container is ab-
sorbed into the salt.

I have been advised that wheat (in the husks) last much longer than flour,
but I have no idea how long rice lasts for (treated in this way or not...).
Thus - if you have any idea, I'd love to know!

9.1.4 The nitrogen gas method...
From: Richard De Castro , misc.survivalism

For Nitrogen packing, you need a tank of nitrogen with a regulator, a hose,
and a small diameter pipe (about 1/4 inch or so).  The pipe's attached to
the hose, and you fill the bucket up with grain.  Position the pipe in the
grain (as far down as you can), and then get the bucket lid into position.
Give the bucket a shot of nitrogen (3-5 seconds is plenty) and gently remove
the pipe, while continuing to release the nitrogen.  Then, put the lid on.
You're all done.

Both of these techniques [N2 and CO2] should be done in a very well venti-
lated area.  I highly recommend doing it outdoors, since indoors the oxygen
in the room can be displaced by the carbon dioxide or the nitrogen gas, and
asphyxiate everyone.

From: David G. Allbee , misc.survivalism..
Nitrogen is available for home use.  Well at least it is here in Virginia.
Never got any but I called the local industrial gas distributor and was
given prices and bottle sizes in cubic feet.  BTW, I didn't ask if a bottle
rental contract was required but my brother in law, works for a industrial
supplier in North Carolina said no.

And from: David L. Paxton" , misc.survivalism.
I had experience with this once.  Helped a friend put away about 50, 5 gal-
lon buckets of wheat, oats, and corn.  We were using welding grade nitrogen.
I have heard that it is not recomended anymore, too much contamination pos-
sibility.  Now they say use medical grade nitro.  He never seemed to have
any problems but then he never lived completely off the stored grain for
any long period of time.

From: Tinpan :
[for a source of supplies]...you also need to contact Nitro-Pak:
Nitro-Pak/ 151 North Main Street/ Herber, UT 84032/  800-866-4876
These guys wrote the book on Nitrogen packed foods, and they also have an ex-
cellent supply of stuff you will find handy when storing foods.  Their prices
are quite reasonable too.

A concern about both techniques, expressed by Charles Scripter
, in misc.survivalism...

[...].  Someone else pointed out that this will allow Botulism toxin to
form (since the bacteria is anaerobic).  Wouldn't vacuum packed food have
the same tendency?...  And now I wonder a bit about some of the other inert
gas packaging as well.  Does anyone know exactly what conditions are re-
quired for Botulism to form?  (e.g. will it grow in N2?  How about CO2?  Or
will these atmospheres inhibit growth?)

Leslie Basel said:
Depends.  After providing a nice anaerobic condition, the one thing that _C.
botulinum_ needs is free water.  If you are storing flours, dried beans, rice,
sugar, dry staples, you shouldn't have any problem because there is no free
water to support bacterial growth.  If you are vacuum packing MREs, meats,
fresh vegetables, etc., then you probably should worry a bit about this.  I
don't have any info on atmospheres per se, just that N2 is probably not toxic
to _C. botulinum._.  This means that you shouldn't vacuum pack items willy-
nilly, but you'll have to cure meats, rub nitrates into the surface of the
meat, vacuum pack pickled items, or simply vacuum pack dehydrated fruits and
vegetables.



9.1.5 [Storing garlic.  Probably the most asked question in r.f.p.]

>From Carol Nelson :
After the garlic is harvested, it can be stored in mesh bags or slatted
crates or hung in braided ropes or bunches.  Any cool, well-ventilated place
will do for storage through the winter months.  In very cold areas, the
bulbs should be protected from freezing.  The ideal storage temperature for
garlic is 32-38F at less than 70% humidity.

All garlic placed in the freezer should be tightly wrapped.  Garlic
can be frozen in three ways:
(1). Chop or grind the garlic you want to freeze.  To use just grate or
break off the amount you need.
(2). Freeze the garlic unpeeled and remove cloves as you need them.
(3). Peel the cloves and puree them with oil in a blender using 2 parts oil
to 1 part garlic.  The puree will stay soft enough in the freezer to scrape
out amounts to use in sauteeing.

Peeled cloves may be submerged in wine and stored in the refrigerator.

The garlic can be used as long as there is no sign of mold or yeast growth
on the surface of the wine.  Both the garlic and wine may be used.

Garlic can be dried and made into garlic powder and garlic salt.  Select
only fresh firm cloves with no bruises.  Separate and peel the cloves.

Small cloves can be cut in half and large cloves should be cut in 1/4 inch
slices.  Dry at 140F for 2 to 3 hours or until garlic is crisp.  Grind

using a coffee grinder, or add salt and grind, depending if garlic powder
or garlic salt is desired.

Raw or cooked garlic and/or fresh herbs in oil may be STORED IN THE
REFRIGERATOR FOR NO LONGER THAN 3 WEEKS.

All this information comes from Oregon State University Extension bulletin
SP 50-701 (Herbs and vegetables in oil) and SP 50-645 (Preserving Garlic).
[There are also several preserving garlic recipes in Henriette Kresses'
herb FAQ.--LEB].

--

>From Ross Reid:

My wife and I are true garlic lovers and we grow several hundred feet
of row of various cultivars, both soft neck and hard neck varieties.
Plus, we have for years made garlic oil in the manner noted above.
However, during my surfing of various garlic sites on the web I came
across the following information and copied it for future reference.
Unfortunately, I neglected to make a note of the source.

<Quote>
BOTULISM WARNING

Regardless of its flavor potency, garlic is a low-acid vegetable. The
pH of a clove of garlic typically ranges from 5.3 to 6.3. As with all
low-acid vegetables, garlic will support the growth and subsequent
toxin production of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum when given the
right conditions. These conditions include improper home canning and
improper preparation and storage of fresh herb and garlic-in-oil
mixtures. Moisture, room temperature, lack of oxygen, and low-acid
conditions all favor the growth of Clostridium botulinum. When
growing, this bacterium produces an extremely potent toxin that causes
the illness botulism. If untreated, death can result within a few days
of consuming the toxic food. 

STORING GARLIC IN OIL
Extreme care must be taken when preparing flavored oils with garlic or
when storing garlic in oil. Peeled garlic cloves may be submerged in
oil and stored in the freezer for several months. Do not store garlic
in oil at room temperature. Garlic-in-oil mixtures stored at room
temperature provide perfect conditions for producing botulism toxin
(low acidity, no free oxygen in the oil, and warm temperatures). The
same hazard exists for roasted garlic stored in oil. At least three
outbreaks of botulism associated with garlic-in-oil mixtures have been
reported in North America. 

By law, commercially prepared garlic in oil has been prepared using
strict guidelines and must contain citric or phosphoric acid to
increase the acidity. Unfortunately, there is no easy or reliable
method to acidify garlic in the home. Acidifying garlic in vinegar is
a lengthy and highly variable process; a whole clove of garlic covered
with vinegar can take from 3 days to more than 1 week to sufficiently
acidify.
<Unquote>

Needless to say, we no longer make our garlic oil by peeling a bunch
of cloves and dropping them in a three liter bottle of olive oil.



10  Preserving Dairy Products


10.1  [Looking for rennet for a cheese recipe?]


from Teresa Brucker , rec.food.cooking..
Funny, I just bought a book on cheesemaking today as I still want to make
that mozzarella.  But the book talks about definitely not using the rennet
available in the grocery stores.  There are a few choices as well:
animal vs vegetable and liquid form vs tablets.  Take your pick.  The liquid is
more perishable.  They give the following sources:

Caprine Supply/ 33001 West 83rd/ PO Box Y/ Desoto, KS  66018.
Misc. starter cultures, kits, molds, presses and equip.  Specializes in dairy
goat supplies.

Cumberland General Store/ Route 3, Box 81/ Crossville, TN  38855.
Starter cultures, presses, boxes, cutters & tools.

Lehman's Hardware

Starter cultures, kits, dairy thermometers, presses, cheesecloth, butter
churns, butter molds & colors.  Catalog $2.00.


Lehman's, home of the Non-Electric Catalog
"Serving the Amish and others without electricity with products for
simple, self-sufficient living"

Retail store is at One Lehman Circle, Kidron.  (Mon-Sat, 8:00 am to
5:30 pm plus Thur til 8:00 pm.) 
PO Box 41, Kidron, OH, 44636

Orders only: 330-857-1111
Customer service: 330-857-5757
Info:  info@lehmans.com



New England Cheesemaking Supply Co./ 85 Main Street/ Ashfield, MA 01330.
Starter cultures (including direct set), rennet, wax, molds, presses,
kits and miscellaneous supplies.  Also workshops. [Check out their web page;
the address is in part 6--LEB.][http://www.cheesemaking.com/]

A newsletter was mentioned too:

Cheesemaker's Journal/ 85 Main Street/ Ashfield, MA  01330.
Bi-monthly with articles about making cheese and a large recipe section.

 
10.2 [ BUTTER ]

From: Jim Richardson , rec.food.cooking
Subject: Easy Homemade Butter

Buy the freshest and best whipping cream you can find.  Otherwise, your
results will only be a step or two above the butter you buy at the store.
I find that milk and cream at natural food stores often comes from smaller
local dairies and tastes far better than what *any* of the grocery chains
sell. As with sharp and extra sharp cheddar cheeses, the typical quality
has gone *way* down over the past 20 years, as people who live in "dairy
country" know well.  Even the skim milk from some of these smaller dairies
has a richness somewhere between "grocery chain" whole milk and 2% -- and
it tastes far better.

Chill your blender in your freezer for 20 minutes.  Remove and add 2 cups
cold (but not frozen) whipping cream + 1/4 tsp salt + a few drops yellow
food coloring.  Blend on high for about 20 seconds, or until the cream
stiffly sticks to the blender blades.  Add 1/2 cup of ice water, no ice.
Blend on high about 3 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides as needed, until
all the butter fully separates from the water/liquid.  Remove from blender,
put into the middle of a handkerchief.  Chill further, if necessary, then
twist and wring it tightly, removing the water.  This will make about a stick
and a half's worth of butter.  Make it the same day as you'll serve it.
Shape into curls or balls.  Your guests won't forget it.

[N.B.: In case you don't have a blender, or you want to do it the authentic
Wisconsin-elementary school method: take a very clean Miracle Whip jar, fill
1/4 with cream or non-homogenized milk, screw the lid on tightly, shake the
jar briskly until you get butter.  Make sure you don't fill the jar, as you
need the airspace to shake the liquid, and don't try it with homogenized
milk because the milkfat globules are too small and too evenly distributed
throughout the milk to form butter.--LEB]



10.3 [devonshire clotted cream ] 

From: James Harvey
How to make homemade Devonshire Cream

Devonshire cream is just another name for clotted cream (or perhaps just for
clotted cream made in Devonshire?)  Clotted cream is the richest form of
cream at 55% butterfat by weight.  A traditional way to eat it is loaded on
scones already spread with fresh butter, and topped with blackcurrant jam.
Here are two basic methods of making it:

***** Clotted cream, traditional method *****
Put the cream in an earthenware or enameled bowl, or a stainless steel milk
pan.  Heat gently over very low heat or in a basin of water for up to six
hours until the cream has a rich wrinkled crusty look.  You must never let
it boil.  Set the pan to cool overnight (in the refrigerator is OK but ob-
viously not traditional :)  In the morning, lift off the clout that has
formed and store in jars or lidded pots in the refrigerator.

***** Clotted cream, quick method *****
This method requires a bain marie or double boiler, and a thermometer.  Heat
the cream until it reaches a temperature of 170 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit
(76 to 82 degrees Centigrade).  Stir it once to distribute the heat.  Keep
the cream at this temperature (not more than 190 degrees Fahrenheit or 87
degrees Centigrade) for an hour until it looks wrinkled and crusty.  Cool
quickly by standing in a bowl of cold water, then set the pan in the refrig-
erator overnight.  In the morning lift off the clot that has formed and store
in jars or lidded pots in the refrigerator.  I have used the second recipe,
starting with U.S. light cream (equivalent to British single cream, about
18% butterfat by weight) with good results.  Of course, results using com-
mercial cream will not be able to match the best products of particular
farms.
----

10.4 [ stirred curd-cheddar recipe] 


From: Kim Pratt
Stirred-Curd Cheddar Recipe

A few people requested this recipe for making Stirred-Curd Cheddar Cheese.
By the way, it tastes great!  This recipe assumes that you know the basics
for making cheese.  It uses 2 gallons of milk (can be doubled etc).

1) Heat milk to 90 degrees, stir in 1/2 cup cultured buttermilk, cover, let
   sit for 45 minutes at 90 degrees.
2) Add 1/4 tablet rennet, let sit for 45 minutes at 90 degrees.
3) Cut curds and let sit for 15 minutes.
4) Stir curds gently and warm to 100 degrees over the next 30 minutes.
5) Hold for 30 minutes at 100 degrees.
6) Drain curds, put curds back in pot without whey.
7) Add salt (2T) and work it into the curds.
8) Allow curds to sit at 100 degrees for 1 hour.
9) Press curd for 24 hours.
10) Air dry cheese for 2-3 days.
11) Age as long as you can stand it at 40 to 55 degrees.

If you eat this cheese at 3 weeks, it tastes like a Jack cheese.  After
about 2 months it starts tasting like Cheddar (mild).  It takes about 6
months for it to be sharp.

( end of part 3)






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