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  • FoodSaver V3240 Vertical Vacuum Sealer, White
    FoodSaver V3240 Vertical Vacuum Sealer, White
    I just started using a FoodSaver vacuum sealer to seal foods and I can't believe I waited so long to get one. (Check out my first project: Sweet & Sour Green Bean Freezer Pickles!)
    For example: In the past I would take the time to pick beautiful berries, then would bring them home and stick them in a zippered baggie in the freezer. My berries would have ice crystals and taste freezer burnt after just a few short months. 
    Then I had a light-bulb moment: "Air is the enemy" of freshness. 
    When vacuum-sealed my berries last 3 to 4 times longer! I have similar results with other fruits, veggies and even meats & cheeses.
    The FoodSaver has been a fantastic discovery. ~ Brook
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    • Mehu-Liisa 10 Liter Stainless Steel Steam Juicer - Made in Finland
      Mehu-Liisa 10 Liter Stainless Steel Steam Juicer - Made in Finland
      Mehu-Liisa Products

      Some day I will replace my ancient graniteware Steam Juice Extractor with this gorgeous Mehu-Liisa brand Steam Juicer. My old Steam Juicer leaks steam, meaning I have to refill the water often, and it doesn't have anywhere close to the capacity of this one from Mehu-Liisa.
      If you want to experience the magic of a Steam Juicer, check out this 10 quart Mehu-Liisa. It will last you a lifetime and save you countless hours in the kitchen, whether your juicing fruit for  Plum Jelly or Apricot Nectar, not to mention it minimizes the mess of juicing large amounts of veggies!  ~ Brook

    • Ball Quilted Jelly Canning Jar 4 Oz (Pack of 12)
      Ball Quilted Jelly Canning Jar 4 Oz (Pack of 12)
      What's the one jar size I always keep a couple extra cases of? 
      The Ball 4 ounce jar.
      It's basically 1/2 cup, and just the right size for gift-giving and for experimenting with small batches. Perfect for things like my famous Pear Honey.
      People can't help but say "That is so darn cute!" when they seem them. 
      ~ Brook

    • Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker
      Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker
      Looking for an affordable, easy-to-use pressure canner, backed up by great customer service? Look no further than the Presto 23 quart Pressure Canner/Cooker. It's the one I recommend to all my students. ~ Brook


    Dilly Pickled Onion Slices on Punk Domestics

    • Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen (Orange) Instant Read Thermometer, Perfect for Barbecue, Home and Professional Cooking
      Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen (Orange) Instant Read Thermometer, Perfect for Barbecue, Home and Professional Cooking
      Do you have a great instant-read thermometer, or are you still buying the 20 dollar ones that only last a year or two? This was one of my best kitchen purchases.
      Can't imagine cooking jam (or meat or candy) without it! 
      Take your jams to 220º and you'll have a perfect gel set every time. Also available in other colors, but why wouldn't you want orange? It's only the BEST COLOR EVER. ~ Brook


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    • The Home Preserving Bible (Living Free Guides)
      The Home Preserving Bible (Living Free Guides)
      by Carole Cancler
      If you're looking for a book that covers every preserving topic imaginable, this is the book for you. It doesn't have a flashy cover or glossy pictures, but it's full of great info. One of my very favorite resources. ~ Brook

    • OXO Good Grips Corn Stripper
      OXO Good Grips Corn Stripper

      Last August my friend Kelli asked me if I wanted some fresh corn from her grandpa's garden. I said "Sure....I'd love to make a few jars of Sweet Corn Relish!"
      She showed up 6 hours later with 158 ears. Wasn't sure if I loved her or hated her for it.
      After a long hot day spent cutting kernels off all those cobs with a small paring knife, I decided I'd never be without a Corn Stripper again. ~ Brook


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    I have attempted to share safe preserving methods however you alone are responsible for your health & safety in your own kitchen or location. Be aware of current safety recommendations. Please see "Full Disclaimer" page for suggested preserving resources.

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    International Food Blogger Conference 2011 NOLA

    Entries in Pickled Carrots (1)


    Pickled Cauliflower (with a few assorted veggies)

    These can be made spicy, if you like, or leave the red pepper flakes out altogether. The other spices, along with apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and a touch of sugar, still pack a wallop of flavor. (Toasting the whole spices makes a big difference.)

        This crunchy pickled vegetable mixture is great on an antipasti platter, eaten with cheese & crackers, served with hummus, or chopped up a bit and eaten on a burger.

        This makes a nice big batch, but you'll be glad you made a big batch when you taste it.

    NOTE: Ground turmeric gives the brine a slight yellowish tint and can make it a tiny bit cloudy sometimes too. If you want a perfectly clear brine, omit the ground turmeric. The pickled veggies will still be delicious, but the flavor will be a bit less complex.

    Yield: 3 or 4 quarts, or approx 7 pints. (Amount varies due to size of vegetables used.)

    • 1 head cauliflower - cored, then broken into 1 to 2-inch florets
    • carrots - peeled and sliced diagonally 1/2 inch thick
    • 1 red bell pepper - cored and cut into 1 inch chunks
    • yellow onion - peeled, then sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices
    • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
    • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds (brown or yellow or a mixture)
    • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
    • 6 cups apple cider vinegar
    • 3 cups water
    • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
    • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced 1/4" thick
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 4 TBS sea or kosher salt
    • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
    • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional, see note above)
    • 1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

    1.) Layer the cauliflower, carrots, bell pepper and sliced onions in a large glass container or jar, or several smaller jars*. 

    2.) Toast the whole seeds (cumin, coriander and mustard) over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until fragrant and slightly darkened, about 2 minutes. Add the vinegar, water, garlic, ginger, sugar, salt, peppercorns, turmeric, red pepper flakes, to the toasted spices. Bring to a boil, stirring, long enough to dissolve sugar and salt. Turn off heat and let brine cool to room temperature. 

    3.) Pour the cooled brine over the vegetables.
    4.) Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 days, and up to 2 or 3 weeks.

    5.) If you want to process this mixture so that it's shelf-stable, layer the vegetables into clean, hot pint jars. Pour the hot brine over the vegetables, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
    6.) Remove any air bubbles with a thin plastic knife blade or a chopstick, wipe the rips perfectly clean and place the seals on the jars, then screw the bands on fingertip-tight. Process in a Boiling Water Bath canner for 15 minutes.

    7.) Remove jars from canner and let sit on the counter for 24 hours. Store in a cool dark place, and be sure to refrigerate after opening.


    *If planning on processing in a Boiling Water Bath for shelf-stability, you'll want to use canning jars.