Thursday, April 7, 2011

Leftovers & Pickles

I had a full week off from school for spring break, which I spent in Florida with my mom, aunt, cousin, and grandmother. We stayed on Disney property and schlepped our way around Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. We also went to two Phillies Spring Training games. We spent a great deal of time eating, which was great because the food was good and the desserts were even better.

I returned to school on March 21 for my Jams & Jellies class. We did two things during this class session - we made tarts and rugelach out of leftovers from previous weeks, and we made pickles and other pickled items.

This is rugelach, which is made from a pastry dough that is rolled like a mini croissant and filled with jam and nuts. Ours had apricot jam which we made in the course and crushed pecans.

These are some of the tarts. These contain frangipane and different types of jams and garnishes:

Pickling is really fun, and I greatly enjoyed my first true pickling experience. Pickles are preserved with salt and vinegar. We made traditional pickles by slicing cucumbers and slicing onions and layering them in a container. We then placed sugar, white vinegar, cider vinegar, pickling salt, mustard seeds, celery seeds, and ground tumeric in a pot and brought it to a boil. We then poured this mixture over the pickles.

We followed a similar process for pickling green tomatoes. We layered slices of tomatoes with slices of jalapeno peppers, boiled the vinegar mixture and poured it over the tomatoes:

We also made pickled green peppers which again followed a similar process.

The other groups made pickled ginger, pickled cantaloupe, pickled asparagus, and pickled carrots. During class on March 28, we sampled each of these items because they need a few days to take on the flavor. The green tomatoes were my favorite, and I plan to make these at home so I can experiment with frying them and eating them on some homemade burgers. Yum.

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