John F Dean wrote:More and more I am dehydrating food. I certainly still can, but dehydrating is growing. Freezer space is virtually solely for meat. I do use a corner of the basement for storing seed potatoes .....and some root crops for consumption.
Check Mother Earth for The Fundementals of Root Cellaring.
Christopher Shepherd wrote:We are lucky I guess. My family has always taught us from a young age. We started persevering food from the time we could walk. We all have cellars that stay about 60 deg. f all year round. We store potatoes, garlic, onions, wine, hams, eggs,, and canned goods there. The potatoes bin is on the ground where it is coolest. Hams, onions, and garlic are hung from the ceiling. Eggs are stored point down and will last 6 months like that. We pickle beets, cabbage, and cucumbers. My father always would repeat to us how he learned it when he was a child. 1 fist of salt and 2 fists of cabbage then tamp, makes good kraut. The left over cabbage we store upside down in the shade covered in leaves and straw. This will keep well into December for us. Dad would always make sure when curing hams to remind everybody to brine the bone after packing the salt then rap. Hang it for as many days as it is pounds then smoke it. Jill Winger and Melissa K. Norris are two good recourses on the web to listen to. They both have blogs that are more hands on.
Christopher Shepherd wrote:Hi Bonnie, please forgive me of my misspellings. I am an engineer by trade and spelling and writing are my two worst subjects. I am trying to learn to communicate my ideas better by writing here on permies.
The cabbage upside down sheds the water and a layer of leaves or straw keep them cool.
Wrapping the ham is done to keep the salt on them so it doesn’t drip off. We use old fashioned grocery heavy paper bags. We wrap them then use twin to hold it on and hang it. The key to preserving meat is to dehydrate it rapidly so botulism cannot grow.
I hope to get better at writing and make a small book of the way we do things to give out to people like you how thirst for the knowledge.
Sionainn Cailís wrote:My grandparent's knew how to do everything from butcher livestock to farm to fly small planes and repair engines :) They passed all the knowledge they could onto their 4 kids, who prompty tossed all the useless old ways out and never looked back.
My nana would pass on information to us grandchildren whenever oppourtunity presented itself, but such oppourtunities dimished as she aged. I learned from her to make cheese, jam, and to salt and smoke fish.
My inlaws are Yugoslavian, and have also been quite helpful to share the preservation techniques they know, although I am the only one of this generation that's really interested. I find it interesting that they preserve all their cabbages whole.
Besides oral traditions, I have actually enjoyed sniffing out old books. I have a few Victorian references that can offer some insights to 19th century and sometimes older methods of preservation and brewing. There's even a bit to be gleaned from Book of the Farm by Henry Stephens, even though it's mostly focused on large things like grain and hay storage. Beeton's Book of Household Management has some good info on jams and pickles, but also some strange recipes. Considering Mrs. Beeton was such a well to do lady, I expect that none of the recipes are hers, but rather that she collected from her servants. Some other very old versions of Good Housekeeping Illustrated cookbook and a few Foods of the World Series cooking books from Time-Life Books from the 1960s add a bit more insight, as well as recipes and meal customs to use such varied preserves.
Food preservation is also quite different in different parts of the world. I learned how to make preserved lemons in salt from a Moroccan coworker. I lesrned to make richly sticky, opaque pork stock from a lovely ramen chef in Tokyo- if I get to visit Japan again maybe I will learn to they make pickled ginger. Lots of places to learn from, when we look beyond our doorsteps.
Catie George wrote:Sionainn - what is the brine solution recipe? And how do you make the pepper spread? I love a commercially made eastern european pepper condiment that is used to add flavour to soups and stews and would love go make something similar at home.
Catie George wrote:Sionainn - And how do you make the pepper spread? I love a commercially made eastern european pepper condiment that is used to add flavour to soups and stews and would love go make something similar at home.