FAIt’s a bit of a bittersweet time for all of us who have vegetable gardens. Walking through our vegetable garden, it’s possible that many of the crops we’ve toiled over all summer have been harvested or sown.
But for those of us who want to keep the vegetables we’ve worked so hard to produce, we could just go back to the wisdom of our elders.
If we are lucky, we can remember techniques that our grandparents may have taught us.
As a teenager growing up in the suburbs of the Midwest, I cared little for what my German and Dutch grandmothers had learned during the Depression. I was way too interested in boys and my September back-to-school wardrobe to think about pickles!
But thinking back to those times and perusing older cookbooks, I can now compile some useful food preservation methods for flowering gardeners.
Preservation methods from around the world
While researching the origin of food preservation around the world, I was pleased to find the book, “Pickled”, in which Mrs. Norris not only traces the origin of the pickle and features examples from around the world.
“The history of the pickle dates back to ancient Egypt, where Cleopatra is said to have eaten pickled foods as part of her beauty regimen,” Norris writes. “In Asia and parts of Europe, pickles remain an important part of daily meals.”
Ms Norris also offers international recipes, including some from Indian chef and restaurateur Tuhin Dutta of Manhattan. He also learned from his family, but tells a humorous story about his mother’s food preservation skills:
“In Indian society, there are beliefs about the quality of cooking and the hands of the cook. When an Indian chef compliments someone else’s cooking in a restaurant, they will say, “That cook has a good hand.” It’s a major insult to say that a cook has a bad hand. Nothing is wrong with real hands, but everyone’s system reacts differently to food.
“My mom never made pickles, to be honest her pickles weren’t that good. It’s not that my mom is evil, or that she’s a bad cook with other things – but when it comes to marinating, she had a bad hand.
Good hand tips for storing food
Oddly enough, in a crisis like the recent pandemic, people are starting to realize that we need to start thinking about our food sources and how to survive when everything we want to eat isn’t readily available.
Reegan Lessie, 40, a yoga instructor from Carlsbad, is one of my newest foodie discoveries who shares a wealth of information about canning and preserving.
His grandmother, Edith Lessie, from Indiana, grew food and preserved it entirely. When Reegan started visiting their farm when he was six years old. “They canned or pickled and they grew or bought locally.
Eddie pickled anything that grew in his garden or summer vegetables that came from the local market.
Reegan recalls, “The basement cellar was full of clear glass jars with everything from beans to beets to apples and, yes, even chickens! I ate everything except the chicken.
Next to the storage shelves were large ten-gallon gray ceramic pots that housed Eddie’s ever-growing batches of pickles and sauerkraut.
“My most exciting purchase recently was a 10 gallon pot, which looks exactly like his,” Reegan confessed happily.
Since the fermentation process takes place without refrigeration and in a dark place, Reegan has his in a small, dark cupboard.
“You can smell and taste it when it’s ready, over a few weeks,” Reegan said. “You don’t worry about it going bad because there is a strong brine with salt. I stir it every few days.
Discover your new favorite culinary passion
The impact of the wealth of knowledge her grandmother possessed only really hit her in recent years, during the pandemic, when she, like many, had more time and less access to fresh food.
“I guess I’m a bit of a throwback, not many people here do what I do,” Reegan said. “And my partner Rob loves to eat what I make, but he doesn’t have time to participate in the process.”
Reegan and his partner Rob Pastor own the Baba Coffee House on State Street in Carlsbad, frequented by locals who enjoy roast coffee, tea, healthy drinks and homemade pastries and lunches. menu.
To find a copy of Reegan’s new favorite recipe for Cowboy Candy or Candied Jalapenos, go to www.food.com/recipe/jalapeno. Reegan will also post his recipe soon at Baba Coffee House.
There may be other local gardeners who are interested in food preservation, so visit the San Diego Master Gardeners website to find resources and current classes in San Diego. And check with Coast Roots Farm in Encinitas for upcoming harvest festivals at www.coastalrootsfarm.com.
Autumn planting in the garden
One of my favorite places to buy seasonal vegetable plants is Anderson’s La Costa Nursery in Encinitas.
Steven, the site manager, gave advice on how to create an autumn garden in his newsletter.
“Now is the time to plant cool season crops like spinach, broccoli, cabbage, radish, carrot, onion and Swiss chard,” Steven said.
Stop by the nursery for a comprehensive tour of fall vegetables and soil preparation tips to start your fall garden.
We hope you have a wonderful fall season planting in your garden and preserving nature’s bounty.
Jano Nightingale is a master gardener and horticulturist who teaches at the Carlsbad Senior Center. Contact her at [email protected].