Cooking Classes


Preserving the Harvest for a Brighter Winter Season

I have been eating pretty high on the hog since I picked up my CSA box from Meadowlark Farms and a CSF (Community Supported Foraging) box from Prairie Infusions.

A rainbow of beets, carrots and beans deserve more than to be devoured hungrily. As much as I know I would enjoy that I want to partake of their beauty for a bit longer. Preserving the bounty has been my agenda these past few days.

I have been learning how to use fermentation as a preservation method. My lovely red, yellow and orange carrots are in a sea salt brine. I have added fresh ginger to one jar and a Thai chili in the other. Did you know that you can add carrot tops for added complexity and flavour?

Hank Shaw of Hunter Angler Gatherer Cook fame is my reliable source of recipes using wild and foraged foods. I made his pickled chanterelles. I can hardly wait to open this jar. I look forward to fishing out the mushrooms and anointing them with camelina oil to serve with a charcuterie platter or salad.

Once you have a brine figured out you can pretty well ferment any vegetable. I have a giardiniera going in my gallon crock. I put together a medley of yellow beans, onions, zucchini, green tomatoes, carrots and hot and sweet peppers.

Pickled Chanterelle Mushrooms   from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

I followed this recipe to a T. Dry saute chanterelles first. Clean and put them into a hot dry frying pan. Small mushrooms whole and larger ones cut into large pieces.

1 lb. chanterelles
2 c. white wine vinegar
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. sugar
2 tbsp. sea salt
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. black peppercorns

Clean mushrooms and cut into pieces, if necessary.

Dry saute in a large pan. When they give up their water sprinkle with one tablespoon of salt and the thyme. Add remainder of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and simmer for five minutes. Turn off heat.

Remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon and pack into jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Be sure each jar has a bay leaf and some peppercorns.

Add cooking liquid to cover the mushrooms. Wipe rims of jars and seal. Process in boiling water bath for 20 minute

Fermented Giardiniera

2 c. thinly sliced carrots
2 c. sliced red bell peppers
1 1/2 c. thinly sliced onions
3 c. coarsely chopped zucchini
a few thickly sliced green roma tomatoes
3 peeled and sliced garlic cloves
3 bay leaves
sprig of fresh thyme
3 tbsp. unrefined salt such as kosher or sea salt
6 c. filtered water

Prepare brine by dissolving the salt in water.
Mix all the ingredients except the brine in a large crock or jar.
Fill jar with the brine, leaving 1½ -2 inches of headroom—the space at the top, between the rim of the jar and the top of the vegetables. Weight the vegetables so they are completely submerged in the brine.
Cover the top of the vessel with a lid, coffee filter, paper towel, cheese cloth, or tea towel to keep bugs out.
Be sure to secure towels with a very tight rubber band or the ring from the canning jars. 
Place the jar out of direct light.
Ferment at room temperature 4 days before checking the flavor. If you prefer the flavor more sour, continue fermenting. Any foam that accumulates on the top of the brine can be skimmed off.
Transfer the jars to the refrigerator when the flavour is to your taste. 


  1. Back in the day I used to do a lot of canning and gave away a lot as gifts at Christmas.I know that many people still do and I love these recipes.

    1. My canning recipes have changed. I don't do a lot of jams and jellies but love to try things that are healthy snacks like pickles. Can add them to salads and charcuterie plates.

  2. I live in an apartment, albeit one with the luxury of a pantry and I still don't have room for much canning. I wish I did. A bit of jam and jelly and some pickled onions is all I manage. I am in awe of what you do with the bread and now this -- you are superwoman!


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