Monday, January 01, 2007

A-shelving we will go!

So we have a tiny tiny spare "bedroom", maybe 9ft square. We long ago realized we need pantry/storage space way more than we needed space for the occasional overnight guest. It's been filled to the brim with food and books and other gear since we moved in (nearly 2 years ago), so it's time for decent shelving!

The pile of stuff, politely known as.....stuff! About half the contents of that tiny room, stacked up in the living room. I finally had to dismantle another shelf to make room for putting in the new ones, which is what I'm supposed to be finishing now...

It's actually starting to come together and we'll have some more pictures later of the new pantry all filled back up properly.

And we learned a bit about being "in a pickle" too...All the lovely looking jars of pickles we canned this summer didn't turn out too great. They taste fine, maybe a little sweeter than salty. And they look perfect. But they're too soft, especially the fermented ones. Now we know why the directions always say to use tiny cukes. Bigger ones have too many seeds, which make a hollow pickle once it takes up the brine. So we'll try the same cukes as last year in the garden, because they taste so good, but we'll also try a cornichon variety too. The new garden will also have a spot to trellis the cukes, which will make it easier to pick them tiny. Last summer the vines grew on the ground, and the cukes liked to hide until they were monster sized.

We're also going to try canning our refrigerator pickles. So far those tasted the best of all, but you're not supposed to can them. They sit in your fridge as you eat them, maybe 6 weeks or so. But some people seal them in jars right after pouring the hot brine on. They seal just like they had been in the canner a while, but they aren't cooked as soft. It's not the "USDA safe" way, but we'll try a batch & see.

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