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Bread & Butter Pickles – 3rd Prep

This was the third preparation of B&B pickles based on the prior two here and here. This has the reduced sugar and increased spices as did the 2nd. It also has twice the amount of crisping agent.


  • 16 sliced medium to small cucumbers
  • 2 medium yellow onions, sliced thin then cut in quarters
  • scant 1/3 cup pickling salt
  • 10 cloves garlic, halved
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 4 cups cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons mustard seed
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of Sambal Oelek
  • 5 average jalapenos from our garden, seeds removed and diced
  • Mrs. Wages Xtra Crunch calcium chloride granules


  1. Slice the cukes and onion with the mandoline. Combine cucumbers, onions, and pickling salt. Add 1 inch of cracked ice. Refrigerate for 3 hours; drain well in a colander.
  2. In a large kettle combine sugar, vinegar, mustard seed, turmeric, and celery seed. Heat to boiling and let rest until the cukes had been in the refer with ice for 3 hours. Add cucumber mixture. Return to boiling.
  3. Pack cucumber mixture and liquid into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Added garlic and diced jalapenos to each jar to assure an even distribution.
  4. Add to each packed jar 1/2 tsp Mrs. Wages Xtra Crunch calcium chloride granules per the directions.
  5. Process in a boiling-water canner 10 minutes.

Cajun Dill Pickle Ferments

7/15/2019 – These two versions are hopefully based on lessons learned from the semi-limp pickles in the July 4th, 2 one-gallon ferments. Those ferments used volume measurements per a recipe and this one will use the percentage of salt based on the weights that worked for us before. We assembled one quart and added the 6% brine and one adding the 7% brine. All other ingredients were the same.

  • Enough cucumber slices to fill two quart jars
  • 2 large cloves of garlic in each jar, cut in half.
  • 2 tsp of dill weed in the bottom of each jar and 3 tsp in the top. This is about 50% more than the July 4th ferment.
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes in each jar
  • 1/2 tsp of Mrs. Wages pickle crisp in each jar. This is 2X the recommended value.
  • brine made with 6% and 7% canning salt

The intent here is to have crisp dilly pickles that will result from more dill, the correct salt content, and the crisping agent.

Porchetta Shoulder Roast ToTry

Porchetta Shoulder Roast with Spicy Chimichurri Recipe | Bon Appetit




  • 2 tablespoons chopped oregano
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sage
  • 2 tablespoons fennel pollen or ground fennel seeds
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 6–7-pound skinless, boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), fat trimmed to ¼ inch thick
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Chimichurri and Assembly

  • 2 small shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 2 small jalapeños, finely chopped
  • 2 cups finely chopped parsley
  • ½ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup finely chopped oregano
  • ? cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt

Recipe Preparation


  1. Mix oregano, rosemary, sage, and fennel pollen in a small bowl to combine.
  2. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and a pinch of salt to a smooth paste. Mix in mustard. (If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, use a microplane to finely grate the garlic and stir into mustard and salt.)
  3. Generously season pork with salt and pepper, sprinkling salt more heavily on the meat than on the layer of fat. Smear garlic mixture all over the meat, then sprinkle with the herb mixture, massaging into mustard so it adheres to pork.
  4. Roll pork as tightly as you can and tie individual lengths of kitchen twine around roast every 1″ or so. Wrap tightly and chill overnight at least 1 hour.
  5. Let pork sit at room temperature 1 hour before roasting.
  6. Place a rack in center of oven; preheat to 475°. Place pork on a wire rack set inside a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast until the exterior is deep golden brown, 35–45 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300° and continue to roast, checking after 90 minutes just to see how the cooking is progressing, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of pork registers 180°, 2?½–3 hours. Remove pork from oven, cover loosely with foil, and let rest about 30 minutes.

Chimichurri and Assembly

While pork is resting, mix shallot, garlic, jalapeño, parsley, cilantro, oregano, oil, and vinegar in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper and let sit 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
To serve, thinly slice porchetta and serve with chimichurri.

Roasted Jalapeño-Tomato Salsa with Cilantro

7/13/2019 – This turned out great and will surely be a favorite. It was a surely a blessed dish being prepared for the first time on Tom’s birthday. Inspired by the recipe here.

This is our salsa closest to the classic home-style Mexican salsa de molcajete that’s made from roasted garlic and chiles pounded in a lava-rock mortar (molcajete) with roasted tomatoes. 



  • About 20 medium slicing tomatoes from our garden trimmed
  • 6 fresh jalapeños from our garden, stemmed and sliced in half
  • 2 average white onions, sliced 1/4-1/2 inch thick and separated into thick rings
  • 1-1/2 garlic pods with the tops trimmed
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro, loosely packed
  • two generous pinches of salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice


  1. Heated our broiler on low. Lay the whole tomatoes and jalapeños out on a baking sheet. Set the pan 4 inches below the broiler and broil for about 6 minutes, until darkly roasted — even blackened in spots after Mary turned it up to high — on one side (the tomato skins will split and curl in places). With a pair of tongs, flip over the tomatoes and chiles and roast the other side for another 6 minutes or so. The goal is not simply to char the tomatoes and chiles but to cook them through while developing nice, roasty flavors. Set aside to cool.
  2. For this first cook, we used fresh slicing tomatoes from our garden. As slicing tomatoes have a lot of liquid, compared to paste tomatoes, we put 2-3 in the large wire basket strainer and drained the juice into a SS bowl for later use likely in a soup. We did this while the onions and garlic were roasting as described in the next step.
  3. Turn the oven down to 425 degrees. Separate the onions into rings. On a similar pan or baking sheet, combine the onion and garlic, coated them lightly with olive oil. Roast in the oven, stirring carefully every couple of minutes, until the onions are wilted with a touch of char on some of the edges and the garlic is soft and browned in spots, about 15 minutes total. Cool to room temperature.
  4. Put the onions, jalapeno, and garlic into the processor and pulse a couple of times. Add the strained tomatoes and pulse a few more times. Add the chopped cilantro and pulse a few times.
  5. Taste and season with salt and lemon juice.

The original recipe had a different procedure for step 4 above. Their process is quoted below as it could be good to try.

For a little less rustic texture or if you’re canning the salsa, pull off the peels from the cooled tomatoes and cut out the “cores” where the stems were attached, working over your baking sheet so as not to waste any juices. In a food processor, pulse the jalapeños (no need to peel or seed them) with the onion and garlic until moderately finely chopped, scraping everything down with a spatula as needed to keep it all moving around. Scoop into a big bowl. Without washing the processor, coarsely puree the tomatoes — with all that juice that has accumulated around them — and add them to the bowl. Stir in enough water to give the salsa an easily spoonable consistency. Stir in the cilantro.


Canned tomatoes in the pressure cooker

7/13/2019 – The pile of tomatoes from the garden has gotten large and this first canning is to prepare four quarts. In researching how to can them several places said the pressure cooker makes a better final product. It also makes a lot less heat in the house due to the shorter time and less steam.

We followed the USDA recommended recipe for raw pack tomatoes with no liquid added. Our garden tomatoes this year are all “slicers” so there is a lot of liquid.

This was also our first time to use the new American Pressure Canner.

TOMATOES—WHOLE OR HALVED (packed raw without added liquid) … Procedure: Wash tomatoes. Dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split, then dip in cold water. Slip off skins and remove cores. Leave whole or halve. Add bottled lemon juice or citric acid to the jars. Fill hot jars with raw tomatoes, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Press tomatoes in the jars until spaces between them fill with juice. Leave 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Adjust lids and process.

USDA Publication, pages 25 & 26
  • About 25 tomatoes skinned and then cleaned of splits and bad places.
  • 1 tsp of citric acid powder
  • Processed in the pressure canner for 25 minutes at 10 PSI per the USDA.

Quicky Pickles

7/7/2019 – We finished the assembly of our first pickled okra and had a lot of brine left–and still a pile of cucumber. Grabbed two quart jars, trimmed a pile of small cukes and got the pots hot from the pickled okra a few minutes ago. What we did was as follows:

  1. Sanitized jars.
  2. trimmed the cucumbers
  3. cleaned up 8-10 cloves of garlic
  4. stuffed the whole cukes in the jars with the garlic and jalapeno strips as they were filled;
  5. Poured the very hot brine up to 1/2″ headspace