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Dilly Pickled Onion Slices on Punk Domestics

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    I have attempted to share safe preserving methods however you alone are responsible for your health & safety in your own kitchen or location. Be aware of current safety recommendations. Please see "Full Disclaimer" page for suggested preserving resources.

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    International Food Blogger Conference 2011 NOLA


    Using my iPhone to catch a little late night pickling in action

    (Photo and text sent via iPhone using Squarespace App)

    As pickling cucumber season draws to a close, I find myself feeling a little panicky - in a good way -- if there is such a thing.

    I'm tired, and I'd rather be done for the day, but in January (or June) I'll be really glad I made a couple dozen extra jars of Blue Ribbon Dill Pickles!


    Preserving Party at Amy's! The place to be on a rainy Seattle Sunday.

    Updated on Friday, October 8, 2010 at 1:58PM by Registered CommenterBrook Hurst Stephens

    I am so happy to be able to be back on my website, posting on my blog. I have had quite a week. Well, quite a month. But mostly, I have been side-tracked with stuff like moving and a garage sale. Craigslist ads and Goodwill donations.

    As far as I'm concerned, it's never a good time to move, but right smack dab in the middle of my favorite time to do some canning? No thanks!

    My car, loaded up with some of the things we'll need for our Preserving Party.

    Click to read more ...


    NYC-style Sour Dill Pickles - the fermentation is finished!

    The real title for this post should be:

    "Good things come to those who wait!"

    Yes, these DO taste as good as they look. Maybe better!

    I started talking about fermenting cucumbers and making NYC-style Sour Dill Pickles in my last blog post, but you know what? These pickles deserve their very own article, not just being  the caboose of my last post.

    I am going to keep this as simple as possible, so here are the 5 basic steps:

    Click to read more ...


    7 different pickle recipes in 7 days, sort of.

    Updated on Friday, September 17, 2010 at 8:42AM by Registered CommenterBrook Hurst Stephens

    More like 4 types of pickles completed in 3 days, and 3 more types of pickles in various stages of brining, pickling or curing as I type this.

    I bought ~ 100 pounds (of assorted sizes) of fresh-picked pickling cucumbers on Friday, and the first thing I did when I got them home was put them in big tubs of fresh cold water. Letting them sit overnight in water makes it easier to scrub the little bits of dust and dirt from their nubby skins the next morning and enhances their crispiness later.

    Pickling cukes soaking in a tub of clean cold water overnight.

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    Nectarine~Basil Jam. Nectar for humans, inspired by a hummingbird, and by a very dear friend.

    Wednesday was a very sad day. A dear friend of ours passed away unexpectedly. I have spent the last few days doing the one sure thing that always makes me feel better when I am blue. Cooking.

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    Fresh Fig Jam...full of minerals* your body needs, and extremely tasty too.

    I think Mission figs are so beautiful. Their skin is as soft as velvet, and they are such a pretty color too. But did you know that fig trees have no blossoms on their branches?

    The blossom is inside of the fruit!

      A zillion tiny flowers produce the crunchy little seeds that give figs their very own unique texture.

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    70% Plum + 30% Apricot = Pluot*  

    Updated on Sunday, July 12, 2015 at 8:48AM by Registered CommenterBrook Hurst Stephens

    Four Pounds of "Candy Stripe" Pluots, in the sink:

    Click to read more ...


    Yesterday was my birthday... that means two things:

    1.) It means -- I'm a Virgo -- so I like things neat & tidy. Maybe that's why I enjoy making Dilly Green Beans so much. Fitting all those precisely-cut green beans into the pint-size jar "just so" is just so much fun. 

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    I've gone plum crazy (like I do every year about this time)

    Updated on Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 4:02PM by Registered CommenterBrook Hurst Stephens

    Updated on Monday, August 23, 2010 at 6:05PM by Registered CommenterBrook Hurst Stephens

    Yesterday I picked all of the Italian Prune~Plums off our sturdy old tree. They weren't really ripe, but I couldn't wait any longer. The squirrels have been binging on them, and if I didn't pick them last night, there wouldn't be any left for one of my favorite things, Plum~Vanilla Preserves.

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    Last weekend was quite a thrill ride...


     I'm the cranky one on the left. I'm thinking "I can't believe it's RAINING in Wenatchee!" Luckily, I cheered up as soon as I got inside.

          Normally I'm knee-deep in fruit about now, but I took a little break last weekend to go to my Eastmont High School Class of 1980 Reunion, in Eastern Washington. It was so much fun seeing everyone, and thanks to Facebook, I was able to study up on most of my classmates before I got there. It helped immensely when I had to match a name to a face.

    Click to read more ...

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