Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic


I had the cucumbers and Mason jars, and thought I had all the spices and was just missing a canning kit. As I was sitting out on the shores of Shoreline Park Lake, enjoying the sunshine and happy I wore my mid-fall jacket because it was nippy and windy, it dawned on me that if anyone had home canning supplies it would be Walmart. I figure there are two demographics which would be regular buyers: the hard core affluent cooks (Williams-$onoma customers) and the low-income folks who can stuff because they have to (Walmart).

Jackpot. Found the special utensils which Macy's wanted $30 for priced at $7, a huge granite cooker with canning rack for $19 ($50 elsewhere) and kosher dill quick mix for $2 ($8 for the not-quick mix at Draeger's). While I was at it I picked uphalf a gallon of vinegar for $2.28.

The process was fairly simple, but time-consuming because my little electric stove is underpowered for the large amounts of liquid which needed boiling:
1. Wash the jars & lids
2. Sterilize the jars & lids
3. Cook the pickling mix in 7:3 water:vinegar
4. Shove a grape leaf into each jar
5. Pack each jar full of cukes
6. Put the same amount of boiling pickling mix into each jar
7. Top each jar off with 2:1 water:vinegar mix
8. Put lids on jars & screw on the lid holder rings
9. Put jars on rack in granite cooker filled most of the way with water which has started to boil
10. Lower the jars/rack into the water.
11. Cover & boil for 15 minutes
12. Remove the jars from the boiling water with jar puller tool
13. Put jars on a towel on a shelf to cool

This made 6 quart jars, about half pickling cukes and half Japanese cukes. The pickles should be ready to sample in a week.
The grape leaves make the pickles crisper, from all I've read.

As I posted earlier, it was a cold and cloudy morning, which is a bummer because Songkran is my favorite holiday, and I had been planning on going for weeks. But the main thing for the holiday is it's to celebrate the start of the hot season, and there are water fights for the kids, and milder water splashing for the adults. The temple also has a recital of classical music & dance by the kids, which looks best in sunlight. And Thais are a lot less tolerant of cold weather, all the best eye candy would have been bundled up. :-)

So I went to the beautiful nearby park, set my lawn chair in the sun, and watched people for a few hours. Then had lunch at the lakeside café, a place I went to a lot when I worked nearby. I was surprised to be able to grab a signal from Google's free wi-fi, I'd never been able to before. Then I saw there was a new relay in the parking lot. Up till recently the nearest one was at Google HQ about a mile across the lake.

Plans for tomorrow:
Make appointments for the cats' annual vet visit and the car's recall notice. And maybe the ophthalmologist.
Try to learn music & monologue for auditions Wednesday, though I am 80% leaning towards canceling, because the location is a PIA to get to. When they first sent out the notice they said it was in the SF financial district, which is easy enough to get to on BART, but it's actually in Chinatown.
Tags: cooking, food, thailand

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