FSC Book Club discussion

The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making
This topic is about The Homemade Pantry
63 views
The Homemade Pantry > Aisle 3 (Canned Fruits, Vegetables & Beans) & Aisle 4 (Condiments, Spices & Spreads)

Comments (showing 1-50 of 57) (57 new)    post a comment »

message 1: by Christine, FSC BOOK CLUB MODERATOR (new) - rated it 5 stars

Christine | 92 comments Mod
First up, did everyone see that the FSC Book Club now has its very own Facebook page?! Yes! Go over here and “Like” it for up-to-date reminders, news, bonuses & more. Another great way to stay in touch... post your thoughts & photos there too or just tag us in your FB posts. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter too.

We are getting into some serious homemade pantry staples with Chapters 3 and 4. We are tackling canned goods and condiments! I made it a personal food goal of mine to make more of our condiments this year. I still have work to do on that goal, so I’m really looking forward to making a few recipes from The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making.

Your Assignment(s):
As always, pick a recipe (or two) to try out from these two chapters and then...

First , for any home food preservationists and canners, let’s have a brag session. Did you make cucumber pickles or can tomatoes? Tell us about it! Share what you canned this summer. Show photos of your stocked pantry, if you like.

For those of you who did not spend your summers over a hot stove, fear not! I only have a few jars to brag about in my pantry.

Even though it may be past harvest for cucumbers and tomatoes in some of our regions, that won’t stop us! Grab some fresh apples and make applesauce! Get a crock of sauerkraut fermenting. Cook cook cook.

Second , tell us what your most-used condiment is and what you use it for. Weird answers are especially appreciated. I am of the high-brow culinary tradition that a squirt of ketchup is good on almost anything. As a youngster, I was known to top my macaroni and cheese with ketchup.

What condiments do you use most in your household? Which ones do you ALWAYS buy from the grocery store? Another ketchup secret: I’ve never made it myself! I have a bottle of Heinz in my refrigerator at all times. It’s allegedly “organic and natural”, but it’s still Heinz.

As always , post photos of your creations here on Goodreads, over on Facebook, on Twitter or on Instagram. We may feature your FSC Book Club check-in on the From Scratch Club blog!


Gina Martin (ModSchooler) | 12 comments I started jam making again after a few years hiatus. This summer, it was all about getting ahold of local fruits and adding weird booze, so that was fun. I also managed to get some black sour cherries and make both jelly and jam - they were rarer than usual in the Hudson Valley this year due to weather.

I tried out lacto-fermentation starting with half sour pickles, and was really shocked at how easy and tasty they came out. Since I'm not a big fan of sauerkraut, I decided to try a version of kimchi for chapter 3's project. I can't believe how good it is. I used napa cabbage, tons of garlic, some slightly hot red peppers and some green jalapenos, and these pinky/purple turnips that I'd forgotten about in my veg order. They made the liquid a glorious pink, it's so pretty! However, my whole family is now fervently anti-kimchi, due to the smell (and I didn't even add any fish sauce, imagine if I had!). I tweeted earlier that I need a kimchi support group, as I really LOVE this stuff. Best new use so far: light sautee, then add beaten eggs to make a kimchi omelette. OMG.

I'm not a big condiment person generally, but one that I tend to use in almost anything (except cake - so far) is sriracha sauce. I'm experimenting with fermenting some red jalapenos and garlic, with a few habaneros thrown in for fun. I'll see how my homemade version works out in another month or so.


Kizzi | 6 comments I canned for the first time EVER this year and it was awesome. I was totally inspired by the "food in jars" themed food swap. I had a crazy abundance of tomatoes and took the advice to try the tomato jam recipe in Food in Jars. IT IS SO GOOD. I have eaten it on burgers in place of ketchup, on bread by itself or as part of a grilled cheese sandwich.
I would say in my house salsa and ketchup are the most used. I love salsa on everything, including salad in place of salad dressing. I make that from scratch but don't can it, it would never last long enough for that to be necessary anyway! And my 4 year old is one of those ketchup people too. Ketchup on everything. He puts it on scrambled eggs and calls that "French eggs", no one knows why! I think I'm going to make the ketchup recipe to test out how easy it is and if it passes the kid test.


Kizzi | 6 comments Gina wrote: "I'm not a big condiment person generally, but one that I tend to use in almost anything (except cake - so far) is sriracha sauce. I'm experimenting with fermenting some red jalapenos and garlic, with a few habaneros thrown in for fun. I'll see how my homemade version works out in another month or so..."
We LOVE sriracha in our house too. I would love to hear how your homemade version turns out!


Casey (kcrose210) | 70 comments This is the first year I have really dived head first into canning. I took some classes over the last year from Marisa of Food in Jars (lucky to have her in Philly) and really caught the bug. I made a variety of pickles, including regular dill, sweet and sour, okra, green beans, turnips, radish and aspargus. I also made a ton of blueberry jam for holiday gifts. I was lucky enough to get some excellent apricots so I made Marissa's apricot and rosemary jam as well which I am looking forward to having on cheese plates this winter. Then I tackled tomatoes, I made one large batch of jam then canned the rest whole. Needless to say our pantry is packed already and I haven't even thought about apples.

Our most used condiments are sriracha and tabassco. We grew hot peppers this year and I froze some curry paste and we still have more peppers to put up. I will be working on that this week.


message 6: by Christine, FSC BOOK CLUB MODERATOR (new) - rated it 5 stars

Christine | 92 comments Mod
Kizzi wrote: "Gina wrote: "I'm not a big condiment person generally, but one that I tend to use in almost anything (except cake - so far) is sriracha sauce. I'm experimenting with fermenting some red jalapenos a..."

Agreed Gina, I can't wait to hear how your sriracha comes out!


message 7: by Christine, FSC BOOK CLUB MODERATOR (new) - rated it 5 stars

Christine | 92 comments Mod
Kizzi wrote: "I canned for the first time EVER this year and it was awesome. I was totally inspired by the "food in jars" themed food swap. I had a crazy abundance of tomatoes and took the advice to try the toma..."

How did I forget Tomato Jam!?! I used the Food in Jars recipe for the first time last year and completely fell in love. It's actually replaced my beloved ketchup in a few situations, although I will certainly start calling my ketchupy eggs "French eggs" :)


KitchenNinja | 33 comments I wound up making Marisa's awesome tomato jam recipe last month, too -- great minds think alike in this book club, apparently. :-) I blogged about it here: http://yankee-kitchen-ninja.blogspot....

I also am a pickle-making maniac in the summer -- all kinds. I did a big recipe round-up that some of you might find helpful for next year: http://yankee-kitchen-ninja.blogspot....

Given that I've already done a lot of canning, I think I'm going to try out some condiments for this assignment (and I must confess that I'm digging the book so much I've already jumped ahead -- but I'll take pictures for later).

Looking forward to seeing everyone's creations!


Kate Hayner | 18 comments This year I kind of went pickle crazy, pickled red onions from Food in Jars, spicy pickled carrots, pickled garlic scapes, pickled green beans, pickled cherry tomatoes, and pickled jalapenos. I also made peach jam, rhubarb jam and strawberry jam. I still have cherries and blueberries in the freezer to make more jam when the weather gets bad. I'm going to try some lacto-fermented sauerkraut this weekend. I grew some beautiful big heads of cabbage so I can't wait to try it out.


Susan M | 34 comments I have been canning for a few years now. Jams, pickles, peaches, pears, salsa and tomatoes can usually be seen on my shelves. I would like to try the method that Alana uses to make beans and I also want to make some ketchup.


Cynthia | 66 comments I cannot decide what my favorite condiment is. In our house, we think of olives as a condiment, so really those would be top of the list. I kind of think of pesto as a condiment as well - so pesto AND (of course) salsa would be high on the list. But then there is mustard. On the one hand, it's not something I particularly think of loving, but on the other hand, I use it in a LOT of things that are very yummy (of course on certain sandwiches, often in salad dressings, in my mom's awesome mac and cheese recipe......)


Cynthia | 66 comments We are hoping to make sauerkraut. But I have a question. So many sauerkraut recipes say to put it in the fridge. But this is stuff that they made to preserve cabbage long before anyone had a fridge. What did THEY do with it, and what would be our modern equivalent of that? We do not really have a fridge here, so I have a keen interest in the answer to that question - we have a teeny fridge that we run in the "guesthouse" (a converted schoolbus) in the summer but we just use a cooler in house the winter.


Cynthia | 66 comments Continuing on my previous post - I have noticed that every type of sauerkraut that I can buy in the regular grocery has preservatives in it, and all the brands in the natural food stores live in the fridge. Can sauerkraut be canned without preservatives? Does that kill it and ruin it? What about freezing? (we do have a freezer out at Paul's shop). I would love to find out a way to store it (do you just leave it in the crock and keep skimming the scum off the top for a few months?)


Casey (kcrose210) | 70 comments Cynthia I have always let my kraut cure out of the fridge then moved it to the fridge. I would check out Sandor Katz(Kraut) site or book to see what he recommends. I would imagine there are ways to make it work for you


Cynthia | 66 comments Casey wrote: "I would check out Sandor Katz(Kraut) site or book to see what he recommends. I would imagine there are ways to..." Thanks Casey. I just got that book and will see what he says.


Jackie (AuburnMeadowFarm) | 57 comments I've done more freezing than canning this year since I picked so many low acid foods to preserve. Ratatouille, cantaloupe and pumpkin purees, tomato passata, roasted peppers frozen & recipe ready & roasted beets & pre-cooked greens. I did make some pretty interesting pickles, but my cucumber crop tanked so I didn't get many. But by far, the highlight is the roasted tomato ketchup I made from the passata. I can eat that stuff straight from the jar it's so good.


Jackie (AuburnMeadowFarm) | 57 comments I can't believe I totally forgot my unexpected canning delight this summer. This may sound silly, but I have never had plum pie. I made plum pie filling and oh my, those pies are good. Those quart jars of plum filling are a genuine luxury... I was planning on gifting them for the holidays, but we'll see : )


Marisa McClellan (marusula) You can water bath can sauerkraut. However, doing so kills the beneficial bacteria that are so gut-friendly and good for digestion. It still tastes great as a shelf stable product, just doesn't have the benefits of the live culture. Here's the link to more information on the National Center for Home Food Preservation website. http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_06/sauer...


Cynthia | 66 comments Marisa wrote: "You can water bath can sauerkraut. However, doing so kills the beneficial bacteria that are so gut-friendly and good for digestion. It still tastes great as a shelf stable product, just doesn't hav..."

Thanks for the link Jackie. We're hoping to actually MAKE the stuff this weekend! Fingers crossed something else doesn't come up and demand the time .....


Dawn Schulz | 6 comments I made applesauce today. It tastes so good. I also roasted, processed, and puréed 3 pie pumpkins. I am hoping to make ketchup tomorrow & Italian dressing. I know the pumpkin wasn't in the book, but I couldn't resist.


Tina Jordan | 9 comments This is my second year of canning. The first summer was all about pickles and more pickles. This year I was more focused on berries as I neglected them last year. For my recipe this week I made and canned applesauce. I loved the ginger addition during simmering. Added great flavor. Since I had the canner out I also did Caramel Apple Pie filling and marinated roasted peppers. (Pictures to come)

I gave the condiment question some thought and realized if we have anything we use for flavoring on everything it is balsamic vinegar. This revelation came this week when I made Chicken Noodle Soup and when it needed more acid I automatically reached for the balsamic instead of a much more appropriate lemon. Didn't see a recipe for that ...ah well.


Alana Chernila | 17 comments Cynthia wrote: "Casey wrote: "I would check out Sandor Katz(Kraut) site or book to see what he recommends. I would imagine there are ways to..." Thanks Casey. I just got that book and will see what he says."

Sorry for my late jump in here, but I just wanted to add my 2 cents, too. What I do is to cure my sauerkraut outside of the fridge until I think it's ready. This varies with the temperature of your kitchen quite a bit, but I taste every couple of days to check. Then, I transfer it to jars and store in the fridge. Some people just continue to store in the crock if they have a nice, cool place in their house, scooping it out when they want to eat some. And, as Marisa says below, you can water bath can it, but it kills a lot of the good bacteria you've worked so hard to foster. I do recommend both of Sandor Katz's books on all of this--they're both great.


Donna | 4 comments Cynthia wrote: "Continuing on my previous post - I have noticed that every type of sauerkraut that I can buy in the regular grocery has preservatives in it, and all the brands in the natural food stores live in th..."


Donna | 4 comments We make sauerkraut all the time. Cut it up, by slicing into strips and sprinkle salt over, let set for about 30 mins. Place in qt. canning jars, add water to cover, put on lids. Place on a tray and let sit in a cool place for 6 to 8 weeks.. You can look at it and if there is any scum on it duri g the sitting time, you can skim off and add more water. After the sitting time, I look at the jars, add more water (because when it's fermenting it sometimes loses water) if needed, wipe rims, replace the lids and process in a water bath for 30 min. it is then stored in a cupboard. We have been canning sauerkraut this way for over 10 years with no problems. The original idea was from a Ball Blue Book.


Donna | 4 comments We don't add anything else. It is delicious as is.


Marilyn  (goodreadscommarilyn_zembo_day) | 25 comments I'm not avoiding FSC right now-- it's just that I'm knee-deep in creating materials for a workshop re The Divine Feminine (actually it's about balancing the Feminine/Masculine in women's lives), which I'm co-facilitating at Still Point Retreat Center on 10/20. I am one of the Queens of Handouts, so this means time-consuming use of MS Word & Publisher plus books & internet.

Very quickly: I read these chapters months ago when first bought the book. I'm not inclined toward canning, especially because I'm not going to purchase more equipment for which I have no storage room! Might try the hummus (have made hummus before though), or nut butter. Then again, homemade ranch dressing sounds good. But nothing will happen before I leave on the 19th for SP, and don't return until 24th (doing my own little personal art/writing/reading retreat after workshop - yay!).

As for my favorite spice, it's hands-down Roasted Saigon cinnamon (such deep flavor), closely followed by freshly-ground nutmeg. I put them in anything I think they might work - cheesey things, pasta sauce, and more. These spices are probably why I'm addicted to Chai Lattes. Happen to love fresh-ground black pepper too. I do not enjoy most Asian spices, which is too bad because of their health-pluses (but might consider making the Curry mix and giving it as a gift to my daughter).

Not sure if I will get back to this Group before the workshop but will do so as soon as possible! (Geez, since I don't/won't do canning, then if I get to a FSC Swap someday I'll probably wind up baking like crazy to produce something swappable - so I can procure some homemade canned stuff!)


Lauren V | 4 comments Casey wrote: "This is the first year I have really dived head first into canning. I took some classes over the last year from Marisa of Food in Jars (lucky to have her in Philly) and really caught the bug. I mad..."

So jealous you got to one of Marisa's classes! I've been canning for awhile, but I think it'd be fun to learn from someone else. I ended up with some Tomato Jam from the swap - seems like that was a popular recipe this year :) I just leave my tomatoes whole and can them, boring I know! But that's what I like about the small-batch recipes!!


Cynthia | 66 comments Took us all day to get to it, but the sauerkraut is in the crock! We used two cabbages, total of nine pounds, and it fills our three gallon crock about halfway.

Paul likes to tease me about reading cookbooks, but when he found out I was going to make sauerkraut, he wanted in. Just like me, he's read about it and thought about it for years, but never quite dared try it. So rather than doing it alone earlier in the week, I made it our Sunday project. And Paul made us a custom pounder by whittling down a piece of maple firewood.

By the way - last night I saw a friend who had led a daylong fermentation workshop I attended last year (and STILL didn't have the nerve to try it at home). I asked him the question I had posted here earlier about storage, since I know that they live without any electricity or refrigeration and make LOTS of sauerkraut and similarly fermented food every year (they lead workshops on local and sustainable living www.koviashuvik.com/index.htm). He said that if they make it in the fall they just put it in the root cellar - still in the crock. Then they just take it out as needed. He said that a cool basement would work just as well. If they make it in the summer while the weather is still hot, they bury the crock in the mud near one of their springs and let the spring water keep it cool.


message 29: by Christine, FSC BOOK CLUB MODERATOR (new) - rated it 5 stars

Christine | 92 comments Mod
Jackie wrote: "I've done more freezing than canning this year since I picked so many low acid foods to preserve. Ratatouille, cantaloupe and pumpkin purees, tomato passata, roasted peppers frozen & recipe ready &..."

Roasted tomato ketchup! I would eat that straight from the jar too.


message 30: by Christine, FSC BOOK CLUB MODERATOR (new) - rated it 5 stars

Christine | 92 comments Mod
I love all of the resource-sharing and chit chat happening here! Thanks to authors Alana Chernila & Marisa McClellan for chiming in with helpful hints too!

Don't forget to share photos over on the Goodreads photo album, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (#FSCBookClub).


Cynthia | 66 comments Christine wrote: "...Don't forget to share photos over on the..."

Maybe someday we should read a book on Food Photography :-).

I took photos last night of Paul shredding the cabbage for the sauerkraut, but they came out terribly. I'll try again on our next adventure (or maybe next weekend, in the daylight, a photo of its progress).


Marilyn  (goodreadscommarilyn_zembo_day) | 25 comments Tried uploading picture of my ricotta to group but it didn't happen. Not sure what's wrong. No time to try figuring it out right now!


Casey (kcrose210) | 70 comments Lauren wrote: "Casey wrote: "This is the first year I have really dived head first into canning. I took some classes over the last year from Marisa of Food in Jars (lucky to have her in Philly) and really caught ..."

Lauren I definitely suggest signing up for one of her classes in the future, I took one a greensgrow and it definitely expanded my knowledge and gave me motivation to can more.


KitchenNinja | 33 comments I made the ranch dressing -- PERFECT!!!! Thank you thank you thank, Alana! I blogged about it here: http://yankee-kitchen-ninja.blogspot....

I'll post a photo to the FB page, too, as I think it turned out nicely.


Casey (kcrose210) | 70 comments Last night I pickled the last of my green cherry tomatoes I had pulled off before our first frost last weekend. I am excited to try them in bloody marias (bloody mary with tequila!) soon along with my pickled okra!


Jennifer Wilkerson | 9 comments Casey wrote: "Last night I pickled the last of my green cherry tomatoes I had pulled off before our first frost last weekend. I am excited to try them in bloody marias (bloody mary with tequila!) soon along with..."

Fascinating. I'd love your recipe!


Jackie (AuburnMeadowFarm) | 57 comments That is a good one... amazing how yukky Hidden Valley Ranch tastes once you're made this. And, how much easier can it be?


Jackie (AuburnMeadowFarm) | 57 comments The longer I put up food, the more I appreciate "boring" things like plain tomatoes. I like to cook, so like my ingredients basic so I can use them more different ways. I find the stuff gets used more that way...


Casey (kcrose210) | 70 comments Jennifer wrote: "Casey wrote: "Last night I pickled the last of my green cherry tomatoes I had pulled off before our first frost last weekend. I am excited to try them in bloody marias (bloody mary with tequila!) s..."

I used Marisa's (Food in Jars) recipe and just didn't cut the tomatoes because they were so small. I added some hot asian chiles to the jar as well because we like things spicy and have too many.


message 40: by Christine, FSC BOOK CLUB MODERATOR (new) - rated it 5 stars

Christine | 92 comments Mod
Kitchen wrote: "I made the ranch dressing -- PERFECT!!!! Thank you thank you thank, Alana! I blogged about it here: http://yankee-kitchen-ninja.blogspot....

I'll ..."


That looks delicious! And your photos are absolutely gorgeous. GORGEOUS!


message 41: by Meg (last edited Oct 20, 2012 03:50PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meg (megriffi) | 57 comments Hi folks - it's been a while, but I've been following along and enjoying the conversation. I am not a canner, but am hoping to give that try next year, when I'm a bit more settled. I'll have to consult you experts when I'm ready to give it a whirl!

This week I made some applesauce and wrote about it over at Small World Supper Club.

I made a much smaller recipe, since I only had 7 apples, so in addition to Alana's wisdom, I consulted Laura Miller's Green Market Baking Book. It was super easy and VERY delicious! I wish the ginger flavor came out a bit more - any suggestions?

Next up is peanut butter, which might be tied with hummus for my favorite condiment. I've actually made hummus with peanut butter (in a pinch, it can substitute for tahini), so I guess they're pretty much tied for first! : )


Kate Hayner | 18 comments I took the two beautiful heads of cabbage I had left from my garden and made sauerkraut this morning. I'd been planning on making it since last summer. There was a blog that had sauerkraut made with different seasonings so I made three batches - one seasoned with caraway, one with onion, garlic and crushed red pepper and one with bay leaves, sage and juniper. I'm not really sure how long I need to let it sit - every recipe I see has a different time frame. I guess I'll start tasting it after a few days and see how it goes.


Alana Chernila | 17 comments Kate wrote: "I took the two beautiful heads of cabbage I had left from my garden and made sauerkraut this morning. I'd been planning on making it since last summer. There was a blog that had sauerkraut made wit..."

Hi Kate!
Every recipe has a different time frame, because every batch seems to have one too! I would make sure that you start tasting after 5 days or so, and then every day or two after that. I find that 10 days is often a good time, although in colder weather it can take longer, and some go more like 5 or 6 weeks. You'll know that it's ready when it tastes good to you, and not too salty.


Alana Chernila | 17 comments Meg wrote: "Hi folks - it's been a while, but I've been following along and enjoying the conversation. I am not a canner, but am hoping to give that try next year, when I'm a bit more settled. I'll have to con..."

Hi Meg!
If you want your sauce super gingery, you can absolutely add in a bit of finely grated ginger (and the juice) at the end. Keep adding until it's right at your perfect spice level.


Kate Hayner | 18 comments Alana wrote: "Kate wrote: "I took the two beautiful heads of cabbage I had left from my garden and made sauerkraut this morning. I'd been planning on making it since last summer. There was a blog that had sauerk..."

Thanks Alana, it's really smelling up my pantry but I guess that's to be expected. I'll start tasting it on Friday and see how it goes.


Lauren V | 4 comments Kitchen wrote: "I made the ranch dressing -- PERFECT!!!! Thank you thank you thank, Alana! I blogged about it here: http://yankee-kitchen-ninja.blogspot....

I'll ..."


Great tips on your blog! Thanks for sharing.


Susan M | 34 comments I made the Buttermilk Ranch dressing today for my granddaughter because she loves to dunk her chicken pieces in ranch dressing. This dressing is delicious and I know that she will love it too! Next on the agenda is ketchup and oven beans


Amy | 78 comments Whole grain mustard! I CANNOT get enough of it lately! I have this cookbook at home, but can't remember if there is a mustard recipe. If not, I plan to use this one I conveniently found just this morning:

http://www.eatingrules.com/2012/10/fe...


Susan M | 34 comments When I need beans for recipe I reach for the canned ones so this morning I decided to try cooking cannellini beans. After 2 1/2 hours of cooking in oven, I checked the beans to find that they were done. At least half of the pot of beans are looking like mush, skins are falling off and just not perfect little soldiers like you find in the can. Should they have been pulled out of the oven before 2 1/2 hours; is this normal appearance for cookied beans? My intent was to make, freeze and use as a future additon to Italian style soups.


Alana Chernila | 17 comments Susan wrote: "When I need beans for recipe I reach for the canned ones so this morning I decided to try cooking cannellini beans. After 2 1/2 hours of cooking in oven, I checked the beans to find that they were..."

Hi Susan!
The key to keeping the beans whole is to make sure that the heat is low and slow- this is why the oven method tends to work well. There are a few variables that might have contributed here- an oven that runs hot, presoaking beans (can make them cook faster), or not enough water. There is also some variability in beans, even from brand to brand. I'd use your mushy beans to make a nice white bean soup, and give it another try, perhaps keeping an eye on the heat/ water if you think that might have been the issue. I've never had beans cook that fast for me in the oven! But perhaps others in the group might have thoughts on the issue?


« previous 1
back to top

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Alana Chernila (other topics)
Marisa McClellan (other topics)