It is strange to think that two years ago I was scared of canning. Today, we can almost monthly and have the confidence and experience to experiment.
Today we pickled spicy carrots, cumin green beans, dill green beans, spicy cauliflower and a combination of carrots, cauliflower and green beans. We also canned a cranberry mustard. Although we had recipes to consult for all of these projects, we experimented with spice combinations and brines. I bought white, orange and purple carrots at the Ferry Building Market this morning and the jars are quite beautiful. I'll need to take a picture after rearranging my canning bookcase. I admit to displaying my projects proudly rather than hding them in the cupboards. Now we are waiting to hear what our January assignment is for: http://tigressinajam.blogspot.com/2009/11/tigress-can-jam-food-blog-challenge.html. I'm guessing citrus of some sort but we shall see.
After pickling, and probably still smelling of vinegar, we went to Pizzaiolo for a quick early dinner. I started with a scofflaw, the drink that inspired us to can our own grenadine. With the meal I had a glass of Nero d'Avola, the grape discovery of the year for me. In order to try more options we split all of our courses. To start we had endive with crab, creme fraiche and salmon roe. Refreshing and light (in taste if not calories), it took the edge off the hunger I felt after canning all day without lunch. Our second course was gnocchi with a pork ragu that has me eagerly anticipating my pick up tomorrow at Pork Prom. For our main course we split with fried chicken with ceci beans (chick peas) and roasted winter vegetables. It is almost impossible for me to not order the fried chicken when it is on the menu at Pizzaiolo. It is always moist and flavorful though slightly less spicy tonight than usual. Having done a "fried chicken tour" of the Bay Area, it ranks in my top three. We finished with a flourless chocolate cake with sugared hazelnuts and creme anglaise. As always, I was struck by how much I like hazelnuts yet continue to dislike hazelnut flavored items.
Now time to relax and reorganize the freezer to accommodate the pork sampler pack coming tomorrow. After, must clean out the fridge for the fresh ham I have ordered as well. Considering a coke, bourbon glaze but would love suggestions.
Oh, and the person who guesses the closest to my top Christmas wish can have their choice of the jam or pickle.