Pickling and ponderings

09/07/2008 at 8:30 pm (food, thoughts)

I had forgotten about all the cool places in Missouri. I really like the food co-op I joined here and will miss that when we move. I already checked and there isn’t one close to where we’ll live. But I mainly buy flour, sugar, and other grains through them and remembered there are two amish/mennonite stores nearby. I will also still be able to order through Frontier through a friend of mine over there. She only orders once or twice a year, but that is okay by me. Usually I order through them every other month. I order our deodorant, tooth powder, peppermints and spices through them. I love it!
I ordered a nice hemp bag for Nick to use for school from them. You have to order at least $250 worth to get free shipping, but if you just order with a group of people it’s not a problem.

Oh, this last time I ordered some vanilla beans through them. I’ve always wanted to make my own vanilla extract. I got some beans from a friend when we lived in our camper, but never made anything with them. I got some vodka and made a batch last week with my friend, Jill. It made a quart and I can’t wait for it to be done. It sits for awhile anywhere between 2-4 months. You can even reuse the beans for awhile, just keep adding vodka until it doesn’t turn brown anymore. The beans were so cheap too. 59 cents each! I split them with three other people. One lady who bought more than all of us, said she usually pays $5 a bean and was glad to get in on the divide. It cost me $10 to make a quart of vanilla extract. Not bad… considering I’ll probably get more out of the bean when I add more vodka. Jill and I went together to the liquor store. We didn’t have a clue what we were doing or know what brand to buy. We wondered what the cashier lady thought of us as we stood there trying to figure out which brand to get. Jill said, “I’ll need a whole bottle just for myself.” She bought 9 beans and I bought 5 and we split one bottle of the vodka to make the first batch.

I had meant to blog about my vanilla making procedure, but forgot to, but maybe next time. The link I provided I liked for the pictures, though it’s not the recipe I used. The recipe I used was 3/4 cup of vodka per bean and I had 5 beans.

Frontier also sells empty bottles. (which is where I get my salve containers) Jill ordered some for her vanilla batches. I wish I’d ordered some last time, but hope to order some this next month. With an added label, it will be so cute! I am really liking the idea of making my own everything. This way I know exactly what goes into it and I can stay away from ingredients I don’t like. Did you know that corn syrup is now in pure vanilla extracts? I don’t remember it being in there before. So much for being “pure”.

I  order through Frontier’s wholesale program through my buying club. If there is not one started in your area,  you can start one up. Click on “request a catalog” and a window will pop up and say:

…”please visit our wholesale web site for more information about becoming a Frontier wholesale customer. If you want information about ordering from Frontier as a buying club, click here.”

If you click on the latter, it will tell you what you need to join.

I pickled okra this morning and tried a new recipe I hadn’t tried before. Pickled green beans and carrots with onions. It has mustard seeds, cayenne powder, salt, a bay leaf, black peppercorns, celery seeds and coriander seeds for the seasonings. I got the recipe from Whole Foods website. I didn’t know they had recipes on their site. I thought it might be too spicy because this new cayenne I ordered is much hotter than my last batch, but it was so good! Tasted kind of like 3 bean salad, if you’ve ever had that. You can sometimes find them at piggy troughs, I meant buffet restaurants. The recipe for the pickled green beans is here:

I made some deviled eggs too. I don’t like deviled eggs myself, but I like to take the leftover filling and spread it on saltine crackers. Yummy! Luna apparently likes eggshells. I was peeling the eggs and an eggshell piece hit the floor and before I could pick it up, Luna pounced on it and gobbled it right up! I couldn’t believe it!

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