Wednesday, March 21, 2012

CANNED COLESLAW, ANOTHER PICKLED WONDER.

Just a month or so ago, I posted a story and a recipe for Boston steamed bread. At the time I said that, with just three items on your survival menu, you could be substantially healthy and full. Those items were: steamed bread, coleslaw, and baked beans. And what made this a survival no-brainer was that all three could be stocked on your pantry shelf. Sure, you would need to do some foot (and hand) work, by either buying these as "regular", manufactured products or canning the foods yourself. This post talks about canned coleslaw, something that you may not have heard of or suspected wasn't even possible. But, of course, it is - more than possible, and it's easy to make.

Cabbage is healthy food.
Now, some of you may either like or dislike sauerkraut. Well, that's a close cousin to the canned coleslaw. The ingredients are just about the same. The difference is that sauerkraut is a fermented food, and canned coleslaw is a lot more like the freshly made side dish that fried chicken, fried fish, and hot dog lovers crave. Beyond that, cabbage, whatever form it's served up in, is cheap, healthy, and available almost any time during the year. In my book, that easily makes it a miracle food. And, for people who really like coleslaw, like I do, having canned coleslaw on the shelf is a tempting idea.

Here's a tip. One way, I've heard of, to get into the canning mode is to make it a social event by organizing a canning group. You get with a few friends to plan, buy, and process some food item together. That helps you overcome some of the inertia involved in trying out a different canning experience. And there may be several reasons that you haven't yet tried out a new canned item, including relatively ignorance of canning procedures, the need to buy a quantity of ingredients that might surpass your canning desires or capacity to store, or just the need for some company in order to undertake what seems to be a huge task. A canning group can help.

I’m including a recipe, and almost all the recipes for canned coleslaw are simple and have the same ingredients. . After all, it is regular coleslaw - minus the mayonnaise. And most everyone agrees that the canned coleslaw turns out every bit as crisp as the freshly made kind. It's pickled on the sweet side, and that's a traditional way - adding acidified syrup to low acid veggies. The result is really pickled cabbage, and it makes great coleslaw. It maintains its crunch, and you could eat it straight from the jar. But that's a lot of pickling syrup. So, you'll probably prefer to drain it well and mix it with mayo. And it can be thrown together in just a minute for a picnic or a potluck dinner.

Coleslaw Recipe for Canning (or Freezing)
1 medium head cabbage
1 large carrot
1 green or red sweet pepper (optional)
1/2 medium onion (optional)
1 tablespoon salt

For the brine syrup
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, celery seeds, or dill weed (optional)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds

Cut finely or shred the vegetables into a big pot. Add the salt. Let stand 1 hour. Drain
water and rinse twice. Then drain again.
Boil syrup ingredients together for a couple of minutes. Make sure you completely melt the sugar and the syrup is clear.

Add the syrup to the vegetables and pack into pint jars. Remove any bubbles that form using a spatula. Process jars in boiling water for 20 minutes. If you're not sure about the canning process, you can pack the slaw into freezer containers and put it in the freezer where it's good for up to a year.

This food is good tasting as is (as pickled cabbage). Or, for the traditional coleslaw taste, it should be drained and mayonnaise added just before serving. That’s what makes canned coleslaw an entirely portable food for a picnic, despite the heat. You carry the unopened can with you and do the final touches to your coleslaw just before meal time.

Related posts
Steamed brown bread, a recipe for your survival kitchen
SERVE CABBAGE SOUP OFTEN - WE'LL ALL BE BETTER OFF FOR IT
COOKING OIL CONFLICTS.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR IS A KITCHEN STAPLE
PICKLING, A TREASURED WAY TO PROCESS VEGGIE ABUNDANCE

WHAT'S IN YOUR PANTRY? FOCUS ON MIRACLE FOODS.
FIVE COMMON FOODS ITEMS THAT CAN CURE YOUR AILMENTS

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