Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Preservation Link Roundup 2/10/10

LAist gives a quick overview of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs in LA (Taking a Look at L.A.'s Community Supported Agriculture Programs). CSA's are not only a good way to get a regular supply of fresh produce, but as many CSA recipients will tell you ... you'll often end up with an excess of something. That means, of course, that you will have plenty of stuff to preserve as well.

CSAs aren't the only way to get a plethora of fresh produce for preserving. The Kitchn has a list of other things you can do to prepare for summer: "if you want to enjoy the full bounty of summertime, this is the time to start thinking about where your food will be coming from" (6 Things You Can Do Now to Eat Locally This Summer). Yep, and start planning on what you want to can.

Speaking of CSAs, my friend and fellow Master Food Preserver Delilah Snell of the green Road Less Traveled Store shares a concept for Community Supported Artisan Goods, or CSAG (CSA, CSF and Perhaps, CSAG??):
members of the CSAG will receive a monthly or bi-monthly basket containing a number of preserved goods. at least 6 jars but up to 10 of items like: apple butter, pickles, jams, salsas/condiments, but also dried foods or salted items (beef jerky??). all made from local, organic ingredients. just like a regular CSA, you would pick up this "basket" with your other fresh items or they can be available at drop-offs at farmers' markets.
Department of "Why Didn't I Think of That?"

Anarchy in a Jar shares a recipe for Key Lime and Smoked Salt Marmalade. Smoked salt ... of course! I'm a huge fan of smoked salt. It is a simple and delicious way to bring smoke flavor to all sorts of dishes. Usually it is best added to a dish just before serving, as a finishing salt. It looks pretty, adds texture (crunchy salt flakes), and plenty of flavor (a perfect garnish!).

This recipe makes me think ... why not add smoked salt to already existing jams or jellies when served? Of course you have to match the flavor. There are many types of smoked salt, each with its own particular flavor: hickory, maple, applewood, cherrywood, alder, and oak are just some of the more common varieties. And of course, there are many other options for preserves. Lemons and smoke go really well. Smoked Salt/Lemon Marmalade, obviously. But why not add a little smoked salt when making preserved lemons. You wouldn't want to use all smoked salt, but some smoked salt would make an interesting preserved lemon.

Speaking of preserved lemons, last night I made a delicious spread with goat cheese, minced preserved lemon peel and a healthy amount of parsley.

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