Thursday, February 11, 2010

Preservation Link Roundup 2/12/10

As anyone who knows me knows ... I am a huge fan of pickles. So how excited was I that I could express my fandom on Facebook? Very. Express your fandom: Can this Pickle get More Fans than Nickleback?.

The Kitchn, has a good idea for keeping your freezer nice and full of a variety of home frozen meals without hitting the frozen foods aisle in the supermarket (Great Idea! Start a Freezer Meal Cooperative).
A group of six (or more) people decide on a certain amount of meals for a six-week period. Angie's group does 12 meals. Then each person prepares two of the meals, and freezes enough for all six people in the group. (It's obviously a lot easier to prepare and freeze a lot of one or two recipes, rather than 12 recipes!)

Then they distribute the frozen meals among themselves, and everyone has a frozen yet homemade meal for their family twice a week.
Ah, convenience! One of the wonderful things about food preservation plus, in this case, community ... another benefit of food preservation if you share it with others.

Food Safety News reports on a new food preservation technique developed at Washington State University (New Technology Extends Food Shelf Life).
Juming Tang, a professor in the WSU Department of Biological Systems Engineering, led a team of industry, university, and U.S. military scientists to create this technology. The outcome not only results in food with a longer shelf-life, but also food with better flavor and nutritional value when compared to more traditional food processing methods such as canning....

The team's Microwave Sterilization Process technology submerges the packaged food in pressurized hot water while concurrently heating it with microwaves at a frequency of 915 MHz--this frequency penetrates food much more deeply than home microwave ovens. This combination eliminates food pathogens and spoilage microorganisms in five to eight minutes and produces foods with much higher quality than conventionally processed products.
It doesn't sound as if this technique will be reaching the home soon, if ever, but I like keeping up with food preservation news.

Dancer and local foods activist Leda Meredith has a guest post on the Farm to Table blog on how food preservation and local foods go together (Why Food Preservation is an Important Part of Eating Local and Two Ways to get Started). She's preaching to the choir. I also like that she has a recipe for a fermented fruit chutney, something I've never tried, but will now.

Delilah Snell visits a friend's mother's garden and kitchen and helps in making some fermented dills and lemon curd made with agave syrup rather than sugar (A Rainy Afternoon with Joanne - Lemon Curd Recipe). The curd isn't for canning, but can be kept in the refrigerator or longer in the freezer. There are cannable curds, but because they contain butter and eggs (generally a no-no in canning), their shelf-stable life is only 2-3 months.

My curds usually don't last that long, so I don't bother canning them.

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