If you haven't tried sunchokes yet, I highly recommend it. Raw, they have the crunchy texture of jícama, but with an earthy, delicate flavor of true artichoke hearts. They're great roasted or steamed. Purée them into soup (with stock and/or, mmmm, cream), or into a mash. A gratin is also a good idea. Bonus, they are native to North America.
Last week, Kevin West made the case for pickles with barbecue (BBQ & Pickles). Today, Coconut & Lime shows how jams and jellies can be used with barbecue as well (Blueberry-Balsamic Slow Cooker Pork):
I [Coconut & Lime] love using jams as a short cut to flavor in quick barbecue sauces, it adds a not too sweet, fruity flavor without a lot of effort or adding sugar. Not to mention that adding jam helps me use up all of the jams I seem to accumulate/compulsively buy but since I don't actually eat jam or jelly or preserves on toast or bread or whatever people eat jam on I end up with piles and piles of them, unopened and wasting their potential.One thing to consider when choosing a jam to use in this method is to think about what sort of wine you want to pair with it, and choose the fruit that best pairs with the wine. I'm thinking cherries with a tempranillo.
Food in Jars celebrates more than a year of serious canning with a return to marmalade - funny how the seasons return like that (Three-Citrus Marmalade Recipe). She uses a serrated peeler, which is normally for soft fruit (i.e., tomatoes, peaches). I would recommend a better non-serrated peeler. The problem with serrated peelers is that they will peel a soft fruit very well, and the skin on your fingers and thumbs is a lot like a soft fruit. It is much easier to injure yourself with a serrated peeler.
You know, when someone is doing a home harvested meal and they break out the moose steaks, wild leeks and crab - you begin to wonder if you are living in the right place - nah, Southern California still rules. Nevertheless, I have to say I'm impressed when Well Preserved's moose steaks weren't butchered properly to enjoy on the grill and they had to improvise with a stir fry instead, getting all the ingredients from their pantry (The Joys of a Pantry). Stir fries are always a great way to cook from your pantry.
Well Preserved also has gotten a lot of use out of their dehydrator: pineapple, apple and citrus (Adventures in Dehydrating - Pineapples and Apples). Dried fruit makes a great snack, of course, but it is also very useful in cooking. There are a lot of recipes where you want to add flavor, but not too much more moisture, indeed, you might want to reduce the moisture. Dried fruits and vegetables are great for that.
Kevin West initiates a series of guest bloggers with a wonderful piece on cooking for romance, from your pantry by baker/author Amanda Miller (Guest Blogger Amanda Miller's Salt-Preserved Lemons). Gee, aren't preserved lemons useful?
Sauerkraut, is there nothing you can't do? The LA Times People's Pharmacy recommends sauerkraut for curing canker sores (Sauerkraut as a Remedy for Canker Sores):
Trauma to the mouth from sharp food can trigger a canker sore (aphthous ulcer). So can immune suppression or a deficiency of folic acid, vitamin B-12 and iron. A 1930s remedy recommended swishing sauerkraut juice in the mouth several times a day. Perhaps the bacteria that ferment cabbage into sauerkraut provide helpful nutrients.A shout out to my friend Alexandra Agajanian who gave me a beautiful can of sauerkraut on Sunday. It looks fantastic ... can't wait to try it.