Monday, February 15, 2010

Preservation Link Roundup 2/16/10

The LA Weekly's Squid Ink updates on what's fresh in the local farmers' markets (What's in Season at the Farmers Markets: Chamomile Gets a Boost from the Rains). Chamomile ... what a wonderful flavoring for certain jams and jellies. It has a particular affinity for citrus, especially lemons. Lemon-Chamomile marmalade, anyone?

Cooking Issues, the tech/food blog from the French Culinary Institute, has been experimenting with making stocks using a pressure canner (All-American, natch!) and goes into detail about the results (Pressure Cooked Stock 2: Changing Pressures, Playing with Chemistry). Conclusion: pressure-canned stock is the winner, but you need to use a non-venting lid. Guess I'll have to look into getting a non-venting lid for my canner - which would make it a sterilizer, not a canner - but great for making stock - then I switch lids, and can the stock.

Mother's Kitchen cans a classic and integral part of bánh mì sandwiches (Vietnamese Carrots and Daikon Pickle). This do chua is great on its own, but having some around for last minute sandwich making is a good thing. Bonus, though she is in Michigan, the carrots and daikon were from California.

Of course carrot slaws aren't only good on Vietnamese sandwiches. Put a Lid on It is canning a carrot and onion slaw for, presumably, Western-style sandwiches (Carrots and Onion Sandwich Slaw).

Nina Corbett has a recipe I can use with the basket of kumquats sitting on my kitchen counter right now (Kumquats in Honey Ginger Syrup). I've already made and canned some syrup and marmalade last week, but slicing all those kumquats into rings is very time consuming. Nina's recipe sounds much quicker and easier. I might cut the kumquats in half and seed them for easier eating later (and serving to friends and family). I also might add a little bit of an orange liqueur or, perhaps, some brandy.

Kevin West waxes rhapsodic about citrus culture and geography in suburban Southern California and adopts a free tree from Fallen Fruit (The Great Fruit Tree Giveaway).
Planting a tree is always an optimistic act, and planting a fruit tree is doubly so: you assume that you'll be around to enjoy the literal fruits of your effort. Planting my two Meyer lemon trees in California was something more, though, and more specific. It was a kind of declaration: about starting over, about setting down roots for a new future—about staking my claim on the California Dream.
Dream on Kevin!

Farm to Table is really excited about the wonderful beets now in market, providing some nutritional information as well as a brief history of this important vegetable (Beet Envy). They also have a recipe for beet pickles. Most pickled beets are quick pickles, made with a brine of vinegar, sugar and salt. F2T's recipe is for another type of beet pickle, fermented!

F2T discusses using Mason canning jars for the fermentation. One thing you might consider when using a Mason jar for fermentation is to put the flat lid on upside down, with the silicon ring up and screwing it on loosely. This will help ensure there isn't an airtight seal by accident, for example, by temperature variations creating a loose seal.

Well Preserved's Cheap Tuesday Gourmet discusses how home food preservation can improve both flavor and economy, whether freezing roasted red peppers or canning beans (Cheap Tuesday Gourmet – Calling All Food Preservers).
From now on we will also price all of our preserving posts (based on ingredients). Not all of our preserves will be considered cheap (wild blueberries with maple syrup is an adorable jam but not for the most cost conscious), but I want to help get the message out that preserving can help make a significant difference – in the amount of food that rots, the cost of what you eat and the quality and taste of what appears on your plate.
Pricing preserves is a great idea. I'll have to incorporate that in my journals and jars sometimes.


  1. Ernest,

    Thanks for the quote and love the work you guys are doing here. I have had the pleasure of being in California twice this year and was blown away by the presence and support of local food.

    Now I have to read about pressure canning stock and Pickled Daikons :)

    Joel (WellPreserved)

  2. Thanks, Joel.

    If you are ever in the area, be sure to let us know.

  3. Ernest,
    I came here following a link on WellPreserved and so glad I did. What a comprehensive bunch of posts! I look forward to hearing more.
    All best,

  4. hey thanks for the shout-out- very exiting for me! i love this page and check it first daily.