Sunday, February 7, 2010

Preservation Link Roundup 2/7/10

On The Kitchn (no, that is not a typo), Dana Velden writes about rediscovering the writings of famous American food author MFK Fisher (Weekend Meditation: On Rediscovering MFK Fisher). MFK Fisher has always been a favorite of mine, not as accessible as the friendly writing of James Beard, her writing can often strike even deeper chords, as Velden notes. Moreover, I live just a few miles from where she grew up in Whittier, CA. Furthermore, she was a fan of food preservation.

Indeed, she published an annotated edition of Fine Preserving, Catherine Plagemann's 1960s ode to "jams and jellies, pickles and relishes, conserves and chutneys, and brandied fruits. Elegant and unusual recipes for city and country cooks." Fisher's annotations are sometimes wonderful examples of her style:
[On Nectarine Chutney] Nectarines: I don't think I've used them in anything Mrs. Plagemann recommends. Her "chutney" sounds good, except that I don't make chutneys much any more. I think most people believe (or hope) that if they miss somehow on jam or conserves or preserves, they can simply add a lot of spices and garlic and chopped onion, and believe (or hope, again!) they're making a decent chutney. They are mistaken.
I've always thought we should have an MFK Fisher dinner here somewhere in Southern California, preferably in Whittier. If such a dinner were to happen, shouldn't some sort of preserve be a mandatory part of the menu?

Btw, if you do come across a copy of Fine Preserving you must be very careful with the recipes, since the book was published long before the USDA updated their guidelines in the 1990s. Be wary of any book published before 1996.

Tea Works Cottage, an internet shop on Etsy, is selling a vintage canning funnel (Vintage Canning Funnel Complete and Original). It's an old-fashioned canning funnel that doubles as an egg separator, strainer (coarse and fine) and bottle funnel. Pretty cool looking ... and only $12.00 + shipping. I'm tempted, but I've got enough equipment on my shelves.

The Kitchn has a couple of recipes for one of my favorite snacks to go with a nice cold one: pickled eggs (wasabi eggs? why didn't I think of that?) (Two Recipes for Pickled Eggs). Although these are pickled in Mason jars, it is important to remember that there is no safe home canning recipes for pickled eggs. Make them, but keep them in the refrigerator.

Pickled eggs and beer are a great reason to go to one of the monthly meetings of the Long Beach Homebrewers. Not only will you get to taste a wide variety of homebrew, but someone usually brings some homemade pickled eggs as a snack.

Maangchi has an excellent post with photos and video on making a simple kimchi (Korean Recipes: Easy Kimchi).

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