Friday, March 12, 2010

Preservation Link Roundup 3/12/10

In addition to my response, there have been a number of other responses to Slate's dismissal of the canvolution:
  • Chimpanzee Tea Party: Surprise! Slate Thinks Canning Overrated
    Anyone who's been around the internet a few times knows that Slate has a tendency to be contrarian to point of self-parody... in fact, it's such a well known meme that it has become tedious to point it out. However, since I think the idea of pickling is pretty neat... and have done it once and twice... and hope to try canning/pickling some of the bounty of the Maine garden with Anna and her Mom this summer... I felt a somewhat silly need to respond. A need that's all the more silly, since a read of the critique reveals there is no there there:
  • The Baltimore DIY Squad: Is Canning Too Trendy?
    There are some truthful points to the article. Ball jars sure are photogenic. Canning is often a weekend activity that gets blogged about. Organic and heirloom crops can cost more than grocery store food. We foodmakers can sometimes sound self-satisfied when talking about our projects.

    But to say "let's be honest: It's not about producing serious food for the future, and it's not about shaking a fist at industrial food" is not just negative, it's downright wrong.
  • Molly's Local Food Blog: Home Canning Question
    The article ends with the assertion that the products of home-canning, while not thrifty, etc., are tasty and fun to make. That they are, in the words of Eugenia Bone, an act of optimism. On that I think we can all agree.
  • Serious Eats: 'Slate' Forgets That Urban Hipsters Aren't the Only Ones Canning Food
    Be sure to check the comments.
Mimi Holt pointed me to a jam-making excerpt from the new book Forgotten Skills of Cooking in the Guardian (How to Make Jam). Among some other good information, the excerpt includes the traditionally British practice of heating the sugar for jams in the oven in order to shorten cooking times (and make the jams taste fresher).

It isn't tomato season, but Granny Miller (no relation) notes that she didn't can enough tomato juice last year and plans on canning more. She also posts a nice slideshow of tomato canning, including a jar that didn't seal and the contents sent to the freezer (Canning Tomatoes & Making Tomato Juice).

The OC Weekly's food blog, Stick a Fork in It, highlights ripe cherimoya in the farmers markets right now (At the Farmer's Market: Cherimoyas). If you haven't had one yet, give it a try. As for preserving them, they aren't well suited to canning as they can turn brown and bitter. Rather, freeze them with a little bit of lime or lemon to hold the color and add a little flavor. Since the texture is going to be pretty soft anyway, might as well freeze as a purée.

Serious Eats posts a video of a Korean Great-Grandmother making kimchi (Video: How a Korean Great-Grandmother Makes Kimchi). She estimates that she has made kimchi 10,000 times. If you make or are interested in making kimchi, it is a good video to watch. It isn't really a recipe, but gives you a better idea of how it is made.

Destination Eats gets some free, promotional jerky in the mail ("I Want to Send You More Jerky!"). Two packages of sweet & spicy jerky arrive, one flavored with orange, the other with mango. Helpfully, DE lists the other ingredients (which are many of the usual suspects - and you probably already have in your pantry). So why not make your own?


  1. I've often written that canning doesn't just present monetary savings to me (and it does - a year's worth of tomatilla salsa for dollars? pint after pint of mango jam for $5? there are more stories from whence these came) but also fulfills any number of non-economic values. There's knowing what's in my food, for one. There's the time spent with children, sisters and friends preparing enough, say, applesauce for us all. There's the desire to present gifts consisting of something that quite literally cannot be bought in any store. Sometimes I feel like my pickled Brussels Sprouts are a political act (but not all that often, actually). All this - and more - informs the canning equation for me. It's not really about the trendy, it's about me and my values and how I feel I can live the best possible life, including as much mango jam as I can make in an hour of hands-on time. Turns out, that's quite a lot.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Marsha, and thanks for your blog, Hot Water Bath.