Sunday, March 14, 2010

Preservation Link Roundup 3/14/10

March Can Jam Update:

All Types of Cooking, and a Whole Lot of Canning Here! wanted to work with a more unusual allium and ramps weren't available, so she searched and found cipollines to pickle (Allium......Yum!). Cipollines are an Italian pearl onion with a saucer-like shape. They're small and sweet and add a distinctive look to any plate. I usually use them whole in braises and stews or roasted as part of mixed roasted vegetables, but they are very versatile - just keep them whole (or mostly whole) for their unique appearance. Pickling them is a great idea.

Kitchen Jam riffs on a red onion marmalade by adding blood orange juice and rhubarb (March CanJam: Red Onion & Rhubarb Jam).

Miss Can Jam herself, Tigress in Pickle, silences some red onions with extreme prejudice (Onionz Limone Chutney).
this little chutney packs a powerful punch, and definitely has an eastern flair. i would say skip the ubiquitous chutney & sharp cheese pairing with this one and go right for the curries, stir-frys and one dish indian and southeast asian inspired meals. or simply use it stirred into a rice or grain as the exotic flavoring agent.
Not every preserve is a success. Case in point: Hitchhiking to Heaven had to leave the room while cooking her entry in the Can Jam (Garlic and Green Chile: Never-Again Jelly).
Yielded only 3 half-pints of jelly and one slightly nauseated cook.
Yeah, I guess you'd have to be a garlic lover for that one.

Although the result wasn't exactly what they wanted, at least Three Clever Sisters wasn't nauseated by their onion-fennel-red pepper pickle (Can Jam March Challenge: Alliums). If they didn't like red pepper, they could have simply left it out.

As a Disneyland Resort cook, I was happy to hear that Put a Lid on It (a chef herself) was impressed with the food served at our sister park, Disney's Animal Kingdom, and decided to recreate a pickle (actually, more like a chutney, I think) that came with the bread service (Sweet Onion and Lime Pickle).

A couple of quick notes. Although this pickle is most likely safe for canning it hasn't been tested. Also, the processing time seems a bit short. And, if you are processing for only five minutes, the jars must be sterilized prior to use. Jars do not have to be sterilized (only clean and hot) if the processing time is ten minutes or longer.

Other notes. If you are ever at a Disney park and like the food, you don't have to reverse engineer the dish, unless you want to. Please feel free to ask for the recipe. You will get it. They might have to email or mail it to you later, but they'll get it to you.

Also, Disney's California Food & Wine Festival will be taking place April 16 - May 31. Not a bad way to spend the day. And I'm not just saying that because I work there.

The Atlantic's Food Channel publishes an ode to homemade fruit wines (In a Fruit Wine, Comfort and Validation).
I swear to God, if you blindfolded me I would not be able to tell it apart from a decent Amontillado. Smooth, a little caramel, but with a bright acidity I did not expect in a wine that looked like maple syrup. It is, for all intents and purposes, a fine sherry. Made from Costco raisins. In a plastic bucket.
Fruit wines may sound sort of weird, but you can actually make some darn fine stuff. Even from Costco raisins.

Rufus and Clementine really wasn't bothered too much by Slate's condescending take on the revival of canning (Market.Watch | 12Mar10 & The Slam Reax).
The Slate article got under my skin, primarily, because it hurt the feelings of people I’ve come to respect, who felt attacked for practicing the traditions they hold dear. I had less of a problem because I kind of knew who she was talking to and about. It didn’t bother me, personally, because I’ve come to really enjoy doing it. Period. Whatever.
Mahlzeit (a German salutation, often preceding a meal, especially lunch) isn't so sure that food preservation is part of the solution (Apostate).
Food preservation, also, struck me as naive in its economy of scale. Is it really better for a million local households to each have a dehydrator ($80) and a couple of freezers ($200 to $350 each), and a pressure canner ($200 to $600), and a vacuum sealer ($150)?
Investing in these devices doesn't make sense unless you're going to use them, sometimes for several years. So, yeah, if everyone used them and account for the cost over several years, I think it does make sense.

Last week I pickled and canned local asparagus for a demo at the Hollywood Farmers' Market. Now, fruit detective David Karp reports in the LA Times that California's asparagus growers are shrinking in the face of Mexican and Peruvian competition since asparagus is a labor-intensive crop (Market Watch: Hard Times for California Asparagus).

The New York Times Magazine runs an interesting article with a feminist take on locavorism, what one author calls Radical Homemakers (aka a manifesto for "tomato-canning feminists") (The Femivore’s Dilemma).

Local artisanal canner Valerie Confections gets some press from NBC Los Angeles Feast - not only are they making farmers' market sourced preserves, but they will be doing some classes in the near future (Canning with Valerie Confections). Very cool.

Finally, with Easter right around the corner, Within My Means makes a kumquat chutney that she has fond memories of serving for the holiday (Easter-y Kumquat Chutney). Although it isn't a canning recipe and should be refrigerated, it sounds good to me.

1 comment:

  1. PN- the jars were, of course, sterilized, and I also live at 0 degrees altitude, though a suppose another couple minutes wouldn't hurt anything (note changed processing time on recipe).