Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Preservation Link Roundup 3/2/10

The Frugal Fraulein points to a new article of hers about Bisphenol A in canning jar lids (BPA and Canning Jar Lids).
After doing some research I am still going to use metal lids. I will be very cautious though and will never store jars upside down. At this point the alternative is glass jar lids and they are still too expensive for The Frugal Fraulein. Also a while back I purchase two cases of jar lids at a reduced rate. I keep them in my cool garage where they will never get really hot. Remember storing unused canning jar lids in a hot place can melt them together. Unsticking them can make them unable to adequately seal.
Read her full article: How Safe Are Canning Jar Lids?.

I agree with her on using the metal lids and this bit of advice:
I suggest that all canners write to Jarden Home Brands maker of Ball, Kerr, Golden Harvest, and Bernardin canning jars and lids with an appeal to research and find another solution. As consumers we can alter their business by refusing to make purchases from them and turning our business to other companies. Jarden's mailing address is Jarden Home Brands, 14611 W. Commerce Road, Daleville, IN 47334 and their [contact page is http://www.freshpreserving.com/pages/contact_us/10.php].
Kevin West defines marmalade as bitter and jam as sweet - there's a story there, read it - and so what he is calling tangerine "jam", most would call tangerine "marmalade" (Tangerine Jam). Here is a sample of the distinction, from one of Kevin's correspondents:
My own personal taste buds prefer marmalade to be a little bit rude. I like marmalade to ever so slightly slap me around the face. It's a good way to wake up in the morning. Short and sharp. I would describe this preserve as nearer to 'sweet and long', which is how I like my summers and affairs, just not so much my marmalades.
Gives you a whole new perspective on preserves.

Food author/activist Michael Pollan gives an interview to Earth Eats about his most recent book Food Rules (Michael Pollan: Food Rules, Practical Advice For Local Eating). Last month, I wrote about the intersection of food preservation and Food Rules (Food (Preservation) Rules). Pollan clearly recognizes the importance of food preservation for eating locally and sustainably:
Well, I think there are challenges to eating that way [locally and sustainably]. One is eating that way through the winter in a place like Indiana. There are a lot of people who are giving a lot of thought to food preservation, how do you do that well, finding people who are growing well under glass. So, extending the season for local food I think is an area where there’s a lot of work that can be done and it’s worth doing. [emphasis added]
If you haven't read Food Rules yet, I highly recommend it ... and it is less than $10 on Amazon. Pollan's other books are classics as well.

Sharon Astyk, author of Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage & Preservation, has declared the "Independence Day Challenge III" (Independence Days Year III). The challenge is basically about taking small steps towards a more sustainable way of living and eating. It isn't about stunts, like eating only within 100 miles for six months, but about doing small tasks that lead toward food independence. The small steps ultimately add up. Here are a few of the steps Sharon suggests:
  • Plant something.
  • Harvest something (neighborhood fruit trees count).
  • Preserve something.
  • Waste not.
  • Want not.
  • Build community food systems.
  • Eat the food.
This is something that everyone can participate in. And, even if you don't participate actively, just considering the challenge is worthwhile.

Serious Eats has a food preservation quiz (Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Food Preservation?). Let's get that average score up, people!

This past Sunday I talked about using fat as a preservative in confits and rillettes (Preservation Link Roundup 2/28/10). Yesterday, Serious Eats published a recipe for pork rillettes (Cook the Book: Pork Shoulder Rillettes). If you've never made rillettes, I highly recommend giving it a try.

Congratulations to Food in Jars for being nominated by the 1st annual Saveur Best Food Blog Awards (Nominated in the Saveur Best Food Blog Awards!). Vote (registration required) here: Cast Your Vote for ... Best Special Interest Blog.

Epicurious waxes metaphorically about a preserved lemon condiment, chermoula (Preserved Lemons Redux: Charmoula the Wise and Thoughtful).
We see that Mayo and Ketcho were simple happy girls; very popular and easygoing, they had a lot of friends. But the youngest daughter had a deep internal life and spent her time searching for perfection.
What a coincidence, I was planning on serving chermoula with some pistachio-crusted halibut on Wednesday evening.

Food Forward is a Los Angeles-based group that seeks to harvest backyard fruit and fruit from non-maintained orchards with volunteer labor. The harvest is then (100%) donated to local food banks. They are hosting the Juicy Fruit express this Saturday, March 6th (Fresh Juice March Edition).
Come join Food Forward on our first field trip to Bakersfield, CA! The Juicy Fruit Express is a vegetable oil run bus that will take 40 of us to an amazing citrus orchard in Bakersfield for a huge orange pick and BBQ on Saturday, March 6th. Tickets are only $20.00 per person – this includes your seat on the bus and all food, drinks and refreshments for the day
I've got other commitments, but it sounds great. Be sure to check their website out for other opportunities, such as a tangerine pick on Sunday.

via Good Food

Last but not least Small Measure is holding her monthly can giveaway (Small Measure Can-Do Contest, Round 9). In order to win, there isn't much more to do than comment on her post - read full details and fine print on her blog. It's worth it for a chance to get some Rhubarb Amaretto Chutney.