Monday, March 22, 2010

Preservation Link Roundup 3/22/10

Yeah! We will soon have another Master Food Preserver in Los Angeles County! Kevin West of Saving the Season is making the long commute to San Bernardino every week in order to complete the Master Food Preserver certification course, which is only offered in three California Counties, two up North and one in SB (MFP). Yet another step closer to reviving the program here in Los Angeles.

Serious Eats highlights a video from Food Curated (highly recommended web series) about an artisan maker of "bacon marmalade" (Bacon Marmalade, from 'Food Curated'). The idea is very interesting and I know people who are making bacon jams. However, I am uncertain of the safety of canning such recipes, as opposed to merely refrigerating them. I was surprised that, near the end of the video (5:56), the artisan was shown merely screwing on the 1-piece lid for the jar with no processing at all. Perhaps there was processing that was not shown, but it is certainly not clear whether they were processed or not.

Wow, hasn't What Julia Ate been busy? She has a new flock of chickens, and still had time to stuff a trout with some tangelo lemongrass jelly which was accompanied by homemade ricotta cheese (a wonderful way to preserve milk) (Trout with Vegetable Hash and Fresh Ricotta Cheese). Wonderful choice. Lemon-y jellies of all sorts (I made a lemon/lemongrass jelly last year) go wonderfully with fish (and chicken). Stuff, as Julia did, use as a glaze, or an accompaniment.

Wendolonia is very happy with the results of her "easy" lemon ginger marmalade - easy because it uses powdered pectin (Actually Easy Lemon Ginger Marmalade). That is one of my very favorite flavor combinations (try it in lemonade). There are a lot of fish dishes this would pair well with.

As you may recall, last week Well Preserved dehydrated some beets, onions and celery root. This week, they used the dried onion and some other homemade spices as a rub for ribs (Homemade Ribs – Preserved Dry Rub Included…). Quite a bit more satisfying (and flavorful) than buying one of those stale rubs at the store.

Ground spices, because they have so much surface area, lose their flavor much faster than whole spices. Since a rub is usually mostly ground spices, depending on how long they've stayed in a distribution center or store, commercial dry rubs are often much less flavorful than a freshly ground one made at home. Try it yourself and see the difference.

Just last week I was noting the beautiful rhubarb in the local farmers markets. Hitchhiking to Heaven makes the first rhubarb preserve of the season that I'm aware of (Rhubarb, Pear, and Vanilla Jam). She also explains a little bit about substituting Pomona's Pectin into the recipe.

If you haven't tried rhubarb yet, the simplest thing in the world is to grab a stalk (only! the leaves contain dangerous oxalic acid), dip the end into some sugar and bite. The original sweet and tart. Brown sugar is also an option, or get fancy and dip it into vanilla sugar - makes an elegant, yet simple and fun dessert at your next dinner party.

A few days ago Eugenia Bone shared her recipe for pickled fennel. Now she shares two recipes for using it (Two Recipes that use Pickled Fennel). Use these recipes as inspiration for some of the things you can do with any sort of pickle.

I've been pretty harsh on Slate recently, but they published a good article on a story I've posted about a couple of times here, in this case the ongoing canned tomato scandal (Rotten Tomatoes: Scandal Strikes the Tomato-Paste Industry). The article is the best I've seen yet on the structure of the tomato industry, a brief history and how the scandal fits into all of it. Read the whole thing.

Here is a somewhat lengthy response (for a blog post) to that Slate article I disliked so much from the Ethicurian (Yes We Can ... and We Relish It!). Wow, two puns in a single title. The article is a great description of Preserving Traditions:
Preserving Traditions was begun in February, 2009 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as a way to keep alive (and re-teach) "traditional" foodways, including preserving and cooking food from scratch.
Very cool.

What is it with knitting and canning? Detroit Knitter made Jalapeño Apple Spread on St. Patrick's Day. - which is what most would call jelly (Jalapeño Apple Spread).

More March Can Jam:


  1. Would you have any idea where we might get Pomona pectin and Pomona calcium water locally? I'd love to try the rhubard-pear-vanilla jam recipe! TIA

  2. Hi Diana,

    Pomona pectin (and calcium water) are readily available via mail order on the internet. However, I am looking into local suppliers. If I can't find any, I'll talk to some friends I have at some restaurant supplies and see if they might carry it. I'll add another comment to this post when I get some information (though it may take me a few days).


  3. Ernie, I've located Pomona pectin at the Whole Foods store in Pasadena, and Granny's Pantry, a health food store just down the street from Whole Foods at Arroyo Parkway and California. No luck on the calcium water yet, tho. Thanks for whatever leads you can come up with -- I hate to pay for shipping water, no matter how fancy it is! I've also posted at the Hitchhiking to Heaven blog to see if she thinks the calcium water is essential to the recipe.

    Thanks again!

  4. The calcium packet to make calcium water comes in the Pomona's Pectin pack. No need to ship water. :-)

    Thanks for the update on availability.

    Let us know how your canning goes!

  5. Well, that'll teach me to open the packet and see what's there! Thank you very much, Ernest.