Monday, March 29, 2010

Preservation Link Roundup 3/29/10

Mere hours after I posted my weekly email on making homemade vinegar using "Two Buck Chuck," a cheap an inexpensive, but decent wine, I got the news that some people are suggesting a ~$5 tax per bottle of wine here in California, according to LAist (Initiative to Tax Alcohol Could Bring California Billions — That's Because Your Vodka Will Cost $17 More).
A new initiative that would increase the tax on alcohol was cleared for signature gathering today by the Secretary of State's Office. And it's not a modest tax increase, it's huge. Tax on a six-pack of beer would increase from 6-cents to $6.08. And say goodbye to two-buck chuck--a tax on a 750 ml bottle of wine would go from 4-cents to $5.11
Hopefully they won't get enough signatures to get on the ballot and, if they do, I hope Californians realize what a bad idea this would be, not just for homemade vinegar but for cooking and eating in general.

Know Whey is celebrating sugar making time in the Northeast with a breakfast cake that features two preserved foods: homemade applesauce and yogurt (Sugaring Time: Maple Sugar Applesauce Breakfast Cake). It looks delicious.

I'm wondering if you alter the recipe and substitute in any fruit butter (with a little liquid) in order to alter the flavor and look.

Speaking of breakfast cake, Kevin West reports on the breakfast he makes as a preserver (A Preserver's Breakfast). Here's hoping he feels better soon.

They always say the toughest step is admitting you have a problem, and it appears as if Hitchhiking to Heaven has taken that step (I Need a Canning Intervention).
This will be my first time entering anything in the [Marin County] fair and I'm kind of spazzed out about it. I'm pretty well set in most of the categories I want to enter: I have three marmalades, three jams, and a conserve, which are the things I do best -- and you'd think that would be plenty. Except I got it in my head that I want a jelly. One really nice jelly.
H2H is having a few problems with the jelling point. This isn't an uncommon problem, especially when you are working with new recipes. Experience really helps, so just keep at it!

And a reminder for my local readers - don't forget to get ready to enter preserving judging at the LA County Fair (Time to Prepare for the Oscars of Food Preservation - Weekly Email).

The Waterbury, CT Republican American profiles Tom Wallace, a local gardener/canner (A Year-Round Gardener Cans It in Seymour).
Last year, the Wallaces canned 237 quarts, 220 pints and 57 half-pints. Since 2000, they have canned 4,336 jars. He stores them in his basement, except the peppers, which he keeps in the freezer.
I'm such a slacker.

The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reports on a "Spring Gleaning" (Spring Gleaning: An Evening of Hope and Bounty).
Spring Gleaning was an inspiring event held Sun., Mar. 21, 2010. Hosted by Slow Food, Slow Harvest, Farm to Pantry and Susan and Lou Preston, it was a celebration and collaboration of sustainable farming, gleaning, canning, caring and community
Sounds like a cool idea.

Finally, Nelson's Home Canning Tips makes some loquat jam (Loquat Jam). Loquats are coming into season in Southern California. They are rarely seen in the markets, because they go bad so quickly and don't travel well. They are sometimes seen in the farmers markets, but not often.

Of course, if you live in LA, you've probably seen an incredibly fecund tree or two in the neighborhood. Enjoy the fruit fresh, but preserving them is the only way to enjoy them outside that two or three week window. More on the loquat in a later post.

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