Hot Water Bath takes a more improvisational approach to pantry-filling (Maintaining My Amateur Status).
It wouldn't do at all to set your heart on the peaches only to find out that, this year, you're more gifted in the hot pepper area. Better instead to focus on ideas - maybe you could use more jam or sandwich enhancers or fruits suitable for side dishes. Focusing on concepts allows you to bop and weave with your canning - you'll get your jam, but maybe it'll be blackberry instead of strawberry. Pickles might end up as green cherry tomatoes rather than hamburger dills. See what I mean? Bop and weave right around whatever the garden, the weather or your mood throws at the affair. For my part, I'm focusing on finished items rather than ingredients - salsas over plain tomatoes, brandied fruits over plain berries, for example, things I can use more or less as-is without further massaging after the jar is open.I couldn't agree more in being flexible and open to possibility when canning.
Speaking of possibility, my friend and fellow Master Food Preserver Delilah Snell made a cameo appearance on an upcoming segment of Good Food, as part of a report on local foraging (New Friends, Old Friends and KCRW's Good Food??). The radio segment came about thanks to a foraging class and cooking demo held at Delilah's shop, the Road Less Traveled Store. There is another class coming on April 25th. Wouldn't some jam or jelly flavored with foraged herbs be perfect for this month's Can Jam? I'll let everyone know when I find out when the show will be broadcast.
Ithaca's Food Web reports on a very interesting sounding widget that allows food preservers to bulk order straight from farmers (New Web Widget Developed in Ithaca will Connect Local Farmers and Home Food Processors).
Harvestation will create an opportunity for farmers to link up with the growing home food processors market using web tools designed specifically for this task. Home food processors require bulk quantities of farm products in order to can, freeze, ferment, dehydrate, and root-cellar food. The harvestation widget will match produce growers and meat producers with food preservers and vice versa.Sounds pretty darn interesting. This is a tool I'll be following closely.
Finally, some photos of the abundance at last week's Hollywood Farmers' Market: