Monday, July 11, 2011

Preserving made easy

I just bought this magazine

I rarely do impulse buying, unless it involves chocolate or fabric. But this one hollered at me. I love looking at recipies for canning and jamming although I'm not so good on the follow-through. This magazine has great recipes, small quantities for preparation so it won't kill me and (here's the part I really like) suggestions on what to do with the preserves once they are done.
What I really like is that the recipes are grouped into major content of jar. Berries, rooted vegetables, citrus fruits and so on. In the index, the recipes are grouped by kind; salsa, chutney, jam etc.

A jar of pickled green beans merely stares at you accusingly, doesn't it? As a vinegar hater, the cry of the pickled anything falls upon deaf ears. But this magazine has links to Better Homes and Gardens (the publisher) and recipe suggestions. Chop up several pickled somethings and toss into a tuna salad. Oh yes, that is a good idea.

Take a look at these onions ! (Sorry Natasha, avert your eyes). Are they not amazing looking? Who would have thought of a) preserving onions and b) tossing them around like that?

Here is YOUR opportunity to be creative and help avoid buying imported fresh fruits in the winter when blah blah blah. You've heard it all before and thought, "good idea, I must do something about this" Here's your easy pickings chance.

Option One: The easy way to preserve - find someone who does it for a living.

Think of something that you buy in the winter and, naughty you, know you shouldn't. What about peaches or strawberries? What about kiwi or apricots? What about fresh peas!? Oh my God, fresh tomatoes !! are you listening?

Decide on a vegetable or fruit or both that you could change your buying habits about, and instead, buy a jar of preserves from someone. Just one. Small steps remember. On your calendar, chose a date mid-winter and write down "Open the bloody jar of preserves so Laureen will a) stop whining and b) feel satisfied she has changed your life.

Serve the jar as it is, or go hunting to for a recipe. There are a gazillion things to do with jam besides put it on toast or make thumbprint cookies.

We go to Pat's Preserves at the Market

We are partial to his corn relish, two kinds of great pickles, hot pepper jelly, rhubarb jam and applesauce cake which is amazing for camping or times when you are too busy to make a desert for those expecting one. I have also looked at the preserves on the shelves at Bob and Boys on Hwy. 103, around exit 15 and that preserving maniac has the most amazing mustard pickles and a blueberry rhubarb jam that looks very good.

Option two: Harder but not impossible, in fact, a chance for some fun.
Buy the magazine from above. I found it at Soeby's on Queen Street on the impulse magazine rack.
Open it up, have a napkin in hand to stop up your drooling and choose one recipe. There is a cider jelly that looks very easy and scrumptious. No fruit or veg to clean, just cider and pectin and few other bits. Have a go at it and see how simple it really is.

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