Last year, my approach to food preservation was totally haphazard. I made blueberry and blackberry jam, because those are the things I like to eat or give as gifts. I froze several pints of grape tomatoes on cookie sheets, because they were threatening to become over-ripe before I had a chance to eat them. I intended to do more with peaches, nectarines and the spinach from a local farmer, but each time, I turned my head for (what seemed like only) a moment and missed the season.
This year I hope to plan better, to can tomatoes for the winter and have slices of nectarines tucked away in the freezer for February smoothies. I’m preparing now, gathering jars (oh jars!) and lids, studying the charts that indicate seasonal ripeness from my favorite U-Pick and making arrangements to teach a few canning classes as Foster’s (because what better motivation is there for preparedness than the commitment to stand in front of strangers and talk?).
I’m looking forward to the coming weeks, when the asparagus begins to pop through the surface of the soil and offers its tender tips for steaming (and pickling). I’m dreaming of a small stash of green garlic pesto tucked away for a dark chilly night and of offering friends and family jars of sour cherry preserves for the holidays.
For now I’ll wait, make a batch of marmalade and imagine.
asparagus pickles! yes!
I know, doesn’t the idea just make your mouth water?!
That’s precisely what I want to do — plan and make the most of each month’s offerings. I’ve grown quite addicted to pickled veggies recently and really should make my own. It all depends on how much thought and preparation I give it!
Hopefully your adventures will kick my arse into gear.
I can’t wait for Mood’s and Headhouse! Best Summer Ever is coming–I can feel it:)
I have a small jar obsession, too. I have a whole box of them ready to be filled with goodies, it just never seems to happen.
E, we should do a canning project together sometime. What’s your new kitchen like?
I look forward to reading about all of your canning explorations! My experience last summer doing this for the first time, was that it was a lot of time, planning, and work, but completely enjoyable. There is something completely rewarding of eating a meal in February made from foods preserved during the sunny days of summer. And knowing exactly what’s in our food.
Love your new blog!
Thanks Lelo! I’ve loved following along on your canning adventures, I’m glad to hear that it was so rewarding.