Monday, June 20, 2011

more adventures in preservation

Mark and I have taken to canning and preservation like fish to water. I'm excited to continue to can each week as the harvest starts to appear in our CSA box and in the store/farmer's market. For various reasons including quality and the welfare of workers who pick our out of season tomatoes in this country, we are going to try to can as many fresh tomatoes as we can handle this year so as to try to not have to buy a fresh tomato in the store during the winter (and to give up eating fresh tomatoes on salads and sandwiches during that time as well). We also hope to can plenty of other veggies, sauces, salsas, and fruits as the season progresses.

Canning for us is a first step in trying to eat more locally, as well as a part of our continued efforts to give up chemically processed foods and eat organically. It also is special to me because I have a lot of memories of canning from growing up. I feel like in some small way I'm honoring my grandma's memory by canning like she would. (Come apple season I will be making some applesauce, mark my words.)

Anyway, we got more strawberries in our CSA this past week, so we made a half batch of strawberry lemon marmalade. (Recipe from the Ball Blue Book. Our copy is already sticky. Is that a good sign?)

Now that we're starting to have piles of jars in our dining room, we had to make a shelving area in our basement for the jars to be stored in a cool, dark place. Each time we can something, I'll take a photo of how the shelf is filling up to show our progress. Coming up later this week, cherry jam, dill pickles, and bread and butter pickles. (OK, the pickles aren't really sweet, and will be the first savory type thing I'll feature here, but as canning will be the name of the game in the summer, I'm going to include them.)

In the store so far, 9 half-pints of strawberry jam and 4 half-pints of strawberry lemon marmalade.