Preserves

Of necessity, a Northeast locavore will do some preserving: the winter is long and not all of us have the luxury of hothouse produce or a functioning root cellar. Canning is an obvious choice, but there are many ways to preserve: freezing vegetables, fruit, soups, stocks and stew bases, cold storage of root vegetables and fall fruits, dehydrating, curing, smoking, fermenting. Explore some of the many ways to preserve the harvest in the recipes below. Looking at diving into preserving this […]

Sour Cherry & Almond Preserves

I got up at 6:30 am on Tuesday morning, when it was a mere 84 degrees outside, in order to make cherry preserves before the thermometer hit triple digits again.  Why, you ask, am I making jam during a heat wave?  Is it self-reliance or self-flaggelation? Is it a New England Yankee refusal-to-let-adversity-bring-me-down attitude or a belligerent New Yorker screw-you-weather-you’re-not-the-boss-of-me?  Is it so that I can don my holier-than-thou, local-organic-sustainable hairshirt and proudly proclaim “I made jam during the Great Heatwave of […]

Honeydew Melon Jam with Forsythia & Citrus

I’ve been Ferbered again.  It happened like this;  Gloria announced the July Can Jam ingredient of the month: curcubits. (Curcurbits, curcurbits.. it’s just fun to say!)  So, I was perusing my various preserving books for recipes using zucchini or summer squash (marrow, to Gloria and the rest of Europe, and South Africa, incidentally), cucumbers or melon. And I bookmarked a few fancy-sounding and lovely melon preserve recipes in Mes Confitures.  Coincidentally, I arrived late in the day to my Saturday farmer’s market, […]

Can Jam: Black Cherry, Rhubarb & Red Wine Preserves

You might think I’m stuck in a can-jammin’ rut: last month, strawberry, rhubarb & Amaretto sauce.  This month, swap sweet black cherries for the strawberries, red wine for the Amaretto, and Bob’s your uncle, it’s practically the same recipe.  Except it’s oh so not. When I think of preserves, this recipe is exactly what comes to mind: chunks of fruit, just barely broken down by a quick-as-you-can boil, suspended in a thick, syrupy glaze that is not stiff enough to […]

Blueberry & Golden Plum Pie + A Giveaway!

This post is in partnership with MightyNest, the online retailer with a positive mission: providing the natural, organic, and non-toxic products that families seek for their homes while also giving back to schools. MightyNest is sponsoring the giveaway and provided a set of the materials to me for use in this post. This recipe started out as a cherry pie. An open-faced, glazed cherry pie, in fact. To which I added some lovely little golden plums of the I-can’t-resist variety […]

Cranberry, Chèvre & Pistachio Terrine

Back in the Fall, the folks at Lava sent me a bunch of their cast iron cookware to try. And even though a bunch of free cast iron sounds great on the face of it, initially I was leery: I told them that I’d be happy to test out their stuff, but that if I didn’t like it, I would not offer a giveaway nor recommend it to my readers; i.e. they were not going to buy my good opinion […]

Traveler’s Vegetable Curry

I’m baaaaack! Did you miss me? I spent three & a half weeks in Brazil, but it seems like months: everything is so green and lush at home, strawberries have come and gone (and maybe cherries too?), when I left school was still in session, but now it’s after the 4th of July and summer is in full swing. First things first: did you see the game yesterday?? My, oh my, oh my. Poor Brazil. I feel somewhat guilty (like […]

Homemade Instant Oatmeal

Twenty-four years ago or so, my parents moved back home to Boston after a brief stint in sunny Malibu. I had just come back home as well, after finishing up my senior year of college in not-so-sunny Syracuse, NY, and was living in my first official “adult” apartment, on not-nearly-so-trendy-at-the-time St. Botolph Street in Boston’s South End. While it was nice to be back home in New England, and to have the family all in the same state, not to […]

Plum, Nectarine & Chile Jam

I’ve been a slacker on putting up fruit this summer. Sure, I picked some strawberries: but I only got 10 lbs and I froze most of those (though I did make two small batches of jam, including a strawberry, rhubarb & ginger knockout that I never got around to telling you about). There was a ton of rhubarb, and 40 lbs of cherries, so maybe I just petered out early? Because blueberries have passed me by, except for a early, short […]

Nectarine Preserves with Watermelon & Mint

I love nectarines. I like them much better than peaches, for eating out of hand: I prefer the smooth skin to a peach’s fuzz; I like them firm, almost under-ripe, so that they crunch like an apple rather than smoosh like a peach; I love the gradations in color, of both the skin and the pinky-maroon flecks around the pit. Most of all, I love the taste: bright & tart, where the peach can sometimes be unctuously sweet, and with […]

Food in Jars: Winner!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered and who shared with us their one-and-only, most important preserve of the year. I was fascinated by your responses: by far the majority favored home-canned tomatoes, whether whole, crushed, sauced or fire-roasted, and I have to agree: I go into paranoia-overstock-mode with tomatoes these days, ever since the heartbreak of the 2009 tomato blight. But for all of the tomato love, there were many of you dedicated to berry jams, sour cherries & plums, […]

Orange Rhubarb Butter + A Giveaway!

Can you believe that rhubarb is still with us? Believe it: I got those lovely stalks above just yesterday at the farmer’s market. Strawberries may get all the glory of Spring, but they are here and gone in flash. Rhubarb, now: rhubarb pokes its head up in early May and just keeps on keeping on, well into July. Is it any wonder that I love it so? You know what else popped up in May? Marisa’s new cookbook, Food In […]

Preparing for Preserving Season

This weekend, in addition to enjoying the glorious weather, getting to the farmer’s market, and finally getting my hands on some rhubarb, I did something strange: I planned ahead. Planning: it’s not something I do a lot of in my everyday life. Oh, I do it all the time in my work life: plans, and contingency plans, worst-case sceanario and best-case scenario. Every conceivable outcome of a study or analysis has to be considered and planned for in order to […]

Blackberry Lemon Preserves

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve headed north to meet Julia, with munchkin in tow, at Greig Farm in Red Hook, NY to pick blackberries. It’s a large farm, spread out across rolling hills, and a beautiful one: acres and acres of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and apples, as far as the eye can see. We’ve been lucky enough to pick bright & sunny days, yet there is always a breeze on the blackberry hill: it’s really a pleasant place to […]

Strawberry Jam with Mint, Basil & Habanero

It’s cruel to do this to you, I know, since strawberries are long gone in most parts of America. But I still have some fresh, local strawberries in the fridge (albeit they are starting to look a little peaky), and they are just coming into full season for our friends in the North. If you are one of the lucky ones that still has fresh strawberries in your neighborhood, or one of the industrious ones who put-up a few pounds in […]