Tag Archives: canning

Canning in February?

It’s February. Not much in the way of options for preserving. But it’s citrus season and marmalade production is in full swing! Get over your flu and get busy in the kitchen segmenting, de-pithing, and boiling up a storm. Alex, Laura and I wanted to do it right with Seville oranges, but we were two weeks early. Lucky for you that you now know in two weeks you can make the best marmalade in town! We used organic juicing oranges (Navel, I think) and Meyer lemons instead to make a sticky mess in the kitchen. Bernardin has great recipes for the patient, non-pectin varieties, but we only had a few hours, so we went the easy route.

Marmalade Prep with Navel Oranges and Meyer Lemons

I highly encourage the use of organic fruit, as the peel is the best part of this bittersweet spread. And, of course, fair trade organic sugar is key, so that when you give the perfect little jars to your loved ones for their special occasions, you also give a gift of integrity, effort and critical thought. Yummy.

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Things in Jars

I was in my usual spot by the window at The Common, as I am every day sipping my half dark-half medium americano. Amanda, was discussing the essay she is currently writing on Food and Courtship for a foodie blog out of LA. Intriguing. How is love like cake. I’ll certainly post a link when it’s up, but apart from that she told me about her virgo-perfect foodie blog, Well Tailored Cakes and Neckties. It is really well written and I highly recommend visiting with some time on your hands. An inspiration for aspiring foodie-bloggers, ahem, who would like to tell stories, touch on politics, and celebrate how food can enhance, weaken, nurture, and offer meaning to lives, relationships, economies, and conversations.

I checked out the blog and found a piece and photo showcasing preserves and canned goodies all lined up in glass jars. I love glass jars. I love their simplicity, rounded edges, reusability, recyclability, and utility. It is the ultimate in packaging. I thank Amanda for bringing my awareness back to the beauty of a glass jar. I think I may have even dreamed about it last night.

Recently I have been tuning in to the packaging of food. I have just started working with a food broker representing several small brands all offering very high quality, mostly organic food products. Packaging is essential to the development, sales, merchandising, positioning and success of a brand. It is the reflection of the company, the people with the vision for the product, and of course the graphic desginer’s/artists’ interpretation of that vision. So much energy goes into figuring out the best, the most attractive, the least offensive, the most economical, or innovative vessels in which to distribute and display the contents. One dramatic and exciting packaging transition to look out for in the coming month, Mapleton’s Organics Yogurts, let me know what you think when you see it in your local shops. No question that the packaging of consumer goods is essential to the bottom line, but even with all of the plastic, the labels, the graphics, and printing… I am still drawn to the jar. I am drawn to the jar for storing, preserving, displaying, sprouting, brewing, drinking from, decorating, gifting, and for curling my fingers around when they’re cold and it’s filled with something steamy.

Things in Jars

One thing with which I really like to fill up a jar… see second wide-mouth from the right in the photo.

Super Simple Curried Winter Soup

1 or 2 cooking onions, chopped

3 Tablespoons olive oil

3 Arayuma Mild Curry Cubes (about 3 tablespoons curry powder, or create your own! Arayuma is very good though)

6-ish cups of winter veg peeled and cubed (rutabaga, sweet potato, carrots, winter squash, apples, pears, etc..)

4-6 cups hot vegetable broth (or chicken, whatever suits)

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add onions and sautee until tender and translucent. Add curry cubes/powder and stir so that the curry doesn’t burn or stick to the pan, about 30 seconds. Add broth to the saucepan, and then add the veg. Cook for about 25-30 minutes until veggies are tender, may take longer depending on the type of vegetables used. If adding fruit to the mix, like apples or pears, wait about 20 minutes after putting in the vegetables, and add them about ten minutes before the vegetables are going to be finished cooking, otherwise they lose their mojo. Use an immersion blender, or transfer to a food processor/blender and puree until smooth and thick. Depending on the broth that you used, taste test and add salt and pepper as needed, usually I don’t. You may also have to add some water to get just the right consistency. Garnish with sour cream, yogurt, hemp seeds, chives, cold-pressed chia oil, or unsweetened cashew nut whipping cream. Enjoy!

Tell me your stories of jars. What do you do with them? What do you put into them?