Community Philosphy Blog and Library

Posts Tagged ‘canning’

Cookbook review and recipe: Can it, Bottle it, Smoke it!

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Karen Solomon is one of those instantly likeable people. She’s fun, bright, wears funky clothes, and can teach anyone a thing or two about enjoying food to the fullest. She has participated in The HOMEGROWN Village at Maker Faire for three years in a row – teaching tinkerers how to cure bacon, crank out homemade marshmallows and, this year, she went back to the basics and held a canning workshop for the newbies.

We’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival of her latest book, “Can it, Bottle it, Smoke it”, and we’re happy to report that this is not just another precious cookbook. These recipes are fresh and novel – DIY Nutella! Homemade Hot Dogs! Smoked Apples and Pears – whoooooahhh! This book promises hours of kitchen adventure.

There are over 75 clearly-written recipes, tons of pretty pictures, and just the right amount of straightforward advice to make you feel armed with the skills you need.

Get a load of some other recipes from the book:

  • Carrot Almond Jam
  • Quince Paste
  • Sesame Rosemary Granola
  • Preserved Lemons
  • Smoke and Chocolate Spice Rub
  • Miso Pickles
  • Bagels
  • Cakes in a Jar
  • Tamales (Two Ways)
  • Corn Dogs
  • Dulce de Leche
  • Rice Milk
  • Strawberry Black Pepper Syrup
  • Salted Margarita Cream Pops

All perfectly genius! Karen has been generous enough to share her recipe for Carrot Almond Jam with us. What a fantastic way to use those carrots from our CSA share!

Carrot Almond Jam

From Can it, Bottle it, Smoke it by Karen Solomon

1 1/2 pounds carrots, trimmed, peeled, and shredded (about 41/4 cups)

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

21/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup chopped tamari almonds

1 thin-skinned orange

1 lemon

Instructions: Combine the carrots, ginger, sugar, and water in a large Dutch oven. In a food processor, grind the nuts and add them to the pot. Wash the orange and lemon and cut them into quarters. Chop them—seeds, skins, and all—in the food processor, and then stir them into the pot as well.

Put the pot over medium heat, cover, and let it come to a boil. Stir, turn the heat to medium-low, cover again, and let simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing the carrots to get tender.

How to Store It: Spoon the jam into clean jars and refrigerate for up to 3 months. Or spoon into sterilized canning jars, packing very tightly to eliminate the air bubbles inside (you can also stick a chopstick or long skewer into the jar to pop the bubbles before canning). Process for 15 minutes (review the canning instructions on page 28). This will keep for up to 1 year on the shelf.

We’re giving away a copy of the book to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment here answering the question: “What recipe have you recently cooked that was a new challenge for you?” It could be a new technique, ingredient, type of dish…whatever. Just tell us how you stretched your cooking repertoire – and tell us what you made! Good luck! We’ll pick a winner at noon Eastern on Friday August 5th. NOTE: THE GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED!


Preserving With Friends DVD

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

At the end of our visit together, Harriett offered up two copies of her fantastic new DVD, Preserving With Friends for giveaway! This is the most comprehensive and informative resource you will find on preserving – perfect for the preservation veteran or for you all who are just starting out. The DVD includes downloadable recipes and tips sheets, and 3 1/2 hours of instruction for making jam, canning fruits and tomatoes, making pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and kombucha, pressure canning vegetables, drying, freezing, and root cellaring.

Harriet’s guests include fermentation friend Sandor Katz, author Linda Ziedrich and home economics maven Marge Braker. There is tons of information and a good dose of fun rolled up in this one – who’s in??

For a chance to have one (we’re giving away two copies) of these special DVDs, Harriet and I want to hear 1) what was the first thing that you preserved? and 2) who taught you how to do it / how did you learn?

Good luck! The winners will be selected on Friday June 10th.

Good Food Communities: Starting a canning club or bartering club

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Some of you may have noticed some very interesting conversation happening in the Food Preservation group over the last few weeks. Torry, Pat and Harriet have been bouncing around ideas for making the most out of the food that’s available locally, when it’s available throughout the year: keeping it high quality, diverse and affordable, all while having a fun canning get-together. We hope that sharing this kind of story may inspire others to think about how they might like to gather with their local folks for play, food, skillsharing and frugal solutions for themselves and their local farmers. Enjoy!

Pat, who has organic farmer buddies and who is, by anyone’s definition, a jack-of-all-trades, has the most ambitious plan: A bartering club:

I have always liked the social aspect of group activities as opposed to working alone. It makes the work more fun and often its easier/more efficient if there are several people doing the task (assembly line kind a stuff). I also think it would be a good idea to can what is ripe when it is ripe and put the excess in a community stockpile to be bartered to those that didn’t show up for that particular canning and get some for themselves. Thus the need for the value points or some system where there isn’t a need for face to face bartering). Say the club goes out to the fields and picks blueberries, makes jams, jellies, preserves & pie filling with 100lbs of blueberries (I can pick about 10lbs an hour so if 5 of us go it would only take a short morning). Now those five folks spend the day canning the blueberries and take home a few jars each. There will still be a lot more jars than can be used by the five, so they would be left in the community stockpile and each be given a credit for whatever amount of points canned blueberries are worth. Next week a different group of folks goes out and cans turnip greens and does the same thing (now the community stockpile has blue berries & turnip greens and two separate groups have credits that can be used for either. Maybe after the summer is done there is a stockpile of 25 or 30 items and 40 or 50 people have credits…..Kind of a nice to be able to get canned potatoes when you need them instead of having to have a big pantry containing a little of everything. Just a thought. The club would be good even if we just canned what each of us could use and barter among ourselves.

Harriet, a downright celebrity among HOMEGROWNers (she wrote A Householder’s Guide to the Universe and teaches preservation classes in Portland, OR), and “kitchen warrior” says:

I was thinking a little more on the line of going to a farmer and saying….if you give me a bushel or two of tomatoes I will return  jars of canned tomatoes for your pantry.  The barter would be between me (or the canning club) and the farmer since I know a lot of busy farmers that can’t put up the harvest.  But your system puts a “cash” value to each type of canned food to create its own monetary system which I totally like as well.  It seems there would be some standards you would need to set and some labeling requirements but with enough people being really into it, it could work.

I think I will start more directly with farmers and grow the system slowly.  I’m thinking a canning club will be like buyers clubs but with the added dimension that the farmer is exchanging or discounting some of the produce for his or her share of the canned goods.

Torry, the crown king of barter and trade on (he founded the Resurrect The Barter group and leads online swaps for the community there) has this to say:

I’m starting this discussion to brainstorm ideas about starting a barter circle.  I’m hoping to get something going here in the Greater Greensboro area, something along the lines of cashless exchange for homegrown and homemade products.  I have to admit, usually I am the ‘maker’…when someone has an idea I’m a good implementer, however on this one I am upside down.  Community awareness events, start-ups, websites, networking, none of these things are my forte’.  Hints, tips, tricks, anyone?

Do you have a canning club where you live? Does a bartering group sound like something that you would participate in? What are ideas that you have for the group? We’d love to hear your thoughts!