Feb 24 2011

More than Kale

This Winter, I've slowly gathered books on canning and preserving.  I'm preparing for Spring (and Summer and Fall).  This is the last Winter I want to spend relying on root vegetables, kale, eggs, and grains.  As much as I like those foods, around this exact time, each February, I reach a point of exhaustion with seasonal eating. The fact is:  there isn't much left.  Everything has been pulled from the ground and, with the exception of farms with hydroponic capabilities, everything has been sitting in cold storage for a few months.  I miss tomatoes, berries, peaches, beans, and corn.  I'm hopeful that NEXT February, I'll be adept enough at canning and preserving that we can exchange our apples for berries and our kale for beans, when the mood strikes.

I'm aware that I can't tackle every fruit and vegetable I may want to can or preserve.  Besides being a novice, we don't have space in our pantry for jars upon jars of preserved goods . (I can just imagine cans lining every free surface in our apartment.)  Instead, I plan on starting simply and eventually moving towards more complicated canning and preserving (over the years).

Four books will be my guides:

Put 'em Up! and Jam it, Pickle it, Cure it

The River Cottage Preserves Handbook and Tart and Sweet (to be published in March)

I'm also researching which cans, equipment, and labels I'll use.  Some contenders include: