Monday, August 24, 2015

Preserve Us!

There's nothing like the taste of summer. It's fresh and tangy, sweet and mellow , kind of like the season itself. Make it last by turning them into yummy preserves, chutneys and salsa. You have that sun ripened flavor when it's sleeting and snowing outside.

Many  home chefs are put off  by  the very idea of canning or preserving, probably because of the threat of botulism . Get over that fear.What you need to know is that non acidic foods, namely veggies such as corn , cucumbers, carrots  and the like must be processed in a pressure canner.It's a  little more involved but the contraptions does most of the work.There is the easy route  - that is canning acidic foods which is a simpler process All you need is a hot water bath which is placing canning jars in a large, tall pot. You do need tongs along with a timer, a canning funnel and a rack to hold the jars.If you're a neophyte ,I'd recommend chutney..It's basically cooking fruits or veggies with  a variety of spices. Salsa is the cold version of that and both can be put in the freezer and thawed  before using . Before doing any preserving, ask yourself what would be used the most. Don't make jams when they'll just sit there or make just one jar of chutney when the family goes mad for it. Gauge the popularity of what you'd like to make and make it.

As for what to make, nothing beats jams and jellies.Try  peach preserves which are perfect on any breakfast bread.Plums also make a delicious jam, with their sweet, earthy flavor. Raspberries are approaching their second season in just a few weeks. Take time out to pick them fresh and turn them into a delicious jam that can be used as a great filling for crepes or the perfect breakfast on warmed croissants.By now you're probably sick of tomatoes however you'll be missing them during a harsh winter. Preserve their summery flavor by turning them into a jam(yes, you can turn them into a kind of jelly!)Since they are a fruit , you 'll need a whopping 4 1/2 cups of sugar  to  3 pounds of tomatoes Use it as a ketchup sub in on burgers for something different. Tomatoes and other produce can be used to make chutney and it goes well with hot and cold dishes. You can also make tasty sweet and savory salsas. Try a plum and peach one  with  a zing of red pepper for bite..A tomato and jalapeno one will warm you up on those coldest November and December nights..

Preserve the taste of summer. Making jams, chutneys and salsas are a great way of keeping that wonderful garden produce alive during the winter months. It's easy, fun, and tasty

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