KITCHEN TABLE CHATS

Pull up a chair in my domestic church and let's chat!

I have worn many labels (Not in any particular order): Catholic, Wife, Mom,Gramma, Doctor, Major, Soccer Mom, Military Wife, Professor, Fellow.

All of these filter my views of the world. I hope that like St. Monica, I can through prayer, words and example, lead my children and others to Faith.
"The important thing is that we do not let a single day go by in vain without putting it to good use for eternity"--Blessed Franz J├Ągerst├Ątter

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Conserving and Preserving


I am in full summer canning mode these days. Actually, it would be summer canning, drying, and freezing mode.

My dehydrator has been busy drying mint for later use and drying lavender blossoms, rose petals, and hydrangea petals for potpourri.

Basil is harvested for pesto which will be frozen.

A combination of herbs and jalepenos from my garden and fruit and tomatoes from the farmers market are combining for some wonderful canned goods. I am not worrying about adding pectin to my processed fruit. According to my go-to cookbook, How to Cook Anything by Mark Bittman, if you heat anything to 224-degrees it will jell. Maybe. Everything has thickened but I am not sure if I would call it jelled. Cherries did. Strawberries, not as much. But that is ok. There is a name for jam that is a bit runny. It is called conserve. It still tastes great on a hot biscuit or over some Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream.

Last Saturday after my farmers market run I went to Target and bought some more canning jars. The 20-something guy at the checkout asked what I was going to use the jars for. I looked at him and said, "Canning?". He was shocked. He didn't know anyone actually canned food anymore. I told him I thought it was making a comeback. Lots of my friends go to the farmers markets and can fruits and veggies. His was response was, "Yeah, I guess there are still a few hippies."

Well, since last Saturday I have put up three pints of tomato-jalepeno-cilantro salsa, 8 half-pints of strawberry jam/conserve, 3 pints of peach jam, and 7 half-pints of blueberry peach jam (maybe conserve--jury's still out on that batch). Perhaps it is time to break out my tie-dye t-shirts and bell-bottom jeans.