Preserving with Kids

My home is bustling with excitement today because my parents just flew in from British Columbia for a two week stay.

Our morning table was a babble of voices as we got caught up over a breakfast of baked pears with granola and multiple cups of coffee. It’s wonderful to have the original homesteaders here on my little piece of land. We’re extending summer vacation a bit to visit with them and I won’t be online very much, but I had to tell you about a fun feature we did with popular website Kitchn.

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Kids in the Kitchen: Canning Applesauce {video}

What happens when you let three young siblings loose in the kitchen to collaborate on a winter canning project? A boatload of cuteness, a few laughs and delicious applesauce for all.

Today I’ve got a sweet video to share with you; a rare live glimpse into my kitchen and the three little monkeys that share it with me. It’s ever so fun and maybe, just maybe, demonstrates that kids can indeed help with putting up foods.

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Giveaway: All the Weck Jars (really, all of them)

I get asked a lot of questions from readers about ingredients, techniques, and tools of the trade, but Weck jars make the top of the list for the most inquiries.

Made in Germany and distributed in North America by WeckJars.com, these pretty vessels are used in a dozen different ways in my kitchen. They are frequently featured in my Instagram feed and on the blog, which usually results in a flurry of questions about sourcing the jars.

Today I’m very excited to offer a giveaway sponsored by WeckJars.com. The winner will receive two of every single Weck jar available! That’s a total of 52 beautiful jars, in every shape and size.

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A trio of spring pickles: ramps, rhubarb and fiddleheads

My spontaneous pickling session last week began with a spotless kitchen. Few things are as inspiring as the blank canvas of pristine counters, an empty dishwasher, and every tool at your disposal.

I had just boiled the kettle and made a pot of tea. The afternoon stretched out open ahead of me, a rare block of time when I didn’t have something pressing to attend to.  My mind wandered to the ramps on the forest floor that were rapidly being taken over by dense foliage. Their season had nearly passed and I had only foraged for one handful. If I wanted pickles, today would have to be the day.

Come to think of it, my rhubarb was filling in nicely; I had also wanted to put up a few jars of pickled stalks. I may as well combine the projects. And if I was really going to do this, why leave out the fiddleheads in the refrigerator? Pickled fiddleheads are a must for future salads and cocktail garnishes.

Before I had time to question my ambitions, I filled my canning pot half full of water, lowered 6 jars onto the rack and set it on my gas range. I grabbed a notepad and jotted down a flavor profile for each batch. [Read more…]

40 Preserving Links: Beginner tips, pro tricks and canning with honey

During the month of July, I go through more apron changes than any other time of the year. Every canning project, large or small, begins with me wrapping this necessary splatter shield around my waist before I begin prepping the produce and cooking it down.

Although spring produce such as strawberries, asparagus and rhubarb are still at their peak in my area, the mid-summer contenders are not far off.  I’ve began tucking in the occasional home preservation project here and there when time permits.

The ramps and asparagus are pickled, strawberries are jammed and rhubarb has been cooked down to compote and frozen in jars. It feels really, really rewarding, as I’ve shared before.

It’s time to rev our engines for the start of the canning season, then settle into cruise control until September. Whether you are an expert or a novice canner, you can benefit from these resources I’ve gathered on the topic.

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