Time for Spring Canning & Preserving

March 30, 2016
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From our friends at the PCFMA:

This is a great time of year to do a little canning and  preserving. Get out the big canning pot, some jars, and lots of fresh produce and you’re ready to preserve some of spring’s best fruits and vegetables. You can make yummy strawberry jam, but for a twist on the old jam recipe try strawberry jalapeño jam. Or strawberry blueberry spread. Or blueberry lemon jam. 

There are also fantastic recipes for all kinds of pickled vegetables, relishes, and chutneys that can tickle the taste buds and brighten a spring meal with sparkling fresh flavor. All you need is fresh produce from your farmers’ market, cutting and chopping utensils, a large pot, and canning jars and lids. 

Pickled giardineira (assorted vegetables), pickled beets with onion, cabbage relish, hot onion chutney, and more can be made in a hot water bath canning procedure. Make your own pickled pearl onions or garlicky mushrooms. Pickling cucumbers should be arriving soon to make your own dill pickles. Green beans are easy to pickle, too.

A little background on canning and preserving foods might get you started. In its heyday at the end of World War II, most households were canning and preserving foods grown in their “Victory Gardens,” when it was seen as a patriotic duty to ensure that families were as self-sufficient as possible so more supplies and materials would be available to soldiers. Their city and suburban backyard gardens, and those of their farming neighbors, were full of seasonal produce for “putting up.” Their diaries refer regularly to the “cans” and “jars” with which they provided food for their families during the winter months. 

Home cooks are rediscovering the satisfaction of creating tasty edibles that will be available all year long. So when they get a winter craving for succulent peaches, a crunchy pickle, or even a dollop of strawberry jam, they only have to reach in the cupboard for homemade goodness. 

With all the wonderful fresh produce available at the farmers’ market, canning is a great way to preserve these tasty fruits and vegetables all year long. Try your hand at canning and preserving pickles, relishes, jams, peppers and fresh fruits and vegetables this season! It is fun, inexpensive, and you’ll create delicious treats for family and friends!


 

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