Beyond Grape Jelly and Strawberry Preserves
I'm really happy that the Home Arts are making a comeback. Kind of like quilting did in the late 1980's-early 1990's. The options were pretty limited to muted colors, tiny prints, and hand drawn templates.
The same thing holds true with Canning and Preserving. Twenty years ago, I would never have thought to pickle grapes. There are a lot of very creative people out there bringing home food preservation up to speed with modern needs and tastes.
Why the move back to such primitive means of creating food stuffs? Read the back of a label. I can't count the number of times I've pulled an item off the shelf, say a can of Blueberries. I think to myself, yum....blueberry muffins hot out of the oven. I could make that. Then read the label, and put it back on the shelf. I just wanted Blueberries. No added colors. No added preservatives that I can't pronounce. Just Blueberries.
When you make things yourself, you know exactly what you put in it. You know, pretty much, where all your ingredients came from. You know the quality of what you are eating. The questions have been minimized. And you can pronounce everything.
I have in my pantry (the one devoted to home preserved goods) delicious concoctions like Spiced Apple Chutney (goes great in fish and chicken dishes), Raspberry Habanero Jelly (perfect on medium rare steak), Pickled Concord Grapes (lending toward a duck dish or Cornish game hen), and Carrots en escabeche (think taco stand condiment) to name a few.
I also have your culinary staples....Chicken broth, Baked beans, Pickled peppers of a large variety. I have some jams and jelly's that we put together for quick peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
I plan on expanding again this year. Trying new recipes from some of the new books I've picked up along the way. I hope to share some of my experiences in regards to combing the countryside for ripe fruits and vegetables and the things I come up to do with them. I have a really bad habit of picking more than I can process but I just get so excited out there in those fields.
Until then, Happy Canning!!