Our very own FabSugarUK attended some nuptials and brought back an edible gift idea that's brilliant. She had this to share in the Wedding Talk group in the YumSugar Community. I attended a wedding a few weeks ago and couldn't resist sharing these gorgeous place settings. The bride had made a pot of jam for all the guests and had names printed on them. They were then used as place settings! They had a fabric covering on the lid that was made from the same fabric as the bridesmaid dresses. So cute! It was a really nice personal touch.
With the exception of Italian tomatoes, I rarely buy canned vegetables, unless I'm desperate for something like artichokes when they're out of season. But one thing I have always noticed is that while just about every vegetable — onions, asparagus, tomatoes, corn, beets, even kale — is readily available on a shelf, I've never seen broccoli that comes in a tin. Why doesn't canned broccoli exist?
I was surprised to find out that the answer has more to do with texture and smell than anything nutritional. In the new book, FYI: Does Size Matter? 15 Questions We Aren't Afraid to Answer, editors describe the process of pressure-canning vegetables, which at temperatures above 200ºF, would turn delicate broccoli florets to a virtual pulp. Even the USDA dissuades home canners from preserving broccoli in this manner. Not only will the canning process discolor the vegetable, it also intensifies the broccoli's gassy odor.
I've always wanted to cure my own olives, but it's not every day that I spot fresh olives at the store. So I was thrilled to discover one sunny Saturday that the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market was selling bags of small, black Coratinas for $5, along with a recipe for curing olives. To make bitter and astringent fresh olives edible, there are two ways of preparing them: dry-curing them in salt, or wet-curing them in brine. I went with the dry-curing method, and I wasn't let down. Although I'd opt for an olive with a greater meat-to-pit ratio next time, the recipe produced an intricate flavor that was sweet, salty, and buttery at the same time. Now that I know how easy it is to make my own, I'm hesitant to ever buy a can of olives from the supermarket again! See for yourself when you keep reading.
Everyone has had pickled ginger as a condiment in a sushi restaurant, but did you know it can be made at home? The preparation isn't that time consuming, but the ginger has to sit in a vinegar mixture for several hours. Considering that the pickled ginger can last for up to six months in the fridge, it's well worth the effort! The final product has a wonderful color and is fresh in both flavor and texture. Not only is it great on sushi, but it's a delicious addition to marinades, stir-frys, salads, and if you are feeling exceptionally adventurous, Vietnamese sandwiches. Keep reading for the recipe.
As much as I hate to see the Summer go, I always enjoy September. San Francisco's weather finally warms up and it's my birthday! The month also marks the start of Fall, which means heading back to school and a new season of fruits and vegetables. Here are seven items that you must have to make the most of the next 30 days.
Summer, with its bounty of exquisite produce, couldn't be a more fitting time to preserve fruits and vegetables for less-than-abundant months to come. Last year, I was obsessed with making quick pickles; this year, I'd love to pick up some professional canning equipment so I can save jams, jellies, preserves, and pickles for the Winter. Have you dabbled in home preserving?
Given that some say we're in the middle of a food revolution, and local, sustainable, home-grown produce is popping up everywhere, it's only logical that an uptick in home preserving will happen, too. Enter Karen Solomon's Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It, a new book that's focused on making your own artisanal food products, either to keep or to give as gifts. The tome isn't simply limited to fruit jellies and quick pickles — it also includes instructions on making everything from flatbread to watermelon Popsicles to chai tea. But did it live up to its high expectations? Find out when you read more
Instead of recycling glass jars, go eco chic and place them in the dishwasher. Once they're clean, hold onto them. I started doing this last year and have come to rely on the glass jars for a variety of uses. They're incredibly convenient for mixing salad vinaigrettes and can hold simple syrups, homemade marinated artichokes, or quick pickles. They also make a great substitute for tupperware when filled with leftover sauce or gravy. If cooking isn't your forte, employ the glass jars as whimsical candle holders!
Is anyone else addicted to saving glass jars?
Our 12 Days of Edible Gifts continues with a juicy homemade jelly. I used to think that jams and jellies took hours to can, but I'm glad I realized was wrong. This recipe for pomegranate jelly takes only 15 minutes of active time, and costs under $10 to make. Most importantly, it's a heartfelt gift. Turn the jelly into a pretty package by using a festive ribbon to tie the container together with a few baguettes and a cloth napkin. To make your own pomegranate jelly this holiday, read more
Pickling has been a craft for the past 5,000 years, but its biggest moment may be right now.
With supermarket prices on the rise, the home consumer products industry has seen a spike in canning and pickling at home. The Martha Stewart Show recently featured Momofuku minimogul David Chang giving a pickling demonstration. Prominent restaurants chefs from Los Angeles to New Orleans have been showcasing house-made pickles in menu items.
Even I jumped on the bandwagon, extolling the virtues of rapid preserving in a three-hour pickling recipe. Quick pickles are especially appealing, as they don't require any special canning equipment and the techniques can be used on everything from grapes to watermelon rinds. Because pickles are one of my favorite foods, I'm excited to try all the new ideas I've been reading about. What about you? Have you caught on to the pickling bug?