The canning program I had taken the reins of for Market Central has morphed into what I’m now calling the “Small Business Program”. To recap, I spent the end of last summer and all of last fall teaching a regular weekly canning class with the idea of recruiting and attracting individuals who were interested in learning to can as well as those who might be interested in starting their own canning business. I knew going into it the latter goal was a lofty one, as I know first hand what hard, hot work canning is. It requires a certain passion that’s hard to instill. In addition this passion, one needs cooking skills, knowledge about food (and gardening to some extent, at least the knowledge of the effects of weather can be on a particular crop) as well as the ability to navigate the seemingly confusing food rules and relations, line up suppliers, market to buyers AND be able to keep up with the money flowing in and out. There is quite a bit involved in starting a canning business and I wanted this program to address as much of it as I could. It’s one thing to learn to can, quite another to start your own business based on it. Continue reading
I know at least some of you have heard of Mrs. Wheelbarrow, aka Cathy Barrow, blogger and columnist for the Washington Post, if only because so many of you sent me her star-shaped watermelon rind pickle blog post this past summer. But did you know her food preservation knowledge is now available as a cookbook?
I recently cracked open a jar of that pickled eggplant. As part of the ongoing series of canning classes I’ve been teaching, I’d been asked if I could please lead another pickling class because ‘pickling is fun’. Indeed it is. I knew I could still get eggplant, so I figured I should actually sample the pickles before making them again. Served on some nice baguette with feta cheese and a drizzle of olive oil, pickled eggplant is a lovely antipasti. Continue reading
My last post was on the gift of a citron melon. I had cut into it to determine exactly what it was, so the clock was ticking in terms of me figuring out exactly what I was going to do with it. Uncut, the melon would have lasted months properly stored – similar to winter squash – but because I had cut into it, I needed to use it up and quickly.
Outside of my family, my friend Mollie is the biggest guinea pig for my culinary experiments, especially of the canned and pickled variety. So when she declares that Green Tomato Pickles are hands down, my best pickle, she would know. It wasn’t until this past summer when she asked for the recipe and started asking questions about the one I handed her that I realized I had sort of made up my own recipe for them. I know, I’m slow on the draw about that, as this is not the first time I’ve realized I’ve made up a recipe unintentionally, after the fact. I promised Mollie I’d get the recipe to her, so here it is.
One of the lingering after effects of the The Summer of Abigail is pepper jelly. Abigail turned Edie onto the wonders of an afternoon snack consisting of crackers, cream cheese & pepper jelly. When Edie realized I could make this for her, she immediately put it on my “to be canned” for her list, right behind pickled peaches. After sampling several versions of it, she further decided I needed to get Mollie’s recipe (which was actually her mother’s recipe). A quick email to Mollie’s mother Carla and I had it in my hands.