Is it crazy that I kinda want to do this?
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
I wish I could say I was one of those people who visited their local farmers' market every week. Sadly, I'm not. Most of my shopping is done in a rush on my way home from work when I dash into the supermarket to pick up ingredients for dinner.
But last weekend, my fella and I decided that we'd take the time to visit the market. I'm so happy we did -- it was so much more fun than the grocery store.
We picked up a couple of coffees -- locally roasted and brewed cup-by-cup -- and wandered around the stalls. We were given slivers of cheese to help us decide which ones we want to take home. We got advice from the butcher about how many pounds of pork shoulder we'd need for pulled pork. We chatted with a farmer about why garlic from China is so freely available and local garlic is tough to find (apparently our government subsidizes Chinese garlic).
The cherry on top of our market experience was how good the food was. The local tomatoes we bought were ripe and flavourful, the cheese was mouthwatering and our pulled pork was fantastic. I think we're going to work more market visits into our weekends.
PS - We used Anna Olson's pulled pork recipe...delicious and easy.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Every summer for the past few years, I've made a preserve. Two years ago, I made dill pickles (which were fantastic). Last year, it was raspberry jam and spicy dilled beans. This year, I made some blueberry lime jam -- my favourite preserve so far.
I bought the blueberries at a little fruit stand in Niagara when my fella and I took a little road trip one Saturday. The blueberries were huge, sweet, and perfectly ripe.
The recipe is very simple -- lots of blueberries, sugar, pectin, and the zest and juice of three limes. It's amazing how well the sweet blueberries and tangy lime go together.
The rest of the process is very straightforward -- boil the ingredients, pour into jars, and seal.
Canning really used to freak me out because it seemed so complicated. I always felt worried that I wasn't going to sterilize the jars properly and end up giving someone botulism. But, while canning might be a fairly involved process, it's really not difficult. Within a couple hours, you'll have a delicious reminder of summer that will last you all year.
The full recipe I used and a canning how-to can be found on the Bernardin website. (Sidenote: how funny is it that Bernardin's motto is "Because you can"?? Gotta love those canning puns!). Also, here are a whole bunch of canning recipes for you to try. I'm thinking I'd like to tackle a chutney before the summer's over.