We're all about collections over at Provisions -- and we don't want you to miss out on the fun.
Today: Homemade kombucha, jam, pickles, and preserves are within reach -- today's collection can help.
Summer is one of the best times for food -- peaches, cucumbers, tomatoes, and strawberries abound. But when the season ends, you have to give them up. Or do you?
We've got some excellent recipes -- think pickled beets and sweet and savory tomato jam -- that will help you preserve fruits and vegetables year-round. Learning to pickle and preserve does take a little more effort than buying a jar of jelly, but it’s far more satisfying. It’s also interesting in a science-experiment, kitchen-nerd kind of way. Best of all, you’ll save yourself from all the additives and fillers of packaged foods.
With very little equipment, you’ll be eating toast slathered in pickled strawberry jam in no time. We have everything you need to pickle and preserve from start to finish:
- You’ll need to sterilize your jars -- we use a large twenty-one quart stock pot designed for canning.
- Cook up your jam using the basic equation of fruit plus pectin plus flavorings. Our favorite pectin to use is Pomona’s Universal -- it's activated by a pinch of calcium powder, not sugar, so you can keep the jam unsweetened (very ripe fruit is sweet enough on its own).
- Can it! Ball jars are the gold standard for jams, pickles, and preserves (and their cookbook is top in the field too).
- Make it pretty: We found this nifty custom stamp kit to label each jar with the contents and the date it was made. Labeled jars are easier to store and are nice to give as gifts (the custom kit even comes with gift tags and twine).
Since you'll need good glass jars for preserves and pickles this summer, check back tomorrow -- we'll be giving away heritage Ball jars and telling you our favorite ways to use them.
Photos by James Ransom