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Save a Taste of Summer

Save a Taste of Summer

RomaTomatoesKitchen nostalgia is a powerful thing. Some of our earliest cooking memories consist of glass Ball jars on the counter, awaiting an array of harvested fare: figs to make preserves, yellow squash with onions, chile peppers to be added to vinegar, and of course, the ubiquitous summer tomato -- the unofficial fruit of the South.

Canning and pickling have almost become a lost culinary art. Admittedly, our own canning knowledge is restricted to foggy recollections of Grandma and our great-grandmother, Mama Cora, canning seasonal produce from their massive garden with the care and expertise of chemists working in a lab.

Decades later, we find ourselves gazing longingly at our own set of Ball jars, wondering what the heck to do with them. There are autumn soups and stews yet to be had! If you're game to try your hand at home-canning, we applaud your gusto.

However, if you're a first-timer, be sure to follow an established recipe to a "t," until you understand the do's and don'ts of food safety well enough to do your own thing. Also, have a buddy in the kitchen: He/she will be most helpful as an extra pair of hands -- and eyes! -- in case of a potential hazard.

Keep us posted about your Peter Piper-esque adventures in canning and pickling; we'll gladly share tales of that initial batch of jalapeño pepper jelly or your pressure-cooking mastery.

Hmmm, we can already taste the pickled beets at Thanksgiving... (Hint, hint.) Enjoy!

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