Preserving the Season — Simple Scratch Cooking

by in How-to, In Season, June 19th, 2013

Fresh Refrigerator PicklesWhen strawberries start popping up at the farmers’ markets, that’s my signal to get jamming. The window for enjoying sun-kissed, sweet berries here in the Northeast is far too short. Learning to preserve is one way to extend the season — and add much-needed variety come January, when we’re knee-deep in apples and pears. Berries are just the beginning of it all, though.

Short-Term Benefits
Preserving is a way to stretch the life of your fruits and vegetables. You can choose short-term storage, by making jams that will stay fresh for a few weeks in the fridge, or pickling, which lasts a few months. This is a good way to get your feet wet and master part of the technique needed for long-term storage.

The Long Haul
Stocking your pantry with home-canned goods for long-term use means you have to make items shelf-stable (no refrigeration required). There are a couple of ways to do this: hot water-bath processing and pressure-canning. I prefer the hot water-bath method, as it doesn’t require any expensive special equipment. But you’ll still need a few essential items to get started:

•    Glass canning jars with lids and rings
•    A large pot for sterilizing the jars and to create a hot water bath for long-term storage
•    A wire rack that fits inside the bottom of your pot (the jars can crack if placed directly into the pot)
•    Tongs with a rubber coating to remove the jars from the pot safely

The jars and rings can be used over and over, but the lids are one-time-use only for long-term storage (you can continue to use them for short-term storage in the fridge or freezer). The underside of the lid has a special coating that creates an airtight seal when the jars are processed in a hot water bath or a pressure canner. Most dishwashers now come equipped with a “sanitizing” setting. You can run the jars through this cycle to sterilize them. Marisa McClellan’s site, Food in Jars, is an excellent resource on canning, for both beginners and pros (I’m excited to try out her recently posted Grated Fennel Relish). Marisa, who also contributes to FN Dish, takes care to decode all the terms and techniques you need to know how to can safely. Once you’ve made a few batches of jam or pickles, you’ll quickly learn the hardest part is deciding what you want to make — the choices are almost endless.

Here are a few recipes to get you started:

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Comments (16)

  1. RICHARD MESSINGER says:

    WILL NOT WATCH FOOD NETWORK UNTIL PAULA DEEN IS DROPPED AND HER 2 SONS AS WELL. SHE HAS TAINTED THIS HIGHLY REGARDED NETWORK AND ALL OF THE GREAT CHEFS THAT HAVE APPEARED OVER THE YEARS-SHE IS A DISGRACE

    • Debbie says:

      And you want Paula's two sons dropped for what?????? Paula should remain on food network. You, Richard are a disgrace.

  2. Paulafan says:

    Will not watch food network until Paula Deen is brought back . . . . Food Network you are cowards!!!!!
    Blacks can call white people anything (crackers etc.) and nothing is said. This woman who brought this law suit is just trying to cash in, like so many others. If any one has ever been around the Deens you can see what fine people they are. RICHARD YOU ARE A DISGRACE!!!

  3. Another Paulafan says:

    Paula Deen is an extraordinary woman whom I believe would never intentionally hurt anyone. This world of political correctness has gone too far when we can't open our mouths without worry of being destroyed. Certainly something that was said in the 60's should have no bearing on today.
    As long as Paula Deen is off the food network, I and many of my friends will not watch the network.

  4. LARRY says:

    FOOD NETWORK IS HISTORY IN MY HOUSE. LOOK ABOVE TO SEE THE STUPIDITY OF ALL THE POLITICAL CORRECTNESS THAT IS GARBAGE. PAULA DEEN IS FANTASTIC. I AM SURE THE PERSON MAKING THE ACCUSATIONS HAS A CRYSTAL CLEAR BACKGROUND. HA HA HA. THIS ASSININE ? THINKING WILL SOON DESTROY THIS GREAT COUNTRY.

  5. Kathy says:

    Food Network you are making a HUGE mistake by dropping Paula Deen. I am also among a large number of people, hopefully thousands, that will discontinue watching your network if you drop her show. We have grown to love this woman and her recipes. She has brought many hours of great entertainment to thousands of people – not to mention the revenue your network has received because of her delightful personality and hard work. Give her a break on this small mis-speak. What she is being accused of we are all guilty of at one time or another whether BLACK or WHITE, and you at the network need to be honest with yourselves and not be so quick to judge. All the facts are not in yet regarding this accusation. She was honest to admit this small mistake, she could have said no I have never used the "N" word but she didn't. And I agree with others that Richard you are a disgrace.

  6. Christine Popper says:

    This was a spoken in the early 2000's… times and politics have changed. Paula has apologized nationally. Understand she was talking about creating a production – show. offensive to many of us!! A costly mistake, but but but.. I am sure as I sit here that some of your people have said very offensive words in discribing her…. fat… southern ???. etc. that is just as offensive. See if your big enough to recind your dismisal of her show. I see it was not on this morning. I will buy her cookbooks. You are wrong to try and destroy a person completely. Will not watch the station or buy your magazine again till you have brought her back to some degree . So long for ????? how long.. it is up to you.

  7. guest says:

    Good Bye Food Network until you resign Paula Dean. EVeryone just needs to get over what happened in the past. She has said a lot less than Most back then as was common language as well as why is there still a United Negro College Fund!!!!!!!!!

  8. Sherry Rose says:

    I am saddened by the loss of Paula in the Food Network Family. We all make mistakes and WE ALL say things out of anger or stupidity that if we had thought about before speaking we may not have said. I canot imagine how difficult this is for Paula and her family right now. Let us not drive her into being home ridden again. Compassion and Forgiveness go a long way. Just saying with love in my heart for the Dean family.

  9. another real person says:

    this could be a lot of peoples mother that is why she has broad appeal across the country to see her torture by the liberal media elites is appalling. She is being Crucified for things they have done themselves hypocrisy at its best. everyone of all colors is guilty of this at one time let it rest.

    • Disgusted says:

      I agree with you. I used to watch Paula Dean a lot when she first came to Food Network. I won't quit watching Food Network because I do like some of the other shows on it; however, I don't think that Paula should be fired for past mistakes. You tell me the Food Network people have NEVER in their lifetime said something that was offensive or misconstrued as being offensive toward others. I think this lady is going after Paula for one reason only and that is MONEY! I am so TIRED of the double standard that is out there when it comes to offensive comments. She has apologized to the people involved and MORE. I was always taught that when someone apologizes you should accept their apology and then give them a second chance. Apparently for something as RIDICULOUS as this, there is no second chance. What about you Richard?? If this was you apologizing for something you did wrong, wouldn't you want to be forgiven and then given a second chance?? Oh wait, I forgot. You don't do anything wrong. YOU ARE PERFECT!

  10. mary from Texas says:

    I understand this happened 13yr ago? Arnt there grandfather clauses for everything we do that we regreted then and certainly now ? Lets keep Paula on the food channel. We all made mistakes 13yrs ago!!!!!!

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