Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Can It!

My! I can't believe a week's flown by since my last post. Things have been busy, and I was a little under the weather to boot (nothing like a dash of food poisoning to wear you out- blaming it on bad Chinese food,) and projects like the chicken coop and beehive have been stalled, so there hasn't been a lot to report. Over the weekend however, I did score on some canning supplies at the local big box (the only store that carries canning supplies in the town closest to this one.) I got the tool kit with the jar lifter, funnel, bubble remover, and lid lifter. I also picked up jars, fruit pectin, pickling spices and salt, and a few other odds and ends. Most were on clearance at 50% off. This is our expensive year, because getting set up (chicken coops, beehives, canning kits) takes a good chunk of cash, but from here on out things should start to pay off, with a little luck.
Thriftscore: $10!
About a month ago I scored a nearly brand new water bath canning pot with canning rack at a thrift store for $10, so now I am all set and just need some fresh, organic produce which I hope to obtain from our visit to the Firebaugh farmer's market Thursday evening. It's our first time visiting, so we have no idea what it will be like. Firebaugh is about as small as our town, but we just read in the paper that it's the best farmer's market Merced county has to offer (hah,which may not be saying much!) We did have a look at the Merced one last Saturday, and disappointingly I believe it was the smallest farmer's market I have ever seen.

I've been browsing over the book Put'em Up!: A Comprehensive Home Preserving Guide for the Creative Cook, from Drying and Freezing to Canning and Pickling and like what I have seen so far. Our mouths are watering for the Chili-Tomato Jam, which the author suggests slathering on cornbread hot from the skillet. I am going to try my hand at the Pickled Watermelon Rind because I've never tried it and it sounds so curious to me. This book isn't entirely about canning though, it's got all sorts of food preservation techniques including drying, freezing, and infusion. Never let your surplus go to rot again!

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