As we are looking to the future for our food preservation programming at Minnetrista, there are many questions that we have about what you, our visitors, would be interested in. With this blog I’m asking for your feedback. Tell me what you think about our current programs (if you are familiar with them), and what you’d like to see in future programming.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope this year started well and continues that way for all. The new year is a time when many are looking to improve. Perhaps one of the items on some peoples’ list of changes for this coming year is to eat more fresh and local foods. In the winter, this can be a bit difficult and daunting since there are not many items that can be grown in the winter months around here.
It seems for some people that cranberry sauce is the fruit cake of Thanksgiving. By that I mean, it is the thing that people buy but rarely eat. However, a good cranberry sauce (like good fruitcake, I’m told) can be a delicious addition to any turkey dinner.
It’s pumpkin time! Pumpkin pie ice cream, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin pie, pumpkin…everything! It is the time of the year when people start thinking about ways to keep pumpkin around longer because they love it so much. “How can I preserve it?” “Can I make pumpkin pie filling and store it in a jar?”
There is something about a pressure canner that baffles people. Some may recall horror stories from grandmothers and/or mothers that detail canner explosions, jars not sealing, or more. Others may have noticed recent news articles with growing concerns of botulism outbreaks in canned goods. Botulism is a type of food poisoning caused by a bacterium growing on improperly sterilized canned meats and other preserved foods. Stories like these that we have heard or read about have led people to misunderstand some aspects of pressure canning.
Although the odd weather has affected the crops this year, there is still a lot of great produce out there. This is certainly the best time of year to get tomatoes, peppers, onions, along with many other delicious produce items.
This is not the first time I have written a blog like this. However, I think this information bears repeating. It is the beginning of garden season. Many of us who want a veggie garden already have the plants in the ground. This also means it is coming into the season for some heavy duty canning.
IT’S MAY! Can you believe it?! I think I get shocked by May every year. I mean, it seems like winter lasts forever but then, BOOM! It’s spring! Well, May means time for planting gardens for canning. It also means canning programming at Minnetrista is right around the corner! A few months back, I ran a few possibilities for canning workshop recipes by you. Now I’d like to tell you what I have planned so you all can mark your calendars!
I don’t know about you, but the first nice day of this year, which happened to be the first day of spring, I got out in my yard and started to prepare the soil for my garden. I don’ t know if I should actually call it a garden…more like a little patch where I can grow a few plants. One day I WILL have a garden though!
When people see my canning storage at work, they often ask questions about why I have mostly empty bottles of rum, tequila, and brandy. What kind of canning workshops am I running?! I usually begin my response with some kind of joke about where all the booze went. Then, I give the real answer. Part of what I try to do at the canning workshops is try interesting, unique, and fun recipes that deviate a bit from the norm. The “norm” is usually just a recipe I’ve made or tried before—it is very subjective.