SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA-based but Southeast-bred Kevin West strikes me at once as a very modern and also a very old-fashioned guy–a great combination to my mind. Quotes from the classical Roman poet Virgil open the chapters in his new hit book, “Saving the Season: A Cook’s Guide to Home Canning, Pickling and Preserving,” which is also loaded with old-fashioned fruits he hopes we haven’t forgotten about. But the recipes are smart, and the science and food safety is up-to-the-minute 21st century. Kevin joined me on the radio this week—and I bought some books to share with you, along with his best seasonal tips, and his apple-butter recipe (photo above): [read more…]
How to prune fruit trees, growing berries, making and canning applesauce, peach and pear desserts, and more. Delicious!
I VOICED A LONGING for tomatillos at seed-catalog shopping time last winter, having skipped growing them for years, and now…well, let’s just say I am lonesome no more. What to do with the many fruits, whose husks have filled out and then some, signaling ripeness-plus of the fruit inside? Seems that it depends who you ask—even if you specifically state it’s salsa that you have in mind. [read more…]
MY FAMILY CALLS IT ‘PO SAUCE, with the “po” representing the last syllable of the word “apple,” the way my beloved niece pronounced it when she was small. Yesterday, as I hurtled by to give a lecture out their way, I met my brother-in-law at Exit 9 off I-90 to deliver the first load of Pink ‘Po Sauce that started life on my century-old trees. Sigh of relief: 11 quarts and 5 pints moved from my freezer to theirs. On Monday, my friend Katrina had filled the back of her car with my apples, heading home to cook them up. It’s applesauce time, and here’s how that goes: [read more…]
CANNING IS HOT, and not just when you’re standing over a boiling kettle. America’s grow-you-own, eat-local mania means a lot of us are facing all-at-once bumper crops—but don’t want to waste a bite. To cope, I’ve been gathering tactical advice and recipe ideas, including tips from a new series of segments by Theresa Loe on the public-television show “Growing a Greener World.” Theresa was my guest on this week’s radio show, where we talked jam (without too much sugar or added pectin); what cucumber makes crispy pickles (and doesn’t); the challenges of canning on electric stoves–and even how to improvise a few key tools. [read more…]