Wild-Fermented Beans? No Big Dill

Making pickles doesn’t have to be a Big Production. Sure, if you’re sterilizing jars, assembling a vinegar brine, bringing it to a boil, packing jars, and canning them, you’ll need to block out at least an hour and bust out some pots and pans. But if you’re making fermented pickles—say, wild-fermented* dilly beans—once you top…

Swap-Box Hero: NSFW Edition

Cover photo partially redacted for your safety. Because horseradish, often, is Not Safe. Not for work. Not for polite company. And certainly not for expectant, insistent little pups who run counter-side as soon as they hear the clink-scrape of the carrot peeler.* Who knows whether it was squeamishness or unfamiliarity that put off our CSA…

Lemon PECOTA

Sometimes, I wish preserving projects had Sabermetrics scores. Maybe a twist on VORP, which attempts to quantify the value a player adds to your team over an average-ability replacement player. Value Over Replacement Condiment? That’s close. Moneyballjars.  VORC could not, alas, match PECOTA for pun potential, but, yes, preserved lemons will certainly up your chicken/fish/veal PICCATA game….

Blackberry-Fig Preserves

Besides mosquitos and morning glories, about the only thing thriving in my garden this hot, sticky summer is my fig tree. The cherries got 95% wiped out by ill-timed, early-June torrential rain and whipping winds; July’s grapes were all lost to the birds; and this month’s near-daily drenchings have left most of the tomatoes that…

Compound Interest

In my book, butter is always good. But some butter is better than others. And Summerbutter—a compound butter made with pureed tomatoes and a dash of salt—is nearly perfect. Echoing Marcella Hazan’s iconic tomato sauce (while rivaling the simplicity of cacio e pepe), Summerbutter lives to lend a decadent, velvet wrap to hot noodles (or even zoodles)….

Goosecherry Jam

This post, started one year ago today, was supposed to be a victory lap. The cherry-and-gooseberry jam I’d made after last year’s epic harvest had been my favorite jar in years, and I was looking forward to creating—and documenting—a second batch. Alas, in 2018 Mother Nature had other ideas. An extended verycoldsnap in March had delayed…

Small-Batch Fig Jam

That seems redundant, doesn’t it? Because if you find figs at the farmstand, they’re often upwards of $12-a-quart—or even a buck apiece for big ones. And if you grow them yourself, you likely eat as many as you can straight off the tree (or, say, with a little honey and yogurt . . . or…

Barbeetcue Sauce?

This is a weird one. But if you’re a fan of pickled beets, you’ll love it. And even if you think you’re not a fan of pickled beets, you might love it, too. Sweet and cinnamon-y, it’s a natural when spread on toasts—or even a bagel—over a schmear of creamy cheese. The rice vinegar’s tang…

Endless Summer Salad

All summer long, my Grandma Morsch had a bowl of this refreshing, sweet-and-sour salad in the fridge. It’s possible, actually, that it was the same bowl all summer long. Well, for a couple weeks in a row, anyway. Because after supper, when the vessel’s contents were more brine than veg, she’d just slice in another…

Strawberry-Maple Jam

Time to rotate the berries. With a pint in yesterday’s LFFC sharebox, plus about a pint pulled from my own garden, plus a scruffy partial-quart leftover from the farmers market Sunday, I suddenly had a critical mass of berries, some of which were in that critical do-something-with-me-today stage. I hung onto most of my home-growns…