Monday, August 29, 2011

It's all about Food Preservation





Kind of a funky title for a blog post, but quite honestly, I didn't know how to title this post. The realm of food preservation encompasses so much these days, and canning seems to spring to mind first. I think this comes from the fact that canning has hit a new stride. A new generation of canners has arisen, no doubt due to the resergence of interest in local food. Knowing that we cannot eat locally all year (although some areas of this province can), perserving our summer bounty is becoming more and more common. Of course this is not a new concept, to be sure, but the idea of canning tomatoes to see their pretty red color is something many a people have fallen in love with.



I have to say, I have been canning for years. While I love to open up my pantry to see all the pickles, jams, and other canned goods I have worked on through the summer months, I have been wanting to expand this idea of food preservation a little further. For example, food drying and curing. A technique that is steeped in history and to this day is used in every country in the world, drying and curing has now become my new thing. Last year I asked for a food dehyrator for Christmas. My parents indulged me, and with this summer, I have been trying it out. I always knew that drying foods or herbs needed a cool, dry, dark place to dry out in, and a dehydrator gives a more even thorough dry. Also, foods and herbs keep their color, and keeps more of the oils in the food. Can I just say, this is sweet. In my picture here, I have plates full of dried chamomile (for a tea order), and I am taking a stab at drying basil (for maybe CSA?). Wouldn't that be awesome too, opening up your tea or spice cupboard to find, nice clear bottles with your own dried herbs or teas? I think that maybe I am coming full circle with my idea of food preservation. For the longest time, I thought freezing veggies and fruit was persevering them, but what if I had a blackout, or my home was damaged in a earthquake? What would happen to my perishable goodies then?






So these questions helped me sort out what preserving actually is. I will always freeze berries for the winter, but in addition to this, wouldn't it be cool to maybe dry some too? To throw on cereal or oatmeal, or in trail mixes to snack on? Hmm... maybe I've caught on to something here. If only I ate meat, then I would be curing a big ham leg in my spare room.....

2 comments:

  1. Hi,

    I recently bought a dehydrator and wondered if you have tried drying basil yet? I have a freezer full of pesto so would love to preserve by another method such as dehydration--although I did find an awesome recipe for broccoli and basil.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
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