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Get Pickled: Canning Makes a Comeback

If you’re a fan of living, probiotic superfoods like yogurt, kimchee, or any number of pickled vegetables, this article’s for you.

Vancouver’s Straight.com offers a few tips on canning fermented foods for yourself and your loved ones, and gives a much-appreciated shout-out to two of our DIY guides for the budget gourmand: Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning: by the farmers and gardeners of Terre Vivante and Wild Fermentation: by Sandor Katz.

Self-described “food geek” Andrea Potter is the queen of cool canning in Vancouver. But as innovative, hip things often do, it started by accident.

“I made this raspberry coulis at a restaurant I was working at,” she told the Georgia Straight. “After a few days, it got kind of fizzy. I thought it was lovely, kind of neat-tasting. But the chef said, ‘That’s rancid! Throw it out.’ That’s when I started learning about aged sausages, sourdough bread, miso, sauerkraut, and I really got into this book.”

The book she’s referring to is Wild Fermentation: the Flavour, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods (Chelsea Green, 2003). For those who are part of the burgeoning DIY foodie culture, it’s a paperback bible on the 21st-century version of home-based food preservation.

As the head chef at Radha Yoga & Eatery, Potter’s got the food-safety background to responsibly lead a new revolution of an old craft. Fermenting, she said, looks a lot like old-style canning. But instead of an OCD-like focus on sterilized jars, she claims that a finger straying into a jar of ginger beer won’t kill off your nearest and dearest.

In addition, unlike regular canning, in which food is boiled until all bacteria—good and bad—die, fermenting means food is still alive with enzymes, probiotic bacteria, and other goodies. Potter claims her kombucha (a fermented tea) can “battle pathogens”. […]

For those with limited patience, an easy way of preserving fruit is to dump booze on it. The basic technique is to start with a clean jar, layer fruit and white sugar in equal amounts, pour rum or another type of alcohol over the whole thing, and twist on a lid. Voilà—totally doable in a condo kitchen. (For detailed instructions, check out Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning: Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation [Chelsea Green, 2007].)

For Potter and McDonald, with the best of the region’s produce bursting into markets and stores, canning is as relevant today as ever. Plus, a can made in July is one less present to buy come December.

Read the whole article here.


4 Books for Growing Food in Winter

Don’t let cold weather stop you from producing and enjoying your own food. For many, the coming of winter simply means cultivation moves indoors or under cover. Small farmers, homesteaders, home gardeners, and commercial growers can extend the growing season with techniques outlined in these essential books. There’s no need for urbanites and small-space dwellers […] Read More

Is My Broth (or Stock) Bad?

Are you planning to start the GAPS diet or any other diet aimed at boosting gut health this year? If so, chances are that stocks and broths are critical components. Even if you’re not changing the way you eat, but you often have pots of aromatic goodness bubbling on your stove, you may have wondered, […] Read More

A Simple Way to Grow Fresh Greens Indoors This Winter

Just because the temperatures have started to drop doesn’t mean you have to live without fresh greens until Spring. Author and gardener Peter Burke’s innovative method of growing soil sprouts indoors can help you grow nutrient-dense greens all year long at a fraction of the cost of buying at market. Burke’s book, Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening, is […] Read More

Recipe: Medlar Cream Cake

If you’re looking for a simple cake to serve guests, try this medlar cream cake. What’s a medlar? The fruit of the medlar tree, Mespilus germanica, tastes like lightly spiced apple butter scooped soft right out of the russeted skin. The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center in California has a small but significant collection of […] Read More

Chelsea Green: In the Media 2016

Oh, 2016. Where did the time go? Each year, Chelsea Green receives hundreds of mentions (well over 1000 in 2016) in the media both big and small. From interviews, to excerpts, to opinion pieces by authors we’re always working to make sure that the mission and message of each book is spread far and wide. […] Read More
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