I am so excited about preserving my food, saving money, and eating delicious snacks. However, there is one area that makes me a bit nervous, and that area is canning. Perhaps the reason is that nobody in my family canned, and there were always whispers from relatives that bad things would happen if I tried. But that won’t stop me from learning about something cool, wonderful and tasty!
I am happy to say that after reading the fantastic cookbook “Batched” by Joel MacCharles and Dana Harrison my fears have lifted up and drifted away. I feel like they took my hand in theirs and led me to a door. At last! It is that extra room I always dreamed was in my apartment! And that extra room is full of yummy food.
Here is a list of topics that are covered in “Batched”:
- Waterbath canning (including jams, jellies, vinegar pickles)
- Pressure canning (canned vegetables, soups and stocks)
- Dehydrating (fruit slices and leather, granola, dried mushrooms, and candied citrus rind)
- Fermenting (Kimchi, sauerkraut, mead, deli pickles)
- Cellaring (techniques and recipes for quick pickles and jams as well as using your freezer, fridge, windowsill or garage to keep food longer)
- salt and smoke ( preserved lemons, lime pickles)
- Infusing (flavoured vinegar)
Joel and Dana have lots of easy tips on making preserves in ten minutes or less, and making multiple batches at the same time. This book is a great one for people like me who live in a small space with a tiny kitchen. I also have a tiny amount of time available to make this, so producing several items at once is very helpful.
I have not heard some of their rad ideas anywhere else. Who would have thought to dehydrate your mushrooms, then re-infuse them with more mushroom flavour? What about onions, making them more onion-y?
I think instead of turning into a cat lady, I will try to become a can lady. I imagine myself, grey haired, (yet healthy and chicly dressed) with cans all over the room. Big and small jars filled with delicious tomato sauce, hot sauce and peaches. I would be telling my guests,
“Oh honey, move the jars of pickled okra and preserved lemon to the side if you want to sit down”. Oh, my poor husband.