Preserving the Bounty

I’ve been doing a lot of reading (and a little bit of buying) on canning and the preservation of fresh foods, particularly produce. I’ve got canning jars sitting in the back of my car — and was super excited to find that they more often are sold with cool silver lids these days rather than the outdated brassy ones! I guess design and aesthetics interest me more than I’d like to admit… 😉 Still, the idea of canning (especially when it entails the use of a pressure cooker — which I don’t have, and are generally pretty pricey…and, can they really explode like in Breakfast at Tiffany’s?!?!) was slightly intimidating.

So, how excited and serendipitous was it that my Nourished Kitchen newsletter today contained a Preserve The Harvest Challenge?! Pretty durn excited, I’ll tell ya.

The challenge is as follows:

In the month of August, we’re setting aside our pressure canners and we’ll be preserving the bounty of the summer season naturally while optimizing the nutrition of the foods we put up for winter. Over the course of 5 weeks we’ll cover sun-drying, oil curing, freezing, fermentation and salt-curing – traditional techniques that optimize nutrition and don’t heat up the kitchen like canning. Plus we’ll have some great prizes for participants! You’ll receive an email once a week covering a specific technique for traditional methods of preserving the harvest. So sign up, share it with a friend and hit up the farmers market! Who’ll preserve the most?

Last year, my family put up enough of summer’s bounty (without canning and its resultant nutrient loss) to last us until April! So let’s learn the lost art of traditional food preservation this August – filling our pantries, cellars and freezers with the rich fruits and vegetables of summer all prepared through time-honored techniques.

So, not only do I get classes on the different methods of preserving foods, I have an EXCUSE for shopping at the farmers’ market — actually, a guilt factor! Awesome!! 😉

I’ll let ya know how it goes. Oh, and I WILL do some canning. For now, we’re focusing on preparing for our annual garage sale, which will be this Friday and Saturday. Less than a month to go before summer school’s over! Lots goin’ on.