My fridge is currently full of macerating rhubarb and recently picked homegrown strawberries, ready to be turned today into jams and shrubs. I’m not the only one gearing up to preserve, as I share this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon. A local farmer told me last week that her crew has made 50 pounds of Rhubarb Kimchi, building on my recipe in The Complete Guide to Pickling. Tangy Radish Rounds and Spring Asparagus Pickles are also currently popular recipes from the book.
I’ll eventually be turning rhubarb into kimchi and fermented pickles, but today’s projects are on the sweeter side. Our strawberry crop has hit its peak, so I’ll be developing some jam recipes to share down the road, featuring the sweet fruit and pairing it with rhubarb. I’ll also be canning up one of my seasonal favorites: Rhubarb–Earl Grey Jam.
This means that besides spending time last weekend gardening and harvesting, I undertook a seasonal storage shift. I stashed bins of ski gear in the attic to make space in my mudroom for canning and fermenting tools, inventoried my existing supply of basic preserving ingredients, and sifted through the canning shelves and chest freezer to see what should be used up before the next bumper crop. In other words, I was following my top tip for stress-free preserving: gear up before you dig in.
Learn more about gearing up to preserve in my column.
Twice as Tasty
Although I highlight several local businesses in my Flathead Beacon column, my advice stands wherever you live. Local hardware stores and supermarkets tend to be the most reliable sources for preserving tools and supplies. Local natural-food stores often stock my favorite brand of pectin and sell spices by the ounce. Also check in your area for a foodservice distributor or restaurant supply chain that’s open to the public if you want to buy vinegars, citrus juices, and salt in large volumes. And of course, your local farmers will be your best source of the freshest produce—if you’re not growing your own.
I’ve put piles of information and thoughts on preserving here on the blog. Check out these posts for ideas about how to get started or improve your approach to food preservation:
- Prepare to Preserve
- Quick Food Preservation (dry storage, freezing, and refrigerating)
- Prepare to Dehydrate
- Prepare to Can
- Prepare to Pickle
You can find many preserving recipes in the recipe index.
Want more Twice as Tasty recipes? Get my books! Click here to order a personally signed, packaged, and shipped copy of The Complete Guide to Pickling directly from me. I also share tasty ways to use pickles in The Pickled Picnic, a digital collection in an easy-to-read PDF format; it’s only available here.