Gearing Up to Preserve

 My top tip for stress-free preserving is to gear up before you dig in. Learn more at
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.
Learn how to gear up for preserving


Garden-Fresh Basil Pesto and Homemade Pasta

Scratch-made pasta is far easier than I had anticipated and pairs perfectly with creamy homemade pesto. Learn more at
When I started this blog 6 years ago, one of the first recipes I shared was Basil Pesto Base, which I make in large batches in my food processor every time our basil plants threaten to flower and then freeze to use all winter. But recently, I had the chance to test mortars and pestles for The Spruce Eats and became hooked on the creamy texture of freshly pounded basil pesto. My reviews haven’t gone live yet on that website, but I couldn’t resist sharing the recipe and technique I developed during testing in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon.

Once I had several batches of freshly pounded pesto, I also couldn’t resist trying my hand at scratch-made pasta. With some tips and tricks—and a hand-cranked, countertop pasta maker—homemade pasta turned out to be far less messy and far less difficult than I had anticipated, with tasty results that paired perfectly with creamy, mortar-pounded pesto.
Learn to make Garden-Fresh Basil Pesto and Homemade Pasta

Indian-Inspired Shrimp in Yogurt

Use a shrimp dish to feature a single homemade ingredient, fresh yogurt, and save the shrimp shells for stock. Learn more at
I snuck lots of fun kitchen ideas in last week’s blog post, including my streamlined recipe for Homemade Yogurt, all of the homemade ingredients I use when making the bean dip featured in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon, and my favorite homemade dippers. If you found the lineup intimidating rather than inspiring, you’ll like the shrimp dish that’s in my column this week. If you’re a gardener, you’ll likely reach for homegrown onion and garlic; if you’re near coastal waters, you may be hauling up shrimp pots or buying directly from local fisherfolk. Otherwise, I use it to feature a single homemade ingredient: fresh yogurt.

As I mention in the column, plain yogurt is the most versatile, whether you’re making your own or buying it at the store. From one batch of plain yogurt, I can blend a serving into a smoothie, mix another with jam and top it with granola, and stir some into a savory bean dip or the sauce I use on shrimp, fish, or potatoes.
Learn to make Indian-Inspired Shrimp in Yogurt

Creamy White Bean and Yogurt Dip

A stellar bean dip relies on quality ingredients like homemade yogurt. Learn more at
Although I’m in the mood for spring, Montana’s weather hasn’t been cooperating: we woke up to 10 inches of fresh snow on Monday. So it seems appropriate that I’ve been making and sharing hearty bean recipes in recent weeks in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon and on Fifth Season Fresh. These recipes can pair some of my summer freezer stash or spring green goodness with filling beans in dishes that bring a bright pop of flavor and warm me down to my chilly toes.

For a quick filling bean snack, check out the dip in my Flathead Beacon column this week. In it, I talk about choosing quality ingredients for simple recipes like bean dip. To my mind, that means homemade yogurt.
Learn to make Creamy White Bean and Yogurt Dip plus Homemade Yogurt