Learning to Eat Well

Want to get a jump-start on the summer season? Take a Twice as Tasty workshop. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
It’s time: Uncover beds, clean up the garden, thin the berry patches, pull the season’s first weeds, and plant seeds and starts. Gardening season has begun.

Although your mind might be reeling with the to-do lists that will get your garden up and running, give a little thought to where its bounty is going: table, fridge, freezer, pantry, and more. I’ve already loaded the blog with lots of information to help you enjoy what you’ve grown—now and later. But you’ll get an even bigger jump-start on the season with a Twice as Tasty Live workshop. You’ll learn more, faster, among friends, and with my personal help. This week’s post highlights some of the best workshops to get on your calendar this summer. As days grow longer, my schedule gets tighter, so pick your topics and contact me soon to set up your personalized workshop for the summer season.
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Canning It Forward

This is a big week at Twice as Tasty, and it’s all about canning it forward. For the second year, I’ll play a part in feeding more than 100 hungry sailors at the Montana Cup, an annual sailing regatta hosted by the North Flathead Yacht Club in Somers, Montana. Jars of preserves and other Twice as Tasty treats will be shared for meals and awards. Coincidentally, the regatta’s opening day is the Ball brand’s seventh annual Can-It-Forward Day.

Gifting and sharing home-preserved food cans it forward to the joy of both creator and eater. You’ll find plenty of recipes here to inspire your canning projects. But this blog is just one small voice in the world of home preserving, and much of my inspiration began with other voices. Here are some of my favorite canning recipes from other sources.
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Planning the Season

Seed catalogs have been arriving for weeks, making me think about planning the garden despite the 5 feet of new snow that buried our local mountains in the last few days. This past weekend only enhanced the spring fever: I led a workshop at the 2nd annual Free the Seeds event and was impressed by not just the four-digit turnout but also the number of booths, workshops, and talks. The local Farm Hands organization lists more than 110 farms, ranches, community gardens, farmers markets, and restaurants and grocers that emphasize local food for a county with a population of under 100,000; nationally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s most recent survey found that 167,000 U.S. farms locally produced and sold food through farmers markets, on-farm sales, and other direct farmer-to-eater sales.

This means that no matter where you live, it should be possible to grow or purchase locally grown food and use it in Twice as Tasty recipes. Now’s the time to start thinking about what you want to grow in your new garden, add to your existing plot, or ensure will be delivered by your community-supported agriculture (CSA) farmer.
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Sourdough Pita

Some form of flatbread practically defines most food cultures: pizza for Italy, naan for the Middle East, lefse for Norway, tortilla for Mexico, injera for East Africa, pita for the Mediterranean. Many are unleavened, made with a simple mix of flour, water, and salt. But some use yeast, and my favorites start with a sponge or sourdough.

Pita is one flatbread that only gets better—and easier to make—with the addition of sourdough starter. It works as well with a weak starter awakening from a long sleep as with a lively one. Plus, pitas are fun. As a kid, my mom bought pita halves to build “pocket sandwiches” for school lunches and roadtrips. If I’d known that baking pitas puff up like pillows, I would have insisted that Mom make them from scratch. My niece and nephew did just that—and then insisted on eating them whole, even though each pillow was as large as a plate. Learn to make Sourdough Pita Bread and Pita Chips