Canning on the Hudson

It’s the time of year when the days get longer, the crocuses start to bloom, and intrepid gardeners put in their peas. And as our larders from last year grow thin, we start to think about how, what, and how much to preserve from the coming year’s harvest. This projecting business is the hardest part—how [...]

Dehydrator Woes

This is a post about dehydrators. All summer, as I posted one entry after another on canning, I had a nagging feeling that the blog was no longer a true representation of what was happening in my kitchen. We dehydrate about as third as much as we can, and I’ve been wanting to share my [...]

Giveaway: Put 'Em Up!

Earlier this summer, the nice folks over at Storey Publishing sent me a copy of Serri Brooks Vinton’s Put ‘Em Up. Sometimes, when I sit on a review copy, it’s because I’m trying to decide what, if anything, to say (on the theory of “If you can’t say something nice….”). But that’s not what happened [...]

Three Ways to Preserve Greens

Based on your recent Google searches, I gather that I am not the only one drowning in beet greens, turnip greens, collar greens, chard, and kale. Earlier this week I went out to my garden and cut about 5 pounds of kale, turnip greens, and beet greens. This seemed like a manageable project. That’s when [...]

FRUIT: And so it begins.

Here in Philadelphia, summer seems to have come early. Most of my favorite New Jersey U-picks (which they insist on calling “Pick Your Own”) have opened, and the deluge of fruit has begun. Last weekend’s haul included 15 pounds of strawberries and about 20 pounds of sweet cherries. Sour cherries should be ready in a [...]

Dried Papaya

I like papayas. They remind me of the Dominican Republic, where I spent a week two years ago sitting on the beach, drinking rum cocktails, and watching people kite surf. (No kite surfing for me, thanks. I like my neck.) Here in West Philly, where we’re blessed with a large immigrant population, you can find [...]

Dehydrated Fruit

The problem with dehydrated fruit is that the people who live with you tend to eat it before winter comes. The only solution? Dehydrate more fruit.

I’d give you drying times, but they’re sort of meaningless, since it depends on the variety, the thickness of the fruit, the ambient temperature, and how you plan to store [...]

The Cheapskate's Guide to Food Preservation

I’ve had a lot of questions lately about the economics of food preservation. If you have to buy 20 pounds of tomatoes to make it worth your while, and farmer’s market tomatoes cost $3 a pound, how can you afford it? And if you can only afford to can/freeze/dehydrate supermarket tomatoes, why bother? This is [...]

Dehydrated Cherry Tomatoes

Around this time of year, the plots in my community garden start looking a bit ragged. It’s been hot, and the weeds are out of control. Because it’s been wet, no one can quite keep up with the beans. And then there are the tomatoes—particularly the cherry tomatoes. Some of my neighbors’ plots are producing [...]

Better Dried Cherries (and a beef stew)

Remember how sad I was when I tried to dehydrate some Ranier cherries earlier this summer? It turns out it’s all in the variety. Cherries, it seems, can be divided into categories besides sweet and sour. You’ve also got your juicy cherries (think big, dark varieties) and your fleshy cherries (think Bings and Raniers: almost [...]

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