Valley Bounty, May 11: Preserves
Eating seasonally year round is a great balance of celebration and preparation. Savor what’s in season, knowing that soon we’ll move from asparagus to strawberries and on to the delights of full summer. Preserve the essence of an ingredient in a jar, though, and you can enjoy it next winter. Learn some preservation skills yourself before the summers’ berries and other fruit come into season, or find sources of jams and jellies made with local ingredients.
If you’ve never done any canning, jam is a great place to start. It’s easy, and the flavor combinations are endless (of course, you can also make freezer jam, if you don’t want to can—or just make a few jars, store them in the fridge, and eat them up within a month or so.
If you’d like some in-person training, watch CISA’s events page for classes and demos. The number of books dedicated to food preservation is expanding rapidly, and it’s fun to look through them before the season really gets going, thinking about what you might make this year. We also have a page of food preservation resources.