This summer has been a bountiful one across the South, with the land giving us an abundant harvest of so many fruits, veggies and herbs. If you’ve got more than you know what to do with (a great problem to have!), consider preserving some of it it to savor when the weather turns colder.
And by preserving, I mean canning. It’s easier than you think, and the results are well worth the time and effort involved. Believe me, you’ll be happy to have your canned tomatoes, green beans, corn and okra come January, when the growing season for these delights is still months away. Instead of re-inventing the wheel here, I’ll refer you to the wonderful article my friend Jenny Stubbs, the editor of lean magazine, wrote a few months back. She tells you all you need to know about canning and provides some resources with detailed directions.
Another fab way to hold onto summer’s freshness is by turning some of your produce into jam or jelly. Again, it’s not as difficult as you imagine, and nothing’s sweeter than a smear of muscadine jelly melting into a hot biscuit on a crisp fall morning.
I’m going to share a few jelly and jam recipes in future posts, but today, I wanted to turn you on to what I think are the prettiest canning containers out there: Weck jars.
This German company offers a wide variety of sizes and styles, including several just perfect for putting up produce. Or, you can use them to store pantry staples, as I’ve done. The 1-liter tulip jars are great for holding flour, rice, cornmeal and such. You know you don’t want to fool with those uncooperative bags all the time, and these look so nice, I keep them on my countertop, freeing up some much-needed space in my crowded cabinets.
I even got few of Weck’s tiniest jars to store sea salt and dried herbs; I keep them right near the cooktop so I can easily grab a pinch while cooking. Oh, and they’re priced right too!
Check out Weck’s website, and stay tuned for a simple muscadine jelly recipe as well as the how-to for tomato-rosemary jam; yep, that’s right TOMATO-ROSEMARY JAM!