5 posts tagged with “canning”

  • Weekend Project: Amy Bronee’s Rhubarb Jam

    This post featuring the rhubarb jam recipe from Amy Bronee’s The Canning Kitchen does not contain affiliate links.

    There’s a scent in the air at this time of year that I want to fill my lungs with every chance I get.

    It’s strongest in the morning, just after the sun has come up. It’s sweet and glorious, a mix of flowers, greenery and earth; the remnants of the rain from the night before or the coating of syrupy dew before the sun’s rays have cut through it. It’s like every pore on the Earth’s surface has opened to spill this balm.

    I gulp it in when I let Louie out for his morning jog. Like a reflex reaction, the corners of my mouth curl upwards and I stand a little taller. I instantly feel awake and excited about what the day holds. This is what late spring smells like. It’s the smell of potential.

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    Category Recipes


  • Peach Tree
  • Brewing new life into an old pear

    There’s something about persistence.

    It pays off, apparently. Although, one late November Saturday, as I hurtled down the QEW in my husband’s Corolla, bound for Toronto, it felt more like payback.

    It was 8:30 a.m. and for two sleep-deprived parents, it was painfully early to be up and vaguely resembling functioning people. But I had an invitation to brew beer at Great Lakes Brewery and precious cargo in tow — my wide-eyed daughter, Olivia, and 15 pounds of Kieffer and Bartlett pears — for the occasion.

    Rewind a week and I was scouring parks and boulevards in north St. Catharines for the last of the year’s Kieffer pears. A relic from the canning industry once omnipresent on the peninsula, the Kieffer is now an annoyance every fall when loaded branches drop bushels of fruit to rot on lawns. Continue reading

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    Category Food Finds, On the Farm


  • Peach Tree
  • The Canadian Food Experience Project: Preserving summer’s heat in hot sauce

    Under pressure of a deadline and filled with hunger pangs six years ago, I set out to can something.

    I had been abiding by the restrictive rules of the 100-mile diet for work and I had a column to write to update readers about my latest local food discoveries. I was in need of new material and preserving seemed the logical next step after my dismal failure trying to make yogurt.

    I also had a hankering for pickled beans, though I’d never preserved anything before. I didn’t even own a mason jar and never used one for anything more than a drinking glass.

    Still, I set about to make me some pickled beans, doing what any canning virgin would do in my circumstances. I turned to the great Google gods for help. They didn’t let me down, turning up an easy-to-follow recipe with seemingly simple steps for creating some briny beauties.

    I won’t lie. I was scared of canning anything. The fear of botulism or some other food-borne illness stayed with me as I worked in my tiny apartment kitchen like an annoying editor hovering over me as I toil at my computer.
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    Category Recipes


  • Peach Tree
  • The Kieffer pear: Niagara’s other street food

    My favourite Kieffer pear tree. 

    It is my safe haven. A place of calm, escape and acceptance.

    The Kieffer pear tree at the end of my street offers unconditional friendship, year after year, sharing its bounty with me, welcoming me into its midst with open branches. When I climb up a ladder to get lost in them and the fruit they’re bearing, I feel like a child pressing herself into a warm, loving hug from her favourite aunt.

    I must sound nutty anthropomorphising a tree but when it comes time to pick the pears on this tree with a shape like a chubby grandmother and about the same age, too, I feel like I’m reunited with an old, loyal friend.

    I talk to it. Say hello and tell it that it’s crop is looking a little thinner again this year. The frost-ridden spring must have been tough on its old, arthritic limbs that look so stiff and yet seem to bend so easily, when I’m among them, allowing me reach some of the best fruit safely.

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    Category Food Security, Uncategorized