Save and Savor

Are you looking for a creative way to use that bumper crop of tomatoes or zucchini? Have you ever wished for the taste of summer berries during a long, cold winter? If so, learning how to preserve foods just may be the thing for you.

In a new book, “Preserve It!” (DK Publishing, 2010), editor-in-chief Lynda Brown demystifies the processes for pickling, jam-making, freezing, canning, drying, salting, and more. Each preserving method is demonstrated with step-by-step photography, making it easy to enjoy local, seasonal and home-grown produce at any time.

“The recipes are the kind modern cooks will want to make using ingredients to be proud of – fresh produce, natural preservatives and less sugar,” says Brown. “We’ve also made sure you can tackle all techniques confidently in your own kitchen.”

There are over 100 recipes that guide gardeners and cooks of all levels through the satisfying crafts of bottling jams, syrups and chutneys – even making sausage, cider and wine.

Click here to order Preserve It!

Bread and Butter Freezer Pickles
This pickle, which is so popular in sandwiches, can also be served with salads, cold meats, cheese or barbecued fish.

Makes: 3/4 pound
Takes: 15 minutes, plus standing time
Keeps: 6 months

2  large cucumbers
2  shallots
1/2  green pepper (optional)
1 – 2  teaspoons sea salt
1/2  cup cider or wine vinegar
3 – 5  tablespoons granulated sugar
A good pinch of ground turmeric and celery or dill seeds, or 1/2 – 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds.

Scrub and slice cucumbers thinly. Slice shallot into wafer thin slices, and finely chop green pepper (if using).

Put vegetables in a large bowl; sprinkle salt over the top. Mix well and leave for 2 hours to draw out the moisture.

Transfer vegetables to a colander; rinse in cold water and drain well, pressing down lightly to squeeze out moisture. Then put into a clean, dry bowl.

Transfer to clean portion-sized freezer-safe containers, leaving a 1/2-inch space at the top. Seal, label and freeze.

To use, thaw overnight in the fridge, then keep refrigerated and use within one week.

Raspberry and Vanilla Syrup
This syrup makes a refreshing drink when topped off with sparkling water or lemonade. It also makes a delicious milkshake or can be drizzled over vanilla ice cream with fresh peaches.

Makes: Approximately 2 cups
Takes: 35 minutes
Keeps: 1 – 2 months, refrigerated

1          pound ripe raspberries
1          vanilla bean, split
1 1/4   cup granulated sugar
1          teaspoon citric acid

Add raspberries and 1 cup water to a saucepan. Heat gently over low heat until the juices run. Crush fruit with a potato masher or the back of a large spoon.

When fruit is really soft, strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a clean bowl. Squeeze or press to extract the maximum juice. Return juice to the rinsed-out pan. Add vanilla bean to the pan with the sugar. Stir. Then heat gently without stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, or until syrupy.

Remove from heat, discard vanilla bean, and stir in the citric acid.

Pour immediately into warm, sterilized bottles using a sterilized funnel. Seal, label and leave to cool, then store in the fridge. Shake before use.

Source: DK Publishing

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