Inspired by Joel at WellPreserved.ca, I thought it was high time to make a Preserving Bucket List. I am sort of new to this game, especially new at putting it out on the interwebs, but I figured putting it out there was the best way to keep track. And maybe cross some of it off. What can I say, its the inner analytical list-making lawyer. Anyway, the more I thought about it I thought I could make a 2011 wishlist. Because I can’t really talk about my dreams of pressure canning when I haven’t even done it once, can I? Baby steps – you have to crawl before you can walk.
- Brewing. This one I’ll steal right off from Joel. Señor SK and I are attending a homebrew session hosted by the Knights of the Mashing Fork in June. Very excited. Science + food experiments that yield alcohol? How is that a hobby anyone couldn’t love?
- Foraging. Specifically, baby steps. Apparently, Connecticut is home to ramps and morels. I would love to try to find some delicious non-deadly mushrooms. We also have these awesome wineberries I’ve never heard of. I think ramps and berries first – mushrooms later. Potentially deadly stuff once I’ve gained some foraging legs.
- Condiments and Pantry Staples. We really don’t eat a lot of processed food here at SK. We do make our own vanilla extract and country mustard (blog post forthcoming), but a large part of our condiments come from the store. This year, a lacto-fermented salsa, homemade mayonnaise, and dijon mustard are calling my name. I have 10 varieties of tomato seedlings in their infancy – so its highly likely I’ll have enough tomatoes to make my own tomato paste and ketchup. Not that we use that much ketchup, but I digress. I would also really like to try a hot sauce. I made chile verde and tomato sauce last year, but not nearly enough and I must increase our stores for next year. I bought a second-hand pressure canner, and once I have it calibrated I can move to the world of canned beans and chicken stock.
- Pickling. A newbie step for most preservers, but I really didn’t get into pickling much last year. There were only cucumber pickles, and lots of them. Too many in fact. I want to try all sorts of pickles this year, but I am particularly looking forward to pickled fruit. Sweet Pickled Cherries sound divine, and though I had never heard of peach pickles, I found a recipe hailing from Texasthat I can’t wait to try.
- Dehydration. My first experience with dehydration came in the form of an Alaskan Backcountry Cooking class. You cant head into the backcountry for months at a time with a months worth of food – it just isn’t physically possible. We had a guide who dehydrated EVERYTHING for the trail – including tomato paste. I really like Marisa at Food in Jars’ idea of dehydrating winter citrus for use later on. Though I don’t have a dehydrator at the moment, I do have a limited budget – so this one looks like it will have to be tackled at some point in the future. Though Marisa did suggest a method for using the oven instead…
- Using up every bit of our CSA. We are on a tight budget, but still managed to squeak out enough for a deposit of a half-share. I am really looking forward to forced creativity – you paid for these vegetables, now do something with them. I need to figure out how to cook things like kohlrabi and celeriac… you know, in ways other than puree.
The only thing I’ll have trouble justifying is the amount of jars in our basement.