• Canning,  Cooking

    National Can-It-Forward Day

    Today is 2013 National Can It Forward Day. Hosted by Ball Home Preserving, Can It Forward Day promotes and educates about canning and home preserving. This week I had the chance to meet with the MOMS club of Richfield/Southeast Minneapolis for my own canning event. I shared the basics of canning tomatoes while my friend Melanie and her great group of Mom friends hung out with their kiddos for the morning. In honor of Can It Forward Day, today I’m sharing some photos from the Mom’s club event and a re-post of my Simple Good and Tasty “How to Host a Home Canning Party” post from September 2012. A Minnesota…

  • Canning,  Cooking

    Tomato Soup from Home Canned Tomatoes

    Remember these? All those beautiful jars of tomatoes you picked, peeled, and packed this summer? They’re ready to come off the pantry shelves and into tonight’s dinner. January is the month where most locavores start eating down the freezer, cold storage, and pantry shelves in preparation for spring. I know, I haven’t lost my mind. It’s still January. My friends all roll their eyes at me, but I’m seriously counting the days! Once we’re past the holidays, the garden starts calling! My favorite way to think spring in the middle of January is to make a meal from ingredients I stored from last year’s growing season. Tonight we’re having classic…

  • Canning,  Cooking,  Eating,  Local Products,  Other Writings

    September Eats {25 In-Season Items You Don’t Want to Miss}

    September is one of the best seasons for locavores. The peak summer vegetables are available by the bushel and the early fall crops are just beginning to ripen. Few other months offer more variety and possibility in Minnesota. Don’t wait another week to visit the farmers’ market or search the Minnesota Grown directory for a local grower. Here’s the A-Z list of fruits and vegetables in season right now: #1 Apples - Minnesota apple season came early this year because of heat, dry weather and early spring blossoms. Early varieties like State Fair and Duchess have been available for a few weeks. Sweet Sixteen and Honeycrisp are starting to arrive now and…

  • Canning,  Cooking

    How To Can Tomatoes

    When it comes to making messes in the kitchen, I am The Queen of Disarray. Sometimes the kitchen partner will come home to layers of dirty dishes and pans, flour in my hair and down the front of my apron, and vegetable peelings on the floor where I seemed to have missed the garbage can every time. “Whatcha up to?” he’ll ask, trying not to laugh at my disaster. “Oh, just trying out this new thing I saw on Pinterest,” I’ll answer back and continue on my merry mess-making. He grabs a dish towel and starts trailing behind me. The guy is a saint for the number of times he’s…

  • Canning,  Cooking

    Blueberry Freezer Jam

    Last July and August you and I shared a locavore moment every few days. This summer. Not so much. Despite my best intentions (and my wild attempts at planning), the past few months have been the complete opposite. New work responsibilities, a ton of weddings and events, and a major “lose all that local food weight you’ve added to your rear-end” campaign turned this summer from lazy days into some of the longest to-do lists of my life. By last week Friday, I hadn’t blogged in over a week. I was behind on hours at work, behind on writing assignments but loathing the thought of doing either. When we climbed in the car after…

  • Canning,  Cooking,  Local Products

    Olympics and Zucchini Pickle Slices

    A secret about me: I love the Olympics. Every few years I spend 2 weeks glued to the television in pure, inspired bliss. Slurping up every medal event and every moment of Bob Costas. I remember watching Shannon Miller and the USA women’s gymnastics team compete in ’96 and then prance down our narrow hallway to my own gold-medal routine. I would beg to stay up late to see bobsledders, skiers, and snowboarding. For two weeks there’d be no fighting over the remote, no turning the channel for cartoons. Everyone in the family curled up in the living room for the best competition the world can offer. My childhood adoration…

  • Canning,  Cooking,  Local Products

    [New Post on SGT]: Cranberry Apple Jam

    I promised earlier this week that I’d been working on some rock-your-socks off recipes to post this week. Today it’s a cranberry apple jam posted on Simple Good and Tasty. Cranberry and apple have been my go-to friends this season.  First the donuts.  Today it’s jam.  You can bet I’ll be making Liz’s crumble top pie too. I love the combination of sweet and tangy with cinnamon swirled in.  It reminds me of the candle section during the holidays. Back to the jam… Earlier this month I was given the opportunity to begin writing posts for Simple Good and Tasty, a Minnesota-based food blog focused on helping people make good food…

  • Canning,  Cooking

    Homemade Horseradish Sauce

    Mondays are always good days for a “Who would’ve thought?” story. Back in May I took a trip to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and spent a Tuesday afternoon browsing the newly planted gardens. I remember taking this photo while I was there and wondering who on this green Earth decides the Herb of the Year? Sure enough, there’s an International Herb Association, who selects the Herb of the Year for special celebration and promotion.  2011 happens to be the Year of Horseradish. Who would’ve thought?   Horseradish and I don’t have a strong prior relationship, one mostly unscrewing the jar and turning my burning nose away from pungency.  News flash.…

  • Canning,  Cooking

    Vegetable Soup Day

    The kitchen partner and I spent Labor Day weekend back in Wisconsin, visiting family and relaxing after a busy August.  A long summer weekend wouldn’t be complete without a canning project though. There’s just so many tasty things available now, it’s hard not to preserve anything we can get our hands on.  I try not to draw attention to it, but today I noticed just a few more leaves with a yellow tinge on my drive home.  Fall is creeping in and the season’s canning days are numbered. Thankfully, this project involved everyone in the family–a regular ‘ole vegetable soup day. It started by raiding my parents’ garden for the…