A constant mist during a Eugene Saturday Market causes misfortune to farmers, but great fortune to bakers. All the farmers wanted was a nice comforting cookie, or a sweet thing to take their minds off of their soggy feet, and, in exchange, a pint of strawberries, a head of cabbage, a bunch of basil; before I knew it, I was knee deep in produce. I managed to come home with a half flat of strawberries, two heads of cabbage, carrots, spinach, fennel, dill, basil, mushrooms, cilantro, and more! Certainly more then one girl can eat alone. So, let the early summer preservation commence!
I am actually going to test a couple recipes and refrigerate them, before beginning an all out canning spree. The first of my tests is Kimchi. Kimchi is an asian fermented food similar to sauerkraut but with added vegetables like carrots and onions, and the typical flavors of many asian foods with the sweet and spicy kick. I was loaned the book, Nourishing Traditions, that has a Kimchi recipe that uses whey. Lacto-fermented foods have more probiotics and nutrients and are generally more “traditional.” Whey is very simple to acquire, simply pour a nutritious organic yogurt in a cheesecloth lined strainer over a bowl, leave out for a few hours, and there’s your whey! Whats left over is somewhere in between cream cheese and yogurt. Enjoy! (Find the Kimchi recipe under the “recipe” header).
Another easy recipe is pesto. Just throw some basil, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and your choice of nut (I am fortunate to have pine nuts right now, but walnuts are in season and work just as well), and blend up. There is also the option of using Parmesan instead of salt, but I like to keep my pesto vegan. Also, adding sun dried tomatoes, lemon juice, thyme, cilantro, etc., are all great ways to mix it up. If the pesto needs to be “beefed” up a bit, throw in some extra greens from the fridge: spinach, arugula, etc. Pesto freezes very well.
I plan on making freezer jam (seeing as though I am low on finances and cannot afford to buy canning supplies just yet…) within the next couple days, as well as heading over to Me and Moore farms in a couple of weeks for some U-Pick cherries. Its a little bit of a late season, but I can’t wait to try making some cherries preserves, which will eventually turn into wine when Shane gets home!
Oh, one more thing… already the ants have come marching in, and this year I refused to give into the chemical option of exterminating the ants:
- first try: 1/2 lemon juice, 1/2 water= sticky mess and sticky ants,
- second try: vinegar= slowed down ants, killed on contact, but more later
- third times a charm: cinnamon= no death and no pests. the ants wont walk over the cinnamon i sprinkled in front of the door and along the edge of the cabinets. the strong scent deters them because they cannot follow the trail of the other ants. Yay cinnamon!
More summer fun to come!