What’s more cooling and refreshing on a wickedly hot day than the sweet goodness of ice cold watermelon? (check out the health benefits here) And there are plenty of tasty treats that can be made from the watermelon – including the rinds!
Refrigerator crisper drawers invite egregious procrastination. They allow unassuming veggies to hide until they’re past the point of no return – soft, soggy, sometimes slimy. Eww. In my efforts to avoid wasting food, I am occasionally horrified at what I find in there: lettuce that appears to be sporting a coating of pinkish ectoplasm, a severely shriveled and rubberized carrot, a desiccated and scraggly scallion…they haunt the crisper drawer and remind me that wasting food is a character flaw. Today, however, I managed to salvage some of the sorriest specimens and turn them into something tasty.
Why preserve? Fundamentally, it’s about finding ways to extend the “shelf life” of edibles: fermenting, drying, pickling, canning, freezing, and curing are some of the common ways of preserving food. In this case, I made jelly because it’s an economical way to have this delightful treat available even when fresh leaves may not be…like in the dead of winter. Continue reading “Preserve This: Lovely Lemon Balm Jelly”
Making food and drink from edible wild-growing plants is truly a gift that brings us closer to the land and its bounty. It illustrates, in a very practical way, the benefits of not using chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers): we don’t have to worry about what’s been sprayed on our property…because nothing has been. And that means I can collect the frilly white flower heads of wild-growing Queen Anne’s Lace for jelly and know that I’m getting exactly what I think I am and nothing extra.