Ferment This: Rescued Root Veggie Pickles

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.

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Preserve This: Lovely Lemon Balm Jelly

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”

Farm Foraging: Queen Anne’s Lace Jelly and Syrup

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.

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