Tag Archives: food preservation

Project Unstick…

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…has reached the kitchen food cupboards, forcing me to cook and eat four-year-old packets of chocolate pudding and five-year-old jars of home-canned pears. Can’t just throw it away, can I? (Well, yes, I can, and do, if it’s stale or otherwise unappetising, but this stuff still tastes good. Properly preserved food can actually last a remarkably long time. And I was raised by war-generation Germans who taught me that wasting food is a sin.) But I also don’t want to stick it back in the cupboard. So I still have a collection of food out on the counter that I’m going to either use up in the next few days or finally chuck out.

It’s actually not that big a collection, considering – especially compared to the vast total quantities of food that I had piled all over the counters. It reminded me of the Hungry Planet project, where researchers took photos in different countries of what one family eats in one week. My collection is several month’s worth of non-perishables, not just one week’s, but still, looking at it all made me feel very fortunate and thankful.

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So I guess today I’ll be eating sushi (rice, seaweed, and a tube of wasabi all coming under the “past their best-by date” heading), and perhaps a pot of chicken noodle soup to get rid of that box of capellini noodles. If nothing else, this is making me eat something other than the same-old same-old.

Life, the Universe, and Everything in the Kitchen Cupboard. Project Unstick is having unforeseen side effects.

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Keeping Food for Winter

A reblog from William Savage, whose blog I discovered recently.
This post is quite fascinating. I’ve never eaten purslane, just pulled it out of my garden as a weed; it’s supposed to be quite good. Pickled asparagus, however, you can even buy in the grocery store here. Storing lettuce in sand for winter – never heard of that, but again, sometimes you can get “gourmet” lettuces here – little butterhead ones – with the roots still attached, which I guess is the same principle.
As for the word “walm” (check the footnote), I bet that that’s where we get “overwhelmed” from!
I want a copy of that “Compleat Housewife” book he talks about. Wonder where you could get it.

Pen and Pension

pickled-purslaneIn the days before refrigeration and canning, different means for keeping foodstuffs edible over the winter were an essential part of every household’s routine. If you didn’t pay attention to this, much of your harvest would go to waste. Besides, if your own stores failed or were inadequate, you couldn’t easily make up the deficit through purchases.

Some fruits, like apples and pears, could be stored for several months by setting them on racks in a cool place. Others had to be cooked with sugar and preserved in jars, sealed with butter or fat — no rubber seals yet. Pickling could work for others, or even drying. Quite a few fruits were dried, many we would not think of drying today, like gooseberries.

Unusual Choices

You quite often find unusual or surprising recipes in cookbooks from the eighteenth century. All the ones in this post come from “The Compleat Housewife”

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