Now is the time to think about ways to preserve wonderful summer produce so you can continue to enjoy them during the winter too. Before modern refrigeration, preserving was a matter of survival. To prevent starvation, families put up as much food as possible, ensuring they had nutrition and variety for the cold winter months. With food shipments from all corners of the globe, the art of canning and preservation declined in popularity. Thanks to an increased awareness of our carbon footprints, and the trend towards eating local produce, canning and preserving food is making a comeback. We have peaches, pears and tomatoes in bulk for you to purchase online at www.rumarfarm.ca for your canning or freezing needs.
Here is what you can expect this week:
Bartlett Pears – Make a really easy pear butter with your crockpot. Wash, core and cut into chunks enough bartlett pears (with the skin) to fill your crock pot. Set on high and leave it for 4-6 hours. Remove the lid and blast it with a hand blender until smooth. Set on low with the lid off until it reduces and reaches the sweetness and consistency you want. Fill small glass jars with the mixture and store in your freezer. Great on yogurt, toast or add to desserts for a healthy natural sweetener.
Beet Mix – Bunch of beets; a mix of Chioggia, Yellow and Boltardy (purple). Beautiful greens are an extra bonus that can be added to your salad or smoothie or blanched and treated as spinach. To store, loosely wrap in paper towel and keep in crisper for up to one week.
Hearty Lettuce Mix – A mix of sweet tender lettuce with red and green mustard, kale, red and green mizuna, tatsoi and tsoi-sum. Makes for a nice base for a hearty main dish salad. (add grilled steak or chicken).
Ripe Field Tomatoes (Red Pear Abruzzese) – If you have not yet made a fresh tomato soup now is your chance. This easy soup can be made in under one hour and is a perfect weekend meal. After bringing to a boil, simmer chopped tomatoes, onions, cloves and chicken broth for 20 minutes. Run mixture through a food mill then slowly add it to a roux in a stock pot using a whisk. Add a bit of sugar and salt, adjust to taste. Serve with a baguette and cheese.
White Turnip – We just love this versatile veggie. Roasting turnips mellows their sharp flavour and makes them wonderfully tender. You can also mash turnip like you would potatoes.
Green Beans – Makes an easy healthy and flavourful side dish. Simmer beans until tender, drain and return them to a hot skillet. Sauté in butter and minced garlic for a few minutes, season and serve.
Thai Basil – Spicy with an anise, or licorice-like flavour and their sturdy leaves hold up better during cooking (than sweet basil). This variety goes well with East and Southeast Asian foods. You can eat it raw as well, it really jazzes up a plain old cucumber and tomato salad. Get adventurous and make a spicy noodle bowl with beef and peach.