Canning season

Welcome to The Northern Feast! This is a place where people who have weekly CSA boxes, gardens, or love the farmers market, can come and find easy ways to use up all of Summer’s bounty.  I am a firm supporter of local CSA’s (community supported agriculture) and farmer’s markets.  The closer you can get to your food the healthier you and the world will be.  You will automatically eat less processed foods and in turn cut down on your carbon footprint. The biggest concern that I hear on changing to this way of sourcing your food is, “How am I going to eat it all!”.  I want to show you that you can!

Growing up in Minnesota, I learned to appreciate the seasons in more ways than one. Spring was asparagus season, summer was well everything season, fall was apple and squash season, and winter was “Go down in the basement and bring up some pickles” season. My parents always had a big garden in the summer time, and even though I didn't like to help (yes I was a normal child), the delicious produce was worth the effort. This passion for seasonal food continued to stay with me after moving out.

For the past 5 years I have participated in a CSA or have shopped at a farmers market. I have found that the magic formula to using up all your produce is… preserving it! That means canning, quick pickling, freezing, drying, fermenting and infusing.  This may sound like a LOT of work, and I wont lie, it does take some time BUT it’s worth it. Taking time to freeze some tomatoes at the peak of season, means that in the dead of winter we can pull them out of the freezer or pantry and make a quick pasta sauce with the basil you frozen in oil for a delicious and QUICK after work dinner.  Or you need to bring a snack to a party and don't have ambition to drive in the snow to the grocery store, you can turn to your canned goods and bring some delicious dill pickles or spicy carrots. Your friends will be so impressed.

I have laid this blog out so that in each post there are 3 ways to use up one featured ingredient. Whether it's a recipe for dinner, or preserving it for future eating. Please note, I do not have a food safety degree and am not an expert in canning. I will reference instruction materials when canning.

I promise this blog will…

*Show you how to put ingredients together so you can cook with what you have, instead of multiple trips to the store.

*Practice zero waste! Having a CSA subscription or shopping at the farmers market creates so much less waste then it's packaged counter part.

*Be in season! Our generation grew up with convenience and every food possible being available all the time. That us taught us the opposite of eating in season.  Plus you will find that in season vegetables taste way better!

*Be easy! Some preservation techniques will be very simple. For example, washing produce and putting it in a freezer container. This winter I am going to show you how to use up all the frozen goodies in your freezer!

I hope you enjoy!