Posts Tagged ‘green’

Of course you can!


Check out the fabulous salsa recipe with chipotle chilies — http://www.bernardin.ca/

Canning steps for tomatoes and mixed tomato sauces — tomato and herb pasta sauce, salsa, tomato chutney, etc.  Review canning process on videos and canning jar websites before embarking on this multi-step process.  Start small and work up to production levels if you are new to canning and preserving food in glass jars.

* Grow fresh produce. Harvest or buy at farm market.

* Wash.  Cut out bad spots, stems and hulls. Remove tomato skins if you prefer.

* Wash the jars.  Acquire lids and rings to match jar mouth.

* Boil water and put in the empty jars and lids.

* Boil water to cover tomatoes packed in the jars.

* Place tomatoes in jars (wide mouth jars are easiest) and push out air spaces with knife or spatula.

* Don’t overfill jars.  Food inside the jar should stop at least  3/4 to 1 inch from top lip. This is called the jar “head space” needed for processing period when the contents will boil and expand.

* Add a little sea salt to each jar.  Cover tomatoes with boiling water just to 3/4 to 1 inch from top lip.  Adjust tomatoes in the jar so there are no air bubbles and hot water is below the head space.  The hot water will spread the salt through the food.  If you are making sauces or salsa, the salt and other seasonings would have been added during cooking.

* With a clean tea towel, dip it in boiling water and wipe the edge of the jar, inside and out, until the entire top area of the jar and the head space area inside and out is perfectly free of food smears, seeds, etc.  Re-wipe the jar top edge with boiling water on another area of the tea towel.  With tongs, fetch a flat lid from the boiling water bath and place on top of jar.  Holding the jar with your other hand, screw on the ring until it is secure, but not overly tight.

* Place all the filled and sealed jars in a large pot about 1/3 filled with boiling water (a crab pot, kettle, soup pot, etc).  The appropriate pot will hold about 6 to 8 quart jars.  Add boiling water until the jar tops are just covered.  Adjust heat and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.  This is called the “boiling water bath” or “hot water processing”.  This is not steam processing in a pressure cooker used for all other vegetables.  Tomatoes are unique that their acid content is high enough to ensure that hot water boiling is sufficient to safely preserve the food contents.

* Please review the canning process on videos and canning websites provided by jar manufacturers.  If you don’t feel comfortable canning, freeze the mixtures.  It’s best to approach canning like changing a tire.  Get someone who knows how to do it to show you.

* Foods preserved in glass are lovely to look at, fun to eat and don’t rot when the electricity fails.

Time to sign up for your fresh vegetables for the next growing season of 2013.

National database of CSA farmers

Local Harvest explains that “Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.”

Here are links to maps and lists that specify locations of  producers in the DC-MD-VA area.

Maryland

Montgomery County, MD

USDA resources on CSA

Community Rooftop Gardens Go Global

What a splendid breath-enhancing addition to the city of Washington the new Czech Embassy will be!

Museums and post office administrators see the logic of cutting heating and cooling costs with roof top gardens and lawns that reduce solar impact. Quebec is moving forward with plans to green the roof of the Beaux Arts Museum.

In New York City, the USPS created a rooftop garden at a processing facility. Shanghai’s General Post Office, a vast marble showcase for postal services and museum exhibitions, offers a manicured rooftop garden overlooking the Bund.

Mexico City received a greening boost a few years ago when a popular mayor advocated turning rooftops into gardens. Now, a city once known for air pollution is making positive steps towards cleaner air by installing more gardens on rooftops.

The perception in some circles is that the U.S. lags behind progressive European and Asian countries. This green roof industry site suggests the U.S. needs to learn from other countries. But local governments in the U.S. are requiring that buildings incorporate green roofs in new designs or rennovation projects. Atlanta, Georgia is a green leader, retrofitting a green roof on City Hall in 2003.

Fresh Farm Markets DC (“DC” means Maryland, Delaware and Virginia as well as the District  of Columbia).  Patronize these  farmers and producers who are the allies of cooks and curators of fine food.

Why buy from local farmers when the mega-mart offers bargain food and it’s wrapped in see through plastic?  Read the short answers here, but think about the long answer.  Do you know who grows your food?  Have you talked to the person who picked your dinner from the coop or field?

This recipe for dandelion wine — not to be confused with the novel Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury — was developed from oral tradition, community cookbooks and personal experience. Wait until spring when the first dandelions gild the fields.

1 gallon dandelion flowers

1 gallon boiling water

3 lbs. sugar

3 oranges cut in small pieces

3 lemons cut in small pieces

1 oz yeast

Pick dandelion flowers early in the morning, taking care not to have  particles of the bitter stem attached. Do not use dandelion flowers from fields or lawns that have been contaminated by pesticides.

No need to wash the flowers. Pour boiling water over the flowers and let stand 3 days.  Strain and add the rest of the ingredients.  Let stand to ferment three weeks.  Strain and bottle.




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