How Not To Die From Botulism: What Home Canners Need To Know About The World’s Most Deadly Toxin

botulism

You may have seen this article. A Seattle man recently contracted botulism from his improperly canned elk meat and is lucky to be alive. His description of how he canned the elk is like a checklist for everything you never, ever do when canning food. I love to see so many new people taking up home [Continue Reading...]

Taking The Next Step: All Grain Homebrewing

All Grain Brewing (2)

There comes a time when most homebrewers ask, is it time to go all-grain? A little background for those of you that are not homebrewers: most of us start out making beer from something called “malt extract,” a super-convenient tub (or bag) of grain sugars that is consistent, created by professionals under controlled conditions and [Continue Reading...]

My Big Fat Hippie Pantry: A Full Larder For Fall

Pantry Oct 2012 (16)

A friend of mine who’s known me for eight years or so was over a few days ago. She was checking out my pantry and said, “When we met, you had a total Costco pantry. And now it’s a total hippie pantry.” Excuse me while my heart swells with a little self-indulgent pride over my [Continue Reading...]

Turmeric Garlic Dill Pickles by Popular Request

Turmeric Dill Pickles (2)

I have gotten a lot of requests for the recipe for my new favorite Turmeric Garlic Dill Pickles since mentioning them in my Can-o-rama post. Ask and ye shall receive, friends. Turmeric Garlic Dill Pickles 8 lbs small pickling cucumbers Pre-Soak: 3/4 cups pickling salt 2 gallons cold water. Brine:* 8 large cloves garlic (or [Continue Reading...]

How To Make Jerky At Home with Venison or Elk

Lazy Homesteader: Venison Jerky

Some urban homesteading families have the inclination and skill to go beyond gleaning and gathering and put their meat on the table – literally – through hunting and fishing. Anisa Schell’s family is one, and today I am thrilled to share her recipe for Wild Game Jerky.  Anisa blogs at Lazy Homesteader and gets dirt under her [Continue Reading...]

Stop Throwing Away Free Tomato Sauce

Making Thick Tomato Sauce From Tomato Skins (3)

It has come to my attention that many people are unwittingly throwing away free tomato sauce when they preserve their summer tomatoes. Here’s the thing: like all fruit, the skin of tomato is where much of the natural pectin resides. Pectin is the starch that gives jams their thickness and good tomato sauce its natural, [Continue Reading...]

How To Martha-Up Your Jam Labels For Nearly Free In About 5 Minutes

Avery Label Options For Canning Jar Labels (7)

The pile of canned tomatoes and pickles and jams on my dining room table is begging to be put safely away in the pantry. The only problem: I like to Martha-up my jam with cute labels. Although I have, in the past, recommended inexpensive cut-out labels for jam jars, many readers have enlightened me to [Continue Reading...]

Can-o-Rama 2012

Can-o-rama 2012 (1)

It’s 1:43 AM Monday as I write this. The past 56 hours have been a Can-o-rama from “where’s-my-coffee?” to way-past-dusk that has precluded the writing of any witty or useful blog posts. I’m eating good cheese with a spoon, too tired even to drink the well-deserved pour of wine next to me. I got nothin’, [Continue Reading...]

How To Make Pectin-Free Jam: Ditch The Box and Increase The Creativity In Your Preserves

How To Make Jam Without Pectin (3)

Do you need pectin to make jam? I used to think so. I followed the recipe on the inside of the pectin box slavishly for 7 years before I broke free of the pectin bonds. Every year, my strawberry jam tasted exactly like the strawberry jam of everyone else who wore the Sure-Jell shackles. The [Continue Reading...]

Create Your Own Signature Jam By Mixing and Matching Flavors

Apricot Jam with Lime, Ginger and Tequila

It’s unofficial Preserve Week here at Northwest Edible Life. I know because my floor is sticky with canning syrup and my refrigerator smells like pickle brine. It’s hard for me to think of anything else but putting food by right now, so I’m going to be talking jams and pickles all week long. I hope [Continue Reading...]

Seven Great Things You Missed On Facebook: Peanut Sauce, Peaches and More

Peach Ice Cream

It’s been a busy week over on the Northwest Edible Facebook Page. We blew through the 5,000s in no time and are currently sitting at over 6,000 smart, bad-ass and very attractive community members. Thank you guys! Homebrew Husband captured the exact moment of the 6,000th like on his phone. Not that we are total [Continue Reading...]

How To Turn A Mason Jar Into A Fermenting Crock

Mason Jar DIY Fermentation Lid (1)

You can spend a lot of money on specialized pickling crocks. Go ahead, be my guest. You’ll learn all about how your $25-$200 is buying you an ideal anaerobic environment in which to nurture your precious anaerobic bacteria…blah, blah, blah. Me? I don’t need another unitasker in my kitchen. I like to be able to use a [Continue Reading...]