Pickling Time!

By Lady Bird August 24, 2009

This weekend at the Capitol Hill Farmers Market, you couldn't turn around without running into produce ripe for pickling— from the traditional (baby cucumbers, or "pickling cukes") to the obscure (green tomatoes, which make a great sweet-tart relish; summer squash—do them just like cukes or preserve them with olive oil and garlic—and fat little carrots, perfect for vegetable escabeche , giardiniera , or kimchi .)

I had the good fortune to grow up with a great-grandmother who spent a huge part of every summer "putting up" vegetables from the garden for the long winter months when we'd long for tomatoes, butter beans, and sweet corn. I remember pantry shelves that groaned with jars of sweet pickles, tomato juice, vegetable soup, and pickled okra.

Still, I never quite caught the canning bug myself. Something about storing perishable foods at room temperature has always violated my sense of food safety—irrationally, since properly canned and stored food keeps better and longer than what's in your refrigerator.

I'm hoping all that will change this coming Sunday, when I'll put myself in the capable hands of Marisa McLellan—the Philadelphia-based creator of the inspiring blog Food In Jars and an all-around canning genius—for a 90-minute lesson in creating and canning homemade jam.

The class, called "Canning Basics," is at Starry Nights Catering and Events in Kirkland (11200 Kirkland Way, #220) on Sunday, August 30 from 2:00 to 3:30 pm. A few spaces are still available; get your tickets ($45) here .
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