I am so pumped about this post! I did something ya’ll. I tried something new. Some might think it’s slightly coo-coo. But it’s not. It’s a thing…a big thing…a real game changer! I fermented fruit! And I used some new equipment to help me…which made my (fermentation) life WAY easier!
As a little girl I made several trips to basements retrieving glass, sometimes dusty, jars of preserved food. Both sets of grandparents lived on farms in southeast Nebraska and grew a lot of their own food. “Jaime, run downstairs and get me 2 quarts of green beans.” “Jaime, can you go to the basement and pick out a jar of dill pickles?” “Jaime, go grab a pint of tomato juice from the basement cupboard.” I grew up with canned (jarred) food and really didn’t think too much about it. My mom and grandma would spend many summer days “putting up” sweet corn, beans, tomatoes, beets, pickles, relish, etc., and although my older sister and I would help out from time-to-time (mainly snapping beans or shucking corn), I wasn’t too interested in it nor did I understand the value or importance of it. It was just there, in the background of my childhood.
Winter is over (’bout dang time!). Spring produce isn’t quite ready (asparagus, I’ve got plans for you). But I’m already craving the familiar flavors of summer…tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and dill to name a few. Lately, I’ve really needed a hot-weather food fix. So I decided to seek solace in the comfort of my pantry and freezer. Last summer my dad taught me how to can tomatoes and pickles. This is a life skill no Bloody Mary-loving, spicy pickle-obsessed gal (or dude) should be without. It ranks right up there with knowing how to change a car tire (which I don’t) and knowing when to pull the pot off the heat before the sugar burns when making kettle corn (which I do!). Priorities, amiright?
I love citrus. I use it in sweet dishes, savory dishes, condiments, sauces, salts, sugars, salsas, dressings, and of course beverages. Rarely do I make a cocktail without the addition of either lemon or lime…booze usually needs that little bit of zesty tartness to round out the “burn” of the alcohol and to mellow whatever sweetness was added, usually in the form of simple syrup, honey or straight up sugar.