My dear friend Spencer said to me last Saturday on our way home from the lustrous Saturday Farmers Market: "you are going to can the whole city of Portland aren't you?!!" His comment followed my fifteen minute babble on all the things at the market I thought I could fit into a jar. To tell you the truth, if I thought Portland would fit, I wouldn't mind taking a piece of it home with me (which pieces...now that's a whole other blog!).
I had my first lesson in the art of preserving - given to me by another brilliant friend of mine, Sarah. You see, preserving is having a renaissance here in Portland, people are returning to gardening and want to use the products of their labor all year long and share with friends beyond the growing season. It is so inspiring to see my generation immerse themselves in this culture of preserving food and taking control of what is going into their bodies. Sarah was a great teacher and the lesson went so well we successfully canned an amazing blueberry-lime and a separate batch of blackberry. All I could think of was how great those would taste on homemade biscuits one cold stormy winter morning in Maine! The next weekend I ventured out on my own and made a batch of raspberry-marionberry which I am looking forward to using in a chocolate layer cake already...just tart enough to offset the most bittersweet of chocolates. It's prime pickin' time here in Oregon, and I don't want to waist a minute of it. Next on my list: pickles, peach conserve, and if I'm feelin' frisky I just might go all the way with a chutney! (Nervous Nelly eat my dust!)
Here we are enjoying the fruits of our labor with a little local brew.