Category Archives: Fruits

Ask Santa for Empty Jars

When someone asks what you want for Christmas and you can’t think of anything, you at least know you don’t want commercial preserves, right? Those store-bought jams and relishes are never as good as the ones you make yourself, even … Continue reading

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Canning Nectarines: Things the USDA Doesn’t Tell You

When a box of big, flawless, fragrant, just-ripe nectarines from the Washington State Fruit Commission landed on my porch, I had to decide quickly how to preserve them. Most years I’ve made my nectarines and peaches into pickles, chutneys, and … Continue reading

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Preserves with a Nordic Touch

From the University of Minnesota Press comes a preserving cookbook especially for cold-climate cooks, whether they grow their own produce or shop at farmers’ markets and farm stands. Savory Sweet: Simple Preserves from a Northern Kitchen is a collection of … Continue reading

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A Better Way to Make Cherry Chutney

With some of the big, dark cherries the Washington State Fruit Commission sent me last year, I made a tasty chutney. It disappointed me, though. The cherries were so mild in flavor that the spices and vinegar overwhelmed them, and … Continue reading

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A New Fruit for Cooler Climates

If you’ve come upon fruiting blue honeysuckle bushes in your local garden center this year, you can thank two fruit-loving Oregonians, Jim Gilbert and Maxine Thompson. After one of his fruit-gathering trips to Russia in the 1990s, Jim introduced American … Continue reading

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From the New Joy of Pickling: Pickled Sliced Peaches

The Washington State Fruit Commission made my day again early this month, when a big box of fragrant, juicy peaches and nectarines was delivered to my front porch. The fruit was so tasty that I made small batches of plain … Continue reading

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Canned Cherries for a Flamboyant Dessert

Before cherry season comes to a close, I want to share with you a recipe I recently developed for the Washington State Fruit Commission, thanks to whom a big box of fresh cherries landed on my porch a few weeks … Continue reading

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Finally: A Good Thermometer for Home Preserving

  When home preservers have asked me what sort of thermometer they should use, I’ve never had good advice for them. I teach people to assess the readiness of their jams, jellies, and preserves by various tests: Does the liquid … Continue reading

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Persimmon Treats for the Holiday Cookie Platter

The day the sale of our farm closed, I picked nearly all the remaining fruit in the orchard, but I had to leave the persimmons. They were the biggest crop I’ve ever had, on a tree at least fifteen years … Continue reading

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The New Fruit Cellar

  In case you’ve been wondering why I haven’t written in so long, I’ll explain: We’ve been moving. This has involved renovating a little old bungalow, cleaning out a big house, a two-story garage, and a large barn, selling or … Continue reading

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