Category Archives: Sweet preserves

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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Sweet Violets for Jelly

As everybody knows, violets are blue—except when they are pink, or white, or mauve, or white tinged with lavender. This is what I learned after tilling the seven-foot-wide planting strip stretching the width of our city lot between the sidewalk … Continue reading

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Goodbye, Scrumptious September

With October have come gray and dripping skies and, to the garden, split and spotted tomatoes and feasting snails and slugs. This weather is the norm for autumn in western Oregon—if not for the Pacific Northwest in general. But nearly … Continue reading

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Finally, Stainless-Steel Mason Jar Bands

“See this rust?” asked a county-fair judge of a young 4-Her, pointing at a little spot inside the band the judge had just removed from the child’s jam jar. “This can keep your lid from sealing.” I’d never known even … 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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Now Aboard the Ark: Scio Kolace

New to Slow Food’s Ark of Taste  are kolace (pronounced “ko-LA-chee”) from Scio, Oregon, my home for 21 years. I’m proud to have nominated these filled sweet yeast buns whose history is so tightly bound with that of the little … Continue reading

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