The sun is out, attitudes are cheery and the ground is popping with color but best of all the Farmer’s Market is back to a weekly happening! Granted there’s still not a whole lot of produce to choose from, greens, leeks and radishes are pretty much it on the fresh side but there’s the beginnings of asparagus and spring turnips that show the promise of what’s on it’s way. So get ready and keep going to the market if only just to get lunch from the variety of fantastic vendors and a macaroon from the Bread Farm.
Now that the sun’s shining through the windows I’ve noticed how desperately they need to be cleaned (see above). But that’s not fun, so I’ve been cleaning the pantry instead. I’ve gone through what’s left of last year’s bounty and reorganized it so that all like things are together (I had pickles in 3 different places, because at one point I guess that made sense) and have started to make notes on what I’ll need to make extra of this year (Pirate Peaches, Gingery Pickled Beets and all sorts of berry jams – I’m officially out and it bums me out every morning). But mostly I’ve been spending my time drooling over a seed catalog and the latest edition in my favorite books: Naturally Sweet Food In Jars. I read cookbooks like novels, cover to cover, and I am so excited to put this book to use! I picked up the original Food in Jars a few years ago somewhat on a whim but the simplicity of the recipes and beautiful pictures made me dive right in and I haven’t turned back. And while the husband rolls his eyes and turns the other direction when the canning supplies come out the speed at which he goes through a jar of my pickles is proof enough that he’s glad I made the purchase too.
After my first year of canning pretty much exclusively from Food in Jars I started to venture out to the internet and came across Local Kitchen and their Plums in Wine & Honey. Last summer I brought home a box of Italian Plums that seemed to be bottomless so after countless jars of plums every-which-way I needed something new and this was the ticket. Wonderfully balanced with sweet-tart-savory flavors, one pint of these blended with one pint of vanilla ice cream makes the perfect, adult, way to celebrate the arrival of Spring.
While there’s really no need for a recipe – I’ll format it that way anyway!