Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Book Review

Cookbook Man Reviews Preserving

First Impressions If you’re into canning or preserving food in any way shape or form, this cookbook will make your eyes bulge (in a good way). It is really something to see. 541 pages of pure preserving pleasure. The cover says 140 recipes, but, there it seems there is WAY more going on here than just recipes. The author, Pat Crocker, is also the photographer. And, she did a wonderful job. Big, bright, colorful images are used throughout. It doesn’t appear to be a canning handbook. It’s more than that. It’s a guide to making the freshness and flavor of each season last.

Read more here.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Mushroom Tapenade

Important Correction to Mushroom Tapenade, page 512

If you have my Preserving book, you will know how important it is to make sure that you process canning jars using the Hot Water Method for high acid foods and the Pressure Canner for low acid foods because I outline the parameters of safe home canning in detail at the front of the book.
High acid foods are fruit, pickles that contain a certain amount of vinegar and tomatoes that have had 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice to the jar. These foods may be safely processed using the Hot Water Method.
Low acid foods are vegetables, fish, shellfish and meat. These foods must be processed using a Pressure Canner.

It has just come to my attention that of the 200+ recipes in the book, one recipe has inadvertantly been included with the incorrect method of processing. My Mushroom Tapenade, a delicious nutty blend of mushrooms and olives that is perfect for a spread or to use with rice is a low acid food and therefore cannot be processed using the Hot Water Method.

Here is the CORRECT version of this recipe
Makes 6 cups (1.5 L)
3 tbsp   olive oil                                             2 cups  chopped pitted kalamata olives
2 cups  chopped onions                                 2 tbsp   freshly squeezed lemon juice
4          cloves garlic, finely chopped             3/4 cup chopped sunflower seeds
2 lb (1kg) mushrooms, finely chopped          3 tbsp   chopped fresh oregano
1 cup    chicken broth

1. In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until soft. Add garlic, mushrooms and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a light boil and simmer for 25 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft and liquid is reduced.
2. Remove from heat and add olives, lemon juice, sunflower seeds and oregano to the mushroom mixture. Boil for two minutes. Cool to room temperature.
3. Transfer to a bowl or container, cover tightly and refrigerate and use within 3 to 5 days or freeze.
4. To freeze: Select suitable-size freezer containers, bags or Mason jars (see page 24 of the book). Pack tapenade into containers, leaving a 1-inch headspace. Remove air, label and seal. Freeze for up to 6 months.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pat Speaks at University of Minnesota

Basic Black
Pat will join gardeners, herbies and foodies as they celebrate 50 years of the Minnesota Herb Society. What an honour! On Friday August 10, Pat will take her place at the podium along with an all-star cast of speakers to take you on a 'Journey Through Thyme' to explore 'Herbs in the Garden, Kitchen and Beyond'. 

All are invited to attend this exciting program and meet the authors of the herb world's most important and interesting books. For more information about the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and the incredible speaker lineup for  'Journey Through Thyme' full-day event, go here.

Pat's topic is 'Basic Black'- She will shine a light on the dark side of nature to come up with interesting black herbs for the garden, the kitchen and the medicine cabinet. Through powerpoint and live food demonstration, Pat will show attendees how good their food will look and taste in black. 
Pat says, "a little black salad can take you anywhere".


All photographs and recipes are original and copyrighted to Pat Crocker. Pat invites you to use her recipes and share with family and friends. Please contact Pat Crocker for express permission for commercial, internet, or other use of her photographs and recipes.