I’m sure I’m not the only person happy to see 2020 end. This has been a hard year for the whole world.
Some families lost loved ones, some are still very sick, some have had financial problems, some have loss their dream job, some have loss homes and some have had their business closed not knowing if it will ever open again. There was the pandemic, black lives matter, fires and the Presidential election. I will be honest, it all got to me.
Moving forward to 2021. I’m going to change my tradition of making a gourmet meal on New Year’s Eve. This challenging year, 2020, is not worthy of a gourmet meal to end the year . Instead, I will make a gourmet meal January 1, 2021 to celebrate a new year and we will have black eye peas for good luck. Yes, we had them at the beginning of 2020 and some people would say they did not bring you good luck. Well, it is all on how you look at things. We did have some good luck. We got a new healthy grand daughter, we are healthy, our families are healthy and our home or families homes did not burn down.
Don’t get me wrong, this year has been very hard for me . I have missed so much time with my family , my husband’s family, friends and my students. I’m sure it has been hard for a lot of people.
Home preserving, whether it’s an exotic or an indigenous product, gives the home cook ultimate control over ingredients, flavors, and cost. In my kitchen I don’t need to compromise on quality. I can make jams with less sugar, pickles with less salt, and preserve roasted peppers with NO additives or artificial colors. My own imagination and the RULES OF CHEMISTRY are the only limits. I can do what commercial manufacturers can’t: make small batches so that quality is never sacrificed (although, remember to never double a recipe in one batch). I constantly look for ways to improve upon common flavors, such as strawberry, and create new products. I recently created Strawberry Chocolate Jam with only one cup of sugar. Home preserving can mean bringing taste you never knew existed to the table. Preserving at home is a natural progression of America’s renewed passion for homemade favorites. We want less complicated dishes and high quality ingredients at reasonable costs. In the past, canning and preserving were tasks our grandmothers had to do; I feel that we should look at these not as tiresome chores but as pleasurable chores. Home preserving is for the cooks today that want to eat healthy (less sugar, less salt and less fat) and have a lot of wonderful taste.
This last Saturday, All In A Jar had a full class! We made Fennel Sweet Onion Relish, Tequila Hot Sauce and Seriously Italian Onion Rosemary Jam. It was wonderful to listen to the students talk about the food they make in their homes. Two of the students are food bloggers as well. Jennifer Drummond from Peanut Butter & Pepper has a fun blog about eating healthy and the other blogger is Marlene Baird from Nosh My Way. She as a beautiful blog with great photos and both have yummy recipes they offer to followers. Please check out both of these great food bloggers!