Friday Shout Out: Preservin'

Lately I'm obsessing over what to can/preserve next. I'm already thinking about Christmas gifts and I think Scott and I may do what we did last year, which was to hand make everything for friends and family. It was very rewarding, fun, saved us money, and way less stressful than hitting the mall or big box store for the one perfect thing for each person on our list.

Like a squirrel hoarding for winter, I'm saving extra jars and food containers that will hold up well for nesting gift goodies and I want to hit up Craigslist and thrift stores to find Ball and Mason jars. Much cheaper than buying new ones, and less waste too. The jars and threads can be boiled to sterilize and reuse - it's the lids that have to be new and replaced.

With tomato season about to hit its peak, what could a canner want more than to do some homemade salsa? Chutney? Gazpacho? Vegetable soup? Even Tomato Jam! Marinara? The possibilities are quite endless.

I also would like to try out something I tasted at our friend Gideon's place last week - pickled red peppers from Eastern Market. Looooove sweet red peppers. I think I can do that - I haven't pickled anything yet but I'm pretty sure I can take it on. With Hubs in Charlottesville this weekend, I think I may just take over the kitchen and do some major "puttin' up."

Plundering the Internets this week, I discovered the fabulous blog of Mrs. Wheelbarrow, a DC foodie who hosts Canning Across America workshops. I think I may partake - anyone care to join?

*As for my previous posting on crazy life drama, I luckily calmed down a bit yesterday and, aided by a discussion with Scott, determined to see out our lease through next May, work on saving up some major dough, and relax for a bit for the time being. I am still dreaming, though.

Happy Friday, everyone!