Strawberry Preserving Round-up

We send a weekly newsletter focused on a single-topic related to preserving, cooking, local food, foraging, gardening or something else.  Our goal with the newsletter is “to be the most useful resource in your inbox.”  The newsletter includes links to many other websites with ideas sharing knowledge about the topic as well as original content, announcements and occasional contests from us as well.  As an added bonus we send all subscribers the link to a file for labels that Dana hand-designed so you can print your own designer labels to decorate your jars.  You can sign up here.

This weeks theme was: Strawberries!  New preservers will find everything they need to learn to preserve strawberries and veterans will (hopefully) find new ideas and great preserving ideas for the first fruit of the year!  Strawberry wine, spicy preserves and recipes for beginners are all included.

Strawberry Preserving Round up Strawberry strawberries round ups [Read more...]

4 Things I’m Learning About Homemade Hamburgers

I’m particular about hamburgers – mostly in a bad way.

Like many people, I have a strong emotional connection to food.  It’s not my parents fault or the fault of society or my upbringing; this one falls squarely on my shoulders.  This doesn’t make a difference on most days but I catch myself craving certain foods on days that are particularity fantastic or horrible.  I have a fairly healthy relationship with food but when I’m having an stressful or emotional day it is the place I go to find comfort or celebrate success.  I’m aware enough to know that I’m eating in ways that are been triggered by emotion but seemingly powerless to change my behavior.

Which brings me to hamburgers.  If there’s one food that I eat way more than I felt philosophically comfortable with, it’s frozen hamburgers.  You know the ones; the ones you get at diners.  They come in packages with waxed paper dividing frost-ridden layers of meat mixed with filler and meat bi-product.  Meat-like burgers really.

My connection to them is even more ironic given that I grew up with many homemade burgers that were made with ‘real’ ingredients (often including moose or deer) and were cooked perfectly.

We eat a lot of vegetarian meals, especially at home. Nearly 100% of the raw meat and fish that comes into our home is from small farms and/ or sustainable sources.  But the odd diner hamburger comes through – and I’ve struggled to find a homemade version that connects with the same emotional appeal as the ones I grew up with.

Until now.

Before sharing my four ‘secrets’, allow me to share one that didn’t make the list.  In the search for a better homemade burger I made super thin patties last year.  They were about the size of a frozen patty.  They cooked quickly on high heat, charred well and had a great texture when combined with condiments.  I played with all sorts of additional ingredient and almost wrote this article back then.  I’m glad I didn’t; my burger strategy has done a completed turn-around!

Here’s my 4 tips for better burgers:

  1. Weigh your meat.  This isn’t essential if you’re cooking 1 or 2 burgers but essential if you’re cooking more than that to ensure that all burgers are cooked evenly.  An extra pinch of meat can easily weigh 5-10% more (and take that much longer to cook).  I like to use 225-250 grams (about a half-pound).
  2. Hands-off.  Food television tells us to handle the meat minimally.  While this makes sense I think it’s more important to make sure that the meat is built into a perfect cylinder.  If you form the patty between your hands it will often be thick in the middle and thinner around the edges.  I form the patties on a cookie sheet and push a second sheet down on top to evenly press the patties.
  3. Salt and pepper.  Lots of both.  Nothing else.  Meat, salt a pepper.  No egg. Not breadcrumbs or brown sauce or crackers.  Good (great) meat and salt and pepper.  Treat it like a steak – and it will be amazing.  Place patties in the fridge to help them ‘come together’ and cook without effort.
  4. Heat.  Medium-high high and flip once.  If you cook them too hot, they’ll need frequent flipping and risk burning.  Place them on medium-high and, when the edges start to change color and blood appears on the patty, it’s ready to flip.

What’s your secret?to a better burger?

Kick-Up the Jams Round-Up

We send a weekly newsletter focused on a single-topic related to preserving, cooking, local food, foraging, gardening or something else.  Our goal with the newsletter is “to be the most useful resource in your inbox.”  The newsletter includes links to many other websites with ideas sharing knowledge about the topic as well as original content, announcements and occasional contests from us as well.  As an added bonus we send all subscribers the link to a file for labels that Dana hand-designed so you can print your own designer labels to decorate your jars.

This weeks theme was: Kick-Up The Jams!  Bourbon, pepper, balsamic, habaneros, elderflower, ramps and candied ginger all find their way into jam in this weeks round-up as we take a look at some of the less common combinations of flavours that can be added to fruit and jam!

Kick Up the Jams Round Up waterbath round ups Jam

You can sign up for the newsletter here.

Every Wednesday we share the links from the previous weeks newsletter as we know that some of you would prefer to read these on the site and that sharing the links here increases the reach/ exposure of many of the writers working so hard to share their passions.  These links celebrate the work of so many people working hard to share knowledge and their passions of cooking, preserving and the love of the kitchen and we want to help spread the work of great sites and blogs. [Read more...]

Steam Juicer Results Round 2: Strawberries

I’m beyond excited to share the results of our second round of steam juicing!

I had another chance to test the steam juicer last night.  And, like before, this remains one of the most surprising/ exciting pieces of equipment that has come into my kitchen in a long time!

Steam Juicer Results Round 2: Strawberries Strawberry steam juicer [Read more...]

Rhubarb Round-Up

We send a weekly newsletter focused on a single-topic related to preserving, cooking, local food, foraging, gardening or something else.  Our goal with the newsletter is “to be the most useful resource in your inbox.”  The newsletter includes links to many other websites with ideas sharing knowledge about the topic as well as original content, announcements and occasional contests from us as well.  As an added bonus we send all subscribers the link to a file for labels that Dana hand-designed so you can print your own designer labels to decorate your jars.

Rhubarb Round Up round ups Rhubarb

You can sign up for the newsletter here.

Every Wednesday we share the links from the previous weeks newsletter as we know that some of you would prefer to read these on the site and that sharing the links here increases the reach/ exposure of many of the writers working so hard to share their passions.  These links celebrate the work of so many people working hard to share knowledge and their passions of cooking, preserving and the love of the kitchen and we want to help spread the work of great sites and blogs.

Here’s the list from last week:

[Read more...]

How Does Asparagus Grow?

Have you ever seen asparagus grow in a field?  I hadn’t either…

How Does Asparagus Grow? Asparagus [Read more...]

Asparagus Round-Up

We send a weekly newsletter focused on a single-topic related to preserving, cooking, local food, foraging, gardening or something else.  Our goal with the newsletter is “to be the most useful resource in your inbox.”  The newsletter includes links to many other websites with ideas sharing knowledge about the topic as well as original content, announcements and occasional contests from us as well.  As an added bonus we send all subscribers the link to a file for labels that Dana hand-designed so you can print your own designer labels to decorate your jars.

You can sign up for the newsletter here.

Every Wednesday we share the links from the previous weeks newsletter as we know that some of you would prefer to read these on the site and that sharing the links here increases the reach/ exposure of many of the writers working so hard to share their passions.  We had almost 20 links to other sites; you can find them as well as the links to some of our asparagus archive below:

Asparagus Round Up round ups Asparagus [Read more...]

Foraging Round-Up

The following is the weekly round-up; this weeks topic is foraging!  There’s almost 30 links reviewed below; all are from last weeks newsletter (We Are WellPreserved is emailed on the weekend).  The newsletter is free and we send all subscribers a template for hand-designed labels that fit on mason jars.  This weekends’ topic will be asparagus.

Foraging Round Up round ups Foraging

Here’s part of last weeks newsletter – the round-up of links to foraging articles from around the Internet: [Read more...]

Looking Ahead to The Terroir Symposium (Terroir VIII)

 

Dana and I celebrated milestone birthdays last year.  We celebrated by taking the vacation of a lifetime; 17 days of eating and drinking our way through Spain.  It was unbeleivable.  We enjoyed every moment; though I remember sitting on a sun-drenched patio and slightly longing for home.  I turned to her and said,

Terroir is today.  It’s our first time missing it in 4 years.

By the look in the face I knew that a small part of her longed to be there too.

I have no shame in admitting that, in the middle of the vacation of a lifetime, that a small part of me wished I was attending an industry conference.  Even if it was for an industry I didn’t work in.

Looking Ahead to The Terroir Symposium (Terroir VIII) [Read more...]

Turnip Round-up: How to Preserve and Store Them

As announced last week, we’re experimenting with sharing the round-up posts from our weekend newsletters on our website.  Although some people read the site and others read the newsletter, we recognize that many prefer one over the other.  We’re hoping that providing the round-up of the newsletter here (a week after it’s shared to subscribers), that these round-ups will provide ideas, inspiration and recipes for a single ingredient, topic or technique.

This week was the last of the winter veggies: turnips!  Each of the links were hand-selected (we spend hours combing the Internet for content that we think you’ll like) and we’re excited to share the love of so many people who are doing such great work.

Turnip Round up: How to Preserve and Store Them turnips Turnip round ups [Read more...]