I have joked in the past that gardening and canning are some of my zombocalypse skills. Should the worst come to pass, I, theoretically, will still be able to feed myself and a few others. Of course, that widely exaggerates my skills. I don’t collect seeds and start from seedlings. I grow a selection of plants that I am interested in and not necessarily plants that’ll get someone the full complement of vitamins, minerals, etc. that a person might need. Even though I have a collection of recipes in a notebook that I have tried and made notes on, I almost never cook out of that book. I seem to prefer checking my pinterest boards. (Also, that notebook is in storage right now, so I couldn’t even update it if I wanted to without having to go through the hassle of retrieving it from an unknown box in my storage pod.) But, it is a nice story to tell myself. Especially after weeks in which I both foraged, harvested and canned.
First, it turns out there are elderberries growing wild at my parents’ house. What a delight to discover that. So, I collected the tiny berries (they’re little plants, so they have little berries) and then I made a syrup. I’m pretty proud of that.
Then, I added some farmers’ market cayenne peppers to my own harvest along with some ground mustard seed, and garlic to a brine. I am currently fermenting my own hot sauce. So. Excited. About. That!
Finally, I tried again to make cherry chili jam. This time with a jalapeño. (I had previously tried using a single cayenne pepper. It did not have the kick I was hoping for.) You can definitely taste the chili this time around. I had it with butter on an english muffin earlier. It was so good. Just what the doctor ordered. (The doctor being me. I’m a doctor. Wow, that still hasn’t snuck in.)by