WBEZ | canning http://www.wbez.org/tags/canning Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago Food Swap lets foodies diversify their diet http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-food-swap-lets-foodies-diversify-their-diet-110353 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/swap.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>While most of us stock our kitchens from grocery stores or farmers markets this time of year, hundreds of Chicagoans have found another way to fill their larders--by trading homemade treats at <a href="http://www.chicagofoodswap.com/" target="_blank">Chicago Food Swaps</a>.</p><p>Last month, at a little store in Oak Park, dozens of amateur cooks showed up with boxes of pastries and pickles and hearts full of expectations.</p><p>Ian Fecke-Stoudt started the event with several little servings of chipotle peanuts, pickled red onions, vegan dog treats, saffron salts and double chocolate ginger snaps.</p><p>But by the time the event was over, the Humboldt Park vegan&rsquo; had his bags jammed full of lot more.</p><p>&ldquo;We got pickled mushrooms, jam and mustard, pickled ramps, sunflower seed butter, focaccia, almond milk, vegan chocolate peanut butter fudge, apple tahini, chia pudding, mango coconut muesli and lots of other stuff,&rdquo; he reported.</p><p>Fecke-Stoudt is part of Chicago&rsquo;s enthusiastic food swapping community. They&rsquo;re a group of friendly do-it-yourselfers who meet at different locations to trade their wares each month. Some are former kitchen pros, but most just have a passion for cooking (sometimes too much) and want to share what they have. <a href="http://www.westoftheloop.com/" target="_blank">West of the Loop</a> blogger Emily Paster said she decided to launch the swap a few years ago,&nbsp; after reading about one in Philadelphia.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m kind of that person with the basement full of jams and pickles, more than any family could eat,&rdquo; she admitted, &ldquo; And so as soon as I read about it I thought &lsquo;I have to do that because then I could actually do something with all this jam and my husband will stop giving me a hard time&rsquo;.&rdquo;&nbsp;The May event was a specialized vegan swap, but the offerings are usually all over the map. And Paster says that this helps home cooks fill in their culinary gaps.</p><p>&ldquo;So I&rsquo;m a big canner,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;But I&rsquo;m scared of yeast.&nbsp; Like I can&rsquo;t do yeast bread, too scary. So I love to come in and get some amazing artisan bread.&rdquo;</p><p>But for swapper Linsey Herman, it&rsquo;s also about meeting new people and trying new things.</p><p>&ldquo;I like the community aspect and I like the idea that some people take the idea of the swap very seriously,&rdquo; the former professional cook said. &ldquo;There was a family who are not vegan but studied up on vegan cuisine and they took some really interesting risks and they had great results with a a fudge and a seitan. You do get to try a cornucopia of products and you never know what people are going to bring.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>But what about food safety? Paster says that swappers are instructed to use their best hygienic practices but she warns that there are no guarantees.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;If you&rsquo;re the kind of person who is sort of skeeved out by the idea of eating food someone else prepared it may not be for you,&rdquo; Paster said. &ldquo;I think some people take comfort in the fact that you get to talk to the people who made it and so it&rsquo;s like going to the farmers market in that regard. You can ask the questions if you do have dietary restrictions or an allergy. But it may not be for everyone. If you are super strict vegan or have celiac disease, it may not be for you. We would do our best to accommodate you, but it is a little bit of an assumption of risk.&rdquo;</p><p>Although it varies by state, food swaps aren&rsquo;t regulated by health or business authorities in Illinois. They technically operate as private get-togethers where no money changes hands. And while the concept may seem weird and novel to Chicagoans, it couldn&rsquo;t be older. In fact, trading for food was one of the earliest forms of food procurement. And it&rsquo;s never gone out of style in many rural areas.</p><p>Tara O&rsquo;Loughlin comes Northwest Indiana into the Chicago swaps, where her turkey and duck eggs are kind of no big deal.</p><p>&ldquo;But the duck egg seem to be so popular here,&rdquo; she said displaying her last dozen of the large eggs great for pastry and noodlemaking, &ldquo;People really have gone crazy over them. That&rsquo;s why it was fun to meet Emily here and meet people who love duck eggs so much.&rdquo;</p><p>So how does a food swap work? Each month (it went monthly last year) Paster posts the location and date of the next swap on the Chicago Food Swap site. Folks register to attend and the list is closed when it reaches capacity (this month at about 70). Once there, swappers set up at tables and browse and sample during the first 30 minutes.</p><p>When Paster gives the start signal, &ldquo;things get a little crazy,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s like letting the horses out of the gate.&quot;</p><p>Some people stand by their goods fielding offers while others wander around making deals. Most of these deals go through but some don&rsquo;t. Fecke-Stoudt explains that, as a vegan, trades can be tricky.</p><p>&ldquo;Sometimes people want our kale chips because they&rsquo;re paleo,&rdquo; he said, &ldquo;but they have something with lots of meat and other animal byproducts and...&rdquo;</p><p>Other deals go sour if one swapper feels the others product isn&rsquo;t worth as much.&ldquo;So sometimes we&rsquo;ll trade two small things for one big thing,&rdquo; Fecke-Stoudt said.&nbsp;</p><p>For those thinking of attending their first swap, Paster offers a list of tips on her site. And if you want to be the belle of the swap, she suggests going savory.</p><p>&ldquo;There is often a heavy emphasis on cupcakes, brownies, quick breads and caramels and they are often too good to pass up,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;But for that reason savory does very well. If people bring soups or tabouleh or little mini quiches that they could eat for lunch the next day, those are very hot.&rdquo;</p><p>If you ask 10 swappers about their best food trade, you&rsquo;ll probably get 10 different answers. Gena Boehm of Libertyville, said she had this very discussion around the dinner table the other night.</p><p>&ldquo;The kids said that it was red velvet cup cakes,&rdquo; Boehm said. &ldquo;My son loved some preserved peaches we got last summer and my husband and I thought we had some really amazing bread one time last year. It&rsquo;s always different. If you ask me six months from now it will be something else.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>The Chicago Food Swap will be held at Sur La Table in downtown Chicago on June 29.&nbsp; This gives you just enough time to perfect those mini quiches, that cabbage kimchi or mango muesli recipe you always wanted to swap and share.</p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-196e5857-a6e0-3796-f705-73efcdb988f8"><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at<a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng"> @monicaeng</a> or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 16:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-food-swap-lets-foodies-diversify-their-diet-110353 Put 'em Up! Fruit: A hands-on workshop on preserving seasonal food http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/put-em-fruit-hands-workshop-preserving-seasonal-food-107985 <p><p><strong>Sherri Brooks Vinton</strong> is the author of &ldquo;Put &lsquo;em Up!,&rdquo; &ldquo;Put &lsquo;em Up! Fruit,&rdquo; and &ldquo;The Real Food Revival.&rdquo; Her writing, talks, and hands-on workshops teach how to find, cook and preserve local, seasonal, farm friendly food. Her website can be found at www.sherribrooksvinton.com. She lives in Connecticut.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/CHC-webstory_47.jpg" title="" /></div><p>Recorded live Saturday, June 29, 2013 at Kendall College.</p></p> Sat, 29 Jun 2013 15:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/put-em-fruit-hands-workshop-preserving-seasonal-food-107985 Handpicked: Canning demos, Veggie Bingo and more http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-06/handpicked-canning-demos-veggie-bingo-and-much-more-107892 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/cityfarmturnips.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="White turnips at City Farm in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><p><strong>Friday, June 28</strong><br /><em><a href="http://techweek.com/chicago/events/partner-events/food-truck-face-off/"><u>Second annual Techweek Food Truck Face Off</u></a> at the Merchandise Mart South Drive.</em> A dozen local food trucks will serve $2 bites to the public and a trio of pro judges: EL Ideas chef/owner and former Meatyballs maestro Phillip Foss; the Hungry Hound himself Steve Dolinsky; and Tavernita/Little Market chef/partner chef Ryan Poli. They&rsquo;ll pick the Techweek Food Truck Champ, but you can vote for the &ldquo;People&rsquo;s Truck&rdquo; via the Techweek App. Admission FREE, food and drink additional.</p><p><em><a href="http://maaf2013.org/"><u>Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival </u></a>on Milwaukee between Kedzie and Diversey. </em>The three day arts, food, and music street fest kicks off with Lula Cafe, Longman &amp; Eagle, Reno, and many more. Plus there will be a pop-up parking lot cocktail bar with a special food and drink menu including Parson&#39;s Chicken &amp; Fish Negroni slushies and fried food, Reno mojitos and exclusive MAAF sandwiches; and much more. Admission $5 suggested donation, food and drink additional, and you must RSVP for the popup parking lot.</p><p><strong>Saturday, June 29</strong><br /><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/let%E2%80%99s-get-canned-homey-history-preserving-107476"><u>Let&rsquo;s Get Canned: A Homey History of Preserving</u></a> at Kendall College.</em> Author Sherri Brooks Vinton will talk preservation heritage to contemporary canning. Plus taste preserves from the private collection of Greater Midwest Foodways founder and my friend Catherine Lambrecht. Brooks Vinton will sign copies of her new book Put &#39;em Up! Fruit: A Preserving Guide &amp; Cookbook: Creative Ways to Put &#39;em Up, Tasty Ways to Use &#39;em Up, which will be available for sale. This event will be recorded for WBEZ&rsquo;s Chicago Amplified. Admission FREE for Culinary Historians of Chicago members, $3 for students, $5 general.</p><p><em><a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/199531633535262/"><u>Paul Virant canning demo</u></a> at Green City Market.</em> Virant kicks off the first in a series of three summer canning demos sponsored by Ball Jars and presented by the Green City Market Junior Board. The Vie and Perennial Virant chef/owner also co-wrote The Preservation Kitchen: The Craft of Making and Cooking with Pickles, Preserves, and Aigre-doux. You may take home many of the materials you need to get started canning. Admission FREE</p><p><em><a href="http://www.chicagoartistsresource.org/events/starving-artist-2013-chicago-artists-coalition?discipline=Theater"><u>Starving Artist 2013</u></a> at Chicago Artists Coalition.</em> Five artist and chef pairs collaborate to create edible &ldquo;installations&rdquo; to be enjoyed by the crowd and new works of art to be auctioned off the night of the event. Drinks include cocktails by mixologist Benjamin Newby, plus beer and wine. Plus there will be Taco Battle: Antique Taco vs. Big Star. This year&rsquo;s chefs and artists notably include Fat Rice&rsquo;s Abraham Conlon; BellyQ, Urban Belly, and Belly Shack&rsquo;s Bill Kim; Bar Pastoral&rsquo;s Chrissy Camba; Longman &amp; Eagle&rsquo;s Jared Wentworth; the artist Theaster Gates; and more. Admission $75 artists and arts administrators; $125 general; $175 Secret Society, includes gift bag and one year Collectors Circle membership ($150 value).</p><p><strong>Sunday, June 30</strong><br /><em><a href="http://www.open-books.org/events/events_cal.php"><u>Hot Doug&#39;s book release party</u></a> at Open Books.</em> Hot Doug&#39;s owner/cashier and modern philosopher Doug Sohn will sign copies of his new book Hot Doug&#39;s: The Book. It&rsquo;s been called &ldquo;the Critique of Pure Reason of books about hot dog stands in Avondale&rdquo; alleges the website of the legendary Sausage Superstore and Encased Meat Emporium. Refreshments will be served! Admission FREE.</p><p><strong>Wednesday, July 3</strong><br /><em><a href="http://www.hideoutchicago.com/event/281673-hideout-veggie-bingo-chicago/"><u>Veggie Bingo</u></a> at the Hideout.</em> Co-sponsored by NeighborSpace, Hideout Veggie Bingo features a grand prize of fresh produce from Irv &amp; Shelly&#39;s Fresh Picks and a cornucopia of other prizes from local artisanal food producers, farmers, and gardeners. Plus free Hot Doug&#39;s hot dogs grilled out front. All proceeds benefit local gardens. Kids welcome with a responsible adult. Admission FREE, bingo cards $3 each or 4 for $10.</p><p><strong>Thursday, July 4</strong><br />Happy Independence Day!</p><p><em>Follow <a href="https://twitter.com/louisachu"><u>Louisa Chu at @louisachu</u></a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 28 Jun 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-06/handpicked-canning-demos-veggie-bingo-and-much-more-107892 Canning jar etiquette http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2011-12-01/canning-jar-etiquette-94513 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-December/2011-12-02/canningjars.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" height="399" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-01/canningjars.jpg" title="" width="600"></p><p>Did you know you're supposed to give canning jars back?</p><p>Me neither.</p><p>With the renaissance of home canning, and imminent holiday gifting, the rules of canning jar etiquette will surely be tested—perhaps re-written—and definitely broken.</p><p>"I try not to pay attention, but it does irk me when I don't get the jar back," said my dear friend and master canner, <a href="http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=16&amp;t=17020&amp;start=300&amp;st=0&amp;sk=t&amp;sd=a">Catherine Lambrecht</a>, "But I'm not like my one friend who won't give something to someone again if the jar's not returned."</p><p>Cathy pointed out the obvious to me: canning jars are meant to be re-used—for canning—and not simply recycled.</p><p>There are exceptions to the rules, of course.</p><p>My French chef friend <a href="http://www.gourmet.com/diaryofafoodie/video/2009/01/305_farm_to_fork">Armand Arnal</a> gave me a 1 liter <a href="http://leparfait.com/">Le Parfait</a> Super Jar filled with preserved rare, red-fleshed <a href="http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2005/08/pche-de-vigne/">Pêche de vigne</a>. The peaches, vintage September 2007, are long-gone, and the jar kept. Armand knew he was sending it out into the world with me. It now holds my rough cut Demerara cane cubes, and a dried vanilla bean pod left over from baking.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-01/sugarjar.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px;" title=""><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-01/sugartop.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px;" title=""></p><p>Also added to my kinetic collection are the four Kerr pint jars from my friends in Alaska, sent filled with their new BBQ sauce, which is especially good with wild game meat, I'm told.</p><p>Among the many jars Cathy's given me, is a wide mouth Ball quart jar of small-batch rendered lard. That I will give back, eventually. She knows it may take a while, unless I get into a crust-making kick. Please note that the lard is not preserved, per se. I do keep it refrigerated, but many generations before us simply kept lard next to the stove.</p><p>The Ball regular mouth quart jar of Bourbon preserved peaches from my chef friend <a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/cheftroygraves">Troy Graves</a>? I'm trying to save those for the coldest, darkest day of winter. But after I drink the last drop of last summer's sun, I will return that jar to Troy, overflowing with gratitude.</p><p>This Sunday, my chef friend Marianne Sundquist debuts her new line of preserves, called <a href="http://messhallandco.com/">Mess Hall &amp; Co.</a>, at the <a href="http://dosemarket.com/the-holidose-december-4th/">holiday edition of Dose Market</a>. Marianne and her husband Hans are using the coveted glass-topped German <a href="http://www.weckcanning.com/">Weck</a> jars. I'm sure her apple rum butter within is wonderful, because everything I've ever had from her hands has been, but the best part about her beautiful preserves? Since I'm buying them, I can keep the jars too.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-01/AppleRumButter.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 407px;" title=""></p></p> Thu, 01 Dec 2011 18:28:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2011-12-01/canning-jar-etiquette-94513