How To Save The Summer (Before It's Too Late)


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Summer will be over in just a few days, and it's always a little bit sad to see it go. Luckily for people who cook, there are small ways to savor the last remnants of summer, and even make them last long into winter. Here are two of my favorites:

1. Homemade jam. The insanely great summer fruit that you use to make jam is about to go away for a while, so now's the time. The kind of jam that I'm talking about is easier to make than you might think. It's not the old-fashioned kind that requires jars, tongs, steam and almost guaranteed injuries, but rather the kind that cooks on your stove for no more than 45 minutes and lasts in your fridge for no less than a week (or in your freezer for much longer). I'm telling you, pulling out a frozen jar of peach or plum or berry jam in February is a total treat. Recipe below.

2. Eating summer tomatoes all winter. I wrote about this in February (when I was reaping the rewards), but I promised I would remind you about it again at the end of the summer when you can actually do something about it. I've been growing tomatoes for a very long time, and over the years I've discovered progressively easier and easier ways to preserve those incredible end-of-summer tomatoes to eat throughout the fall and winter. Turns out you can just freeze them whole in plastic bags. It's that easy. Check out the article/video below to see how it's done.

Slight tangent: Preserving foods from one season to the next is a way to make the most of the ingredients that we are lucky enough to have at our disposal. It's a way to cook thoughtfully, not wastefully. We've got an interesting piece up on Heated about how to cut back on food waste in your own kitchen. It's a huge issue, and even acknowledging the ways in which we might be able to do a bit better is an important step. Anyway, the article is below; it's a quick read and might give you some interesting stuff to think about.

Enjoy the last few days of summer, and I'll see you Friday.

—Mark

How To Make Fruit Jam

The recipe here calls for a pound of fruit, any fruit, but this time of year I’d be setting my sights on things like peaches, plums, or the last of summer’s berries. Other than fruit, you don’t need much; just some sugar to sweeten and thicken it, and a few tablespoons of liquid—citrus juice, vinegar, hooch, whatever strikes your fancy.

HOW TO MAKE FRUIT JAM


As promised, here's my "hack" for saving the best end-of-summer tomatoes so you can cook with them all winter. You'll be really happy in January that you took the time to do this.

HOW TO PRESERVE SUMMER TOMATOES


Despite our best efforts, food seems to go bad before our eyes. And we’re not alone. Americans waste nearly a pound of food per day on average, and a family of four spends about $1,500 a year on food they’ll end up tossing out.

HOW TO WASTE LESS FOOD