When I first got into food preservation I was seduced by all the recipes: Green Tomato Chutney, Fermented Apple Chutney, Kumquat Marmalade...They all sounded delicious and so different from what I could find at the store.
So I made jars of them. Lots and lots of jars. And found out that as much as I enjoyed their flavors, and even after I gave away plenty as gifts, there were still more jars in my pantry than I could possibly use up before the next season's harvest needed preserving.
Or were there?
It turned out that I hadn't made too much after all. I just needed to think outside the box as far as how I could use them.
Chutneys can become tempura dips, sandwich spreads, and even "instant" ketchup.
Sure jelly is good on toast or in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but how about as a glaze for roasted root vegetables or in an Asian-style dipping sauce?
And lacto-fermented vegetables are so chock full of healthy probiotics that they surely deserve a more prominent spot on my plate than as the pickle alongside my sandwich.
Once you get creative with how you use your homemade preserves, not only do your meals get more interesting but you'll find yourself planning to preserve even more this year.
Here are some ideas to get your culinary creativity flowing:
Photo © Leda Meredith