Sunday, March 26, 2017

Pucker Up

Yesterday I attended a presentation by SLO's Master Food Preservers. The MFP program is sponsored by the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) as part of a public service and outreach program to provide home food safety and home preservation information. The two-hour class was called "All About Citrus".

Freezer Lemon Curd was demonstrated by Arlene, MFP. We sampled her yummy dessert with bits of vanilla wafer cookies, aka crust, and mascarpone cheese. Oh, fancy. I wasn't familiar with mascarpone cheese. The woman next to me said it was an Italian cream cheese. "You can get it at Trader Joe's." Psst, you can also get a jar of lemon curd at TJ.

Carla's demonstration was on Salt Cured Lemons. (I'm not sure if there was any to taste or I just missed it.)

After the citrus presentations there was time for any questions related to canning and preservation so I asked about my two jars that broke in the Water Bath canner. The MFPs offered several reasons which I had already considered: defective jars, thermal shock, and It Happens.

There were samples of dehydrated lime and orange slices as well as candied citrus peel. I brought a couple of small pieces home for The Man to try. We both liked the sugar-coated candied citrus peel the best.

This morning I remembered that I had beautiful Meyer lemons from Jerry in my produce bin so I followed my take-home recipe for "Traditional Preserved Lemons" and made a batch of my own Salt Cured Lemons.

The jars will need to be turned upside down every day so I used the FoodSaver Wide-Mouth jar sealer attachment to vacuum seal the lids and prevent any leaking. Very nifty.

The lemons will need to soak in the lemony brine for two weeks. Then the pulp gets tossed (per Carla, MFP, "it's yucky") and all the saltiness gets rinsed off the peel. It'll be interesting to find out what it tastes like and what I'll use it for. But as Z. says, "Lemon makes everything better."

I've already signed up for the next Master Food Preserver's class in April: "Fantastic Fermentation!"