Sealing Summer in a Jar

Every summer I really look forward to canning something from my garden, eating something fresh or canned from my mom and dad’s garden, or just grabbing some amazing organic produce from one of my favorite markets or farmers to can.  I grew up always having a jar of something available to pull out of the pantry during those cold winter months when it was no longer available and have carried that tradition forward for many years.

I recently canned a few of my favorite recipes including peach and orange conserve, strawberry jam, mango chutney, and of course my signature salsa.

Since I grow and cook with so many fresh herbs, which I also use when cooking for my clients, it just makes sense for me to have an interest in creating my own herb infused jams, jellies, chutneys and condiments that I can pair with some of the great dishes I prepare. So now I am experimenting with some really good herb infused jams, jellies, chutneys and even some dessert drizzles that you can use on those “gotta treat yourself  kind of things,” like on pound cake, ice cream, Belgian waffles, or French toast!

I also made some Cucumber Mint Jelly and the combination of the fresh cucumber juice and the mint is amazing.  I used pickling cucumbers from my garden and extracted the juice using my juicer.

So what to do with Cucumber-Mint Jelly?  How about a glaze on grilled lamb chops.  I had to try this and it was delicious.  Check out the picture.  I know it’s also going to be good on Salmon.  You can also mix it with cream cheese and cut up some fresh vegetables to dip in with.

This is a very exciting time for me. I’ve been canning and preserving for over 25 years and am having a blast watching a new generation begin to embrace this wonderful “lost art of canning” that has been such a big part of my life as long as I can remember. As a Personal Chef, I am also enjoying pairing so many of my condiments with meals that I prepare for my clients. I have so much more to share, so stay tuned…

Cucumber-Mint Jelly Recipe

Want to learn more? Host a Fresh From the Gardens Canning Party in your own home with 10 or more of your friends or family. And check out my short “Five Reasons” video on why you should learn Canning.

Book your holiday canning party now! October 17 through November 14.