Three Things Thursday: Hot Fruit Edition

Once again it's Three Things Thursday, where I highlight three things that ran on the site recently that inspired, intrigued or impressed me. This week, it's all about hot fruit.

Mostarda di Cremona, found on
Mostarda di Cremona
Mostarda di Cremona isn't actually a mustard, rather it's summer fruits preserved in mustard-infused syrup. Use a mix of peaches, pears, plums, apricots, nectarines, quince, cherries, citrus rind. Makes for a beautiful holiday gift. Via Spectacularly Delicious.

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Eighteen Ways to Preserve Apples

Biting into a fresh, crisp apple is the quintessential taste of autumn itself. But when you are faced with more apples than you can eat out of hand, try some of these tempting ways to put them by for later use.

Applesauce, found on
Easy as can be, you can make applesauce on the stovetop or in the slow cooker, and you don't even have to peel or core them. (Image via Southern Fried Curry)
Apple Jam, found on
Apple Butter
Keep cooking that applesauce down until it takes on a dense, rich texture and deeper color, and you've got apple butter. Again, the slow cooker is great for this. (Image via Eating Rules)

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Respect Your Elder(berries)

Gleaming purple-black elderberries are more than just delicious. They have a potent immune-improving power, so pick a peck now and prepare for cold and flu season. Here's seven ways to use them.

Elderberry Tincture
Elderberry Tincture
Elderberries come in just before the advent of winter cold season. Coincidence? Perhaps, but a tincture made from the berries may keep the crud at bay. (Image via LuSaMama.)
Elderberry Syrup
Elderberry Syrup
Same sweet flavor and cold-busting powers, but without the booze. (Image via dianabauman.)

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Review: The New Charcuterie Cookbook

For a period of more than a decade, I was nearly completely vegetarian; when I did partake of flesh, it was seafood exclusively. I ate no chicken, pork, or beef during that entire time. The chink in the armor came during my first trip to Italy.

Unlike most lapsed vegetarians, the temptation that pulled me to the dark side was not bacon. It was salame. 

We were standing there, on the cotta floor of a wine cantina in Montepulciano. On the counter was a wooden board with a chub of salame, a few thin slices lay flat next to a rustic blade. "You should try it," said my Roman cousin, "they make it on premises." I eyed the glossy cubes of fat embedded in brick red meat and thought to myself that I had not flown 6,000 miles not to eat it. I gingerly picked up a slice and slid it into my mouth, resting it on my tongue like a eucharist wafer. 

My mouth filled with a complex blend of salt, black pepper, and a deeply savory meat. Fat slicked my palate and lips. There was no turning back. 

Salumi and charcuterie have seen a renaissance in the US in the past few years. It's not uncommon for even small restaurants to have house charcuterie programs; some have even sprung up as their own product lines, like Chris Cosentino's Boccalone. Long-established brands like Columbus are still going strong, and producing high-quality, classic salame. 

Back in 2010, Cathy Barrow of Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Kitchen and Kim Foster of The Yummy Mummy unveiled Charcutepalooza, a year-long blogging event wherein people made recipes from Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn's Charcuterie. The response was bigger than anyone expected. And then I brought a group to Italy to work with a local norcino to break down a 200 kg pig and turn it into salumi

Ruhlman and Polcyn ended up creating another book, Salumi, focused on the Italian traditions, and then folded much of that material back into a new edition of Charcuterie in 2013

Three San Francisco Bay Area chefs rolled out meat-themed books in the last year: Taylor Boetticher's In the Charcuterie, Ryan Farr's Sausage Making and Jeffrey Weiss' Charcuterìa, the Soul of Spain. All are great resources, but all dig deep on the classics. 

And yet, lest you think there's nothing new under the sun, there's still room for innovation. Chef Jamie Bissonnette enters with something a bit different. (Disclosure: The publishers sent me a copy of the book gratis for review.)

Bissonnette is a firebrand, a relatively young chef who has risen the ranks swiftly, winner of the James Beard Best Chef Award, and now at the helm of two restaurants in New York (Toro, Coppa) and one outpost of Toro in Boston. He's a bearded, bespectacled, heavily inked former vegan turned nose-to-tail cook who listens to punk. In other words, he's my kinda guy. 

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Six Ways to Put Up Corn

Sweet and crunchy corn is best eaten within minutes of harvest, but if you want to keep the last lingering taste of summer through the shortening days, there's a few ways you can put some by.

Frozen Corn, found on
Frozen Corn
Cut off the cob andgiven a quick blanch, sweet corn retains its texture and flavor for months to come. (Image via Girl's Guide to Guns and Butter.)
Corn Salsa, found on
Corn Salsa
Chips dipped in corn salsa benefit from the complementary corny flavor. Whip up a batch to keep fresh, or delve into shelf-stable recipes suitable for canning. (Image via Local Kitchen.)
Corn Relish, found on
Corn Relish
Crunchy and tangy corn relish is a natural for dogs fresh off the grill, but also delicious in nachoes and more. (Image via Foy Update.)
Corn Chutney, found on
Corn Chutney
Fresh corn makes for a tasty chutney, along with yellow wax beans, green tomatoes and golden raisins. (Image via Spectacularly Delicious.)

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Three Things Thursday: A Rose Is a Rosewater Is a Rose Geranium

Once again it's Three Things Thursday, where I highlight three things that ran on the site recently that inspired, intrigued or impressed me.

Sunny Summer Herb Jelly, found on
Sunny Summer Herb Jelly
This jelly has a gentle aromatic quality to it, thanks in part to roses, and is paired with a spunky zip of lemon zest. It is a great preserve to save for the dark months of winter when you need a little summer pick me up. Via Backroads Rebellion.

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Punk Domestics Meets

Sean Timberlake

It is with equal parts pride and trepidation that I announce that I have taken over as the Food Preservation Expert for For my inaugural piece, I took a look at three small-batch fermentation kits that are in or about to be in the market. Read More >

Several Things to Do With Green Tomatoes

As the days shorten, those last tomatoes on the vine may stubbornly stay green. But that doesn't mean they're not good eating. Here's seven ways to preserve those green tomatoes.

Pickled Green Tomatoes, found on
Pickled Green Tomatoes
Keep 'em crisp and make 'em zingy and tangy. Pickled green tomatoes make the most of the unripe fruit. (Image via Garden of Eating.)
Green Tomato Salsa, found on
Green Tomato Salsa
Spicy and tangy, green tomato salsa brings a dose of summer in the colder months. (Image via Jane's Adventures in Dinner.)
Green Tomato Chutney, found on
Green Tomato Chutney
Chunky, spicy, sweet-tart chutney elevates your greenies to new dimensions. Great with meats, or alongside spicy foods. (Image via Married ...With Dinner.)

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Three Things Thursday: Prickly, Sour and Boozy

Once again it's Three Things Thursday, where I highlight three things that ran on the site recently that inspired, intrigued or impressed me. This week, I'm going all prickly, sour and boozy.

Harvesting and Processing Prickly Pear Fruit, found on
Harvesting and Processing Prickly Pear Fruit
Don't be intimidated by these spiky creatures. Just grab a pair of tongs to harvest tunas, and then use one of these methods to remove the spiky glochids. Image via Autumn Makes and Does.

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