Canning jars are everywhere in my home. There are jars in the fridge and freezer, and populating the cupboards and shelves in my kitchen. Many are bursting with dried goods of all sorts and others are filled with assorted and sundry floating in acidic and syrupy liquids — an apothecary of deliciousness. There are other jars still; in my office, basement, and even in the garden. I use jars to hold my surplus of self-saved seed, and others to house crafting and home repair supplies. There are jars in the bathroom stuffed with handmade epsom salts, cotton balls, and Q-tips. Jars are used to transport road trip meals and others affixed with water-tight plastic lids make it possible for us to bring our own home brewed cappuccinos to go.
My friend Abbey has lent me her Excalibur 9 Tray Food Dehydrator for the weekend. This gorgeous beast is the queen of dehydrators. I used to wonder if it was worth the expense or if the excitement around it was mostly hype. I was officially sold when Abbey bought hers (the machine I am borrowing now) and offered me a taste of her first batch through it, peach slices that were truly dry, crisp, and absolutely perfect.
This is how my friend Abbey stores a large quantity of freshly picked apricots over the short term. She uses recycled egg cartons to prevent the fruit from touching, which she says decreases their chances for rot. Brilliant, don’t you think? And a great way to recycle egg cartons, too!
Shiso (Perilla frutescens) is a beautiful herb that self-seeds with abandon. It’s flavour is hard to pinpoint, something akin to mint meets a savoury herb like caraway with a hint of citrus. I’ve been growing it for years, but it’s aggressive nature always seemed to be curbed on the roof where conditions could be exceedingly hot mid-summer. It’s population of the rooftop’s pots was never more than I could handle or use within any given growing season.