Wednesday, February 24, 2010

March Can Jam: Alliums!

I'm participating in Tigress' Can Jam. For the uninitiated, the Jam consists of a year-long, home-based, monthly canning session, dedicated to one ingredient, chosen by one lucky blogger (who signed up for the Can Jam right at the onset of its announcement.) For the month of March, yours truly gets to choose the ingredient that all Can Jam participants will be rendering into some canned delicacy of immeasurable and highly laudable delight (or at least, one hopes...).

I don't know where most of you live, but for me, situated as I am in the mountains of western North Carolina, not much is growing here in March. The farmer's markets don't even start up again until mid-April. Even then, for the most part all you'll find are leafy greens and the occasional radish on the farmer's tables, with maybe a stalk or two of rhubarb, if you're lucky.

Which is why all-things-Allium seemed like the obvious choice for this month's Can Jam. From tender, green scallions, chives, scapes, ramps, and leeks to papery, husky onions, shallots, and garlic, the Allium family is the vegetable world equivalent of the guest who shows up at 6:50 p.m. for the cocktail party that begins at 7:00-by showing up early and motivated as all get out, they get the party started. Alliums are ready for the good times to begin again.

Much like last's month Can Jam ingredient, carrots, Alliums are also low-acid foods. Accordingly, once canned and hermetically sealed into an anaerobic environment, latent botulism spores found on Alliums can become activated and thrive. I don't want that. You don't want that. No one but the botulism spores wants that. But you just can't let them win! You must resist! Refer to Tigress' erudite tutorial on properly acidifying low-acid foods for safe water bath canning here.

From onion chutneys, to scallion relishes, leek confits, garlic jam and so, so very much more, you'll find some Allium that tickles your fancy, both safely and deliciously. You've got an entire family here; surely you'll find at least one family member for whom you don't mind being sat next to at the dinner table!

*Begin posting your recipes March 12-19th. If you need a refresher about posting specifics, refer to the main Can Jam link in the beginning of this post. Let the sulfurous breath begin!

27 comments:

nicole said...

So intriguing! I look forward to seeing what the Can Jam masses come up with this month.

Mom said...

Can't wait for this one...it's going to be awesome!

minivanlife said...

Looking forward to it! I'm in western NC as well, Franklin, and sure don't see any signs of green yet either!

http://minivanlife.wordpress.com

halfginger said...

So excited! I have several recipes I've been meaning to try that fall squarely into this category.

megan/mason said...

This is a challenge that I can really get behind. I've never met an allium I didn't like!

kaela said...

Nice choice! But how to choose just one recipe?? I may have to make 2 this month!

Pam said...

Sounds good! I am only participating on the outside, since I was too late to join, but I'm still going to try to do each one!

Rebecca (Wait) Tate said...

I can't believe what I've been missing! You've been busy Ashley! Love all this.

Tengrain said...

Excellent!

This is one I will love...

Regards,

Tengrain

Sara said...

I'm a little nervous...

laundryetc said...

Surely can't be as difficult as carrots! Canjammin has already enriched my life in so many ways and now there are alliums on top. I'm off to do some research See ya mid March

innBrooklyn said...

Alliums: I love it. I wish the ramps would be out soon enough but I think I'll have to revisit them later. Wish I could also preserve the pretty ramp flowers in my garden come spring!!

Mimi said...

Ooooh, what an interesting choice.

We are the same way, as far as local, available produce this time of year

ap269 said...

This sounds interesting! And as I don't like pickles, that's going to be a real challenge for me. But I already have some ideas...

growandresist said...

Oooh, I am so excited about this one! I *heart* alliums! Can't wait!

Melanie said...

I'm not even gonna lie... this is going to be a challange for sure! :) I look forward to seeing what everyone comes up with! Good Luck to all!

Daisy Driver said...

I don't know about onions, I have no idea what I will come up with! Great choice, I am really being challenged.

Elle Ross said...

wow garlic jam? i need to do some serious thinking now..

EcoGrrl said...

great idea...i had an onion marmalade once with a burger i won't easily forget, maybe i'll try to recreate...

Amy said...

Oh, now I am inspired! Green garlic is supposed to be coming out at the markets in California right now. And I just had pickled garlic from a farmer at the market and it was divine. Must come up with some new savory jam flavor...hmmm... my taste buds are tingling!

Joel said...

i am so excited about alunimum...errr...

seriously fantastic pick, most excited and can't wait to get going on this - and see what somes from others :)

love your post too... made me laugh that botulism wants what we don't - didn't really think of it that way :)

Nikki said...

Excellent choice. Now, I can't wait to see what they've got at the farmers' market today.

Pat Steer (Gaelen) said...

Oh, YES! Onion marmalade might even inspire me to try marmalade again (I admit, after January, I'm a little over-laded.)
But onions. And wine. And garlic. And acid.
Oh, yeah, I'm in!

Cathy (breadexperience) said...

Interesting choice. This is definitely going to be a challenge. Looking forward to it.

pixie_lou said...

My enthusiasm for alliums equals my enthusiasm for carrots

Cat W. said...

Morning Glory Cafe in Black Mountain had an amazing ramps & sour cream omelet a couple years back, and I've had a very high opinion of ramps ever since. Looking forward to seeing what people come up with!

Julia said...

I am loving this pick! So much to do and learn!