I usually by grade B maple syrup. It tastes more like maple, and is less sweet.it seems that the grades of maple syrup are changing. I now need to buy grade A, dark with robust taste maple syrup. Hrumpth.
Thanks to Cool Tools for their recent overview of wide mouth canning jar accessories.
- The Cuppow: A lid that lets you drink from your canning jar.
- The Kraut Cap: An airlock for a canning jar for anaerobic fermenting.
- Re-Cap: A pour spout and lid for a canning jar. This would be great for salad dressings.
- The Holdster: A handle for a canning jar.
I would also add these other accessories that extend the usefullness of your canning jars:
Sam and I have a love for Japanese food. I don’t quite know where it all came from, but we’ve incorporated a lot of key Japanese foods into our diet, and we are always exploring new Japanese dishes. Warning flag… This is NOT a post about local foods. This is actually a post about the least local thing we eat… Nonperishables imported from Japan. Claims of locavore hypocrisy are welcome in the comments!
Sunday, Sam and I took a trip to Boston to scout out the Japanese and Asian grocery stores and came home with a mess of pantry staples. There are a lot of key pantry staples that we just can’t substitute. Maki at JustHungry has a great review of what these basic foods are and how to cook with them.
We visited two different Asian groceries:
Ebisuya Japanese Market in Medford, MA.
65 Riverside Ave Medford, MA 02155
This was a Japanese-only grocery store and where we bought about 90% of our pantry staples. They had some fresh foods, but mostly shelf-stable foods. They were operating a busy fish counter and had a sushi bar attached to the grocery. The whole store was the size of a big convenience mart. I was very impressed with the selection of foods at Ebisuya. Someone with a great love of Japanese food is making sure the Japanese of Boston metro area have access to fine-quality imported foods. They even had fresh green ume plums!
43 Middlesex Turnpike, Burlington, MA 01803
H Mart is the Big Box asian grocery. Frankly, it was very intimidating to be there on a Sunday afternoon – the whole store was PACKED with customers. There was a wait for parking. H Mart is mostly Korean goods, but they carry a lot of Japanese foods as well, due to the overlap between the cuisines. We only picked up a few items there because Sam and I were both completely overwhelmed by the size and business of the store. We’ll try to go back midweek and midday and hopefully it’s not so crazy. I think we could find everything we wanted there, and the prices were about comparable to Ebisuya. H Mart does have a large produce section, if we’re wanting produce for whatever reason.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting some videos and explanations of how I use a lot of these foods in my cooking.
At the Norwich Farmer’s Market there are a handful of stands that sell eggs, along with other produce and meats. I talked to all of the egg vendors on May 31 and here’s the info they gave me about their eggs. This year, the average market price is $4.50. Compared to last year, the Norwich farmer’s market has more egg producers (3 in 2013, 7 in 2014) and the average price per dozen increased from $4.17 in 2013 to $4.50 in 2014. I’m going to visit the groceries the area to get a sense of the price per dozen for conventional and high-end eggs.
When I preserve food in glass jars (aka. “canning”) almost everything in the process is reusable from year to year. However, the one disposable element is the jar lid that comes in contact with the food.
In previous years, I’ve opted to buy lids when I need them, but this year I’ve decided to bulk order lids so I could get them as cheaply as possible. Here were the places I was able to find lids (locally and online) and the price per lid.
|Location||Price Per lid|
|Upper Valley Merchants|
|West Lebanon Feed||$0.23||$0.33|
Price per lid is based on the volume of lids purchased, so smaller packages might have higher per-lid prices.
Note that I couldn’t find the shipping charges for Freshpreserving.com, which may increase the cost per lid. At Amazon.com, I only used Prime merchants, so I wouldn’t have to pay shipping charges, and use the cheapest price I could find.
Big props to the Coop for having the cheapest lids. In addition, being a Coop member, I may get an additional 10% discount on my lids, lowering the price even further. I will stop by and order a case!
This year’s Caselot controversy was over Barilla pasta. The company has been in hot water after their Chairman made some blowhard comments about “family values” and using homosexuals in their advertisements. This led to a boycott and lots of Liberal rage (and NPR coverage). Nothing wrong with Liberal rage, mind you… But, when I dug into the order form for the Caselot sale, there was organic pasta at $1.83 per pound and Barilla pasta at $0.98 per pound. I can’t stomach the thought of buying organic pasta.* BUT, I also was conflicted about supporting a company making pretty terrible comments. More than that, I was really surprised that the COOP would purchase that much pasta from a rather controversial company-must have been a timing issue.
If you remember, last year I had quite a time at the COOP Caselot Sale. Thankfully, as you’ve been reading, I was able to put food by this season, so I didn’t have to buy tomatoes, green beans and the like at the Caselot sale. Instead, we took advantage of the Caselot sale to stock up on canned black, pinto and garbanzo beans, frozen peas and cleaning products. Plus, Clif Bars at $0.90/ea and olive oil for $30/gallon. In fact, we went Thursday morning at 9am before Sam went to work, and were in and out in under 30 minutes. Success!
*As a sidenote, in the organic v local debate, I’m firmly on the Local side. I often don’t spend extra on organic foods when conventional foods are available. Local+Organic > Local+Conventional > Remote+Conventional > Remote+Organic
I am way too excited about 10% sale on canning supplies at West Leb Feed and Supply… On the shopping list: Jar Lids, wide-mouth pints, and maybe a 7-pint rack for my 20-gal water bath canner.
Yes, I get my pet food and canning supplies at the same store.
Fresh cheese curds are squeaky.
You didn’t know that? Yeah, neither did I, until I had the squeakyness explained…
Thanks to Joe Dobosy and Mich Minoura for explaining squeaky cheese curds, to Hook’s Creamery for jalapino cheese curds, and to Carl Geissbuhler of Brunkow Cheese for explaining why cheese curds are squeaky.