My freezer is less of an avalanche threat than it was a month ago. I’ve used up some of its stored haul of locally grown and foraged ingredients by making food gifts for the holiday season. Seriously, a month ago it was so jammed full of food – and it’s an old top-of-fridge model – that you risked a deluge when you opened the freezer door.
Raspberries were one of the items in my over-stuffed freezer. The raspberry patch in my garden was super-generous this year, so I had plenty for making raspberry curd as well as raspberry jam. Note the spoon hovering over the jar. Yes, I happily eat this straight out of the jar.
Actually (she said, showing off a little), I even had enough raspberries to share with last night’s holiday gift food preservation workshop participants. We made the raspberry curd, as well as a classic whole cranberry sauce with apple and orange, and a jellied cranberry sauce that is like the stuff that slides out of a can, only better.
I’ve also got lots of red currants in the freezer, and that’s a fun gift because currants aren’t supermarket regulars and so homemade red currant jam is something even your foodie friends may not have in their kitchens. I grow mine and wholeheartedly recommend that you do the same if you have any kind of growing space. I have just a few plants in partial shade and I still get at least a couple quarts of fruit each year.
Quince jelly and quince paste (membrillo) are pretty, tasty, and the fruit is in season now. These are show-off food gifts that, like the cranberry sauces, you can make now from fresh late fall fruit even if you didn’t preserve a lot of other fruit crops earlier in the year.
Rose hips are in season now, too, and even tastier for having withstood a frost or two. Rosehip freezer jam is a good and unusual holiday party offering.
…and on and on. This is one of the best parts of growing, foraging, cooking, and preserving food – sharing it!