A Year of Picnics

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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!

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