Our lives as caterers are busy ones! We work and live an unpredictable, pressured environment with never ending challenges and ever changing landscape. And we LOVE it!!
To relax, on my days off, I find myself in the kitchen engrossed in my favorite hobby: the preservation of my beloved vegetables and fruits. Much of what I preserve is grown on Katchkie Farm. I head up to the farm from work on Friday and spend my weekend picking Katchkie's treasures and pickling or jamming them. Below is a selfie I took while weeding.
Farmer Bob planted Jamaican Gherkins for me this year – a spikey round cucumber that I love to pickle (and I typically add an inch or 2 of vodka to my brine!) I pickle cauliflower (later in the fall) with curry and cumin. Green tomatoes are fun to preserve and make a tasty insert in a winter sandwich. I love to pickle beets, yellow and red separately. And I will always do a few jars of preserved hot peppers, though I always give them away.
We have a beautiful patch of rhubarb which I lovingly planted years ago. I use it to make jam in combination with peaches, strawberries, mango (NOT local!) and ginger from the greenhouse. Or I make chutneys for savory dishes.
I make cases of tomato sauce, some with onions/peppers/garlic, some just plain or with simple herbs. I use our yellow tomatoes to can yellow tomato juice which I use in the winter to make a Sunny Mary, like a Bloody Mary (adding my horseradish infused vodka to the mix)! I oven roast cherry tomatoes with herbs and preserve them in oil.
Fermentation is alluring and I am experimenting with cucumbers, cabbage (for kraut) and napa cabbage (for kimchi).
At the end of the weekend, I cannot wait to get back to work, which after a weekend over a hot stove and boiling pots, seems like a vacation!
If you're interested in pickling and jamming, see a few of our GP family secrets and recipes here.