Autumn Giles is a freelance writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in Modern Farmer, New American Homesteader, PUNCH, Serious Eats, Edible Baja Arizona, and elsewhere. She blogs at autumnmakesanddoes.com and is on Twitter and Instagram @autumnmakes. She is the author of Beyond Canning: New Techniques, Ingredients, and Flavors to Preserve, Pickle, and Ferment Like Never Before.
For too long, the perception of preserving, canning, fermenting, and pickling at home was that it was difficult, complicated, and potentially dangerous! Autumn is dispelling those misconceptions in her new book. Here are some of her tips and tricks:
1) You don't need to preserve for the purposes of fully stocking a pantry every year! Small batches of fridge pickles or jam can be secret weapons in your fridge arsenal, and they're easier to make than you might think.
2) Fermentation at home requires no specialized equipment beyond a quart mason jar. (An airlock, which allows the gas to escape during fermentation while keeping oxygen out, is certainly a plus, but isn't necessarily a must!)
3) It's normal to feel like you have lots of questions about the process! Preserving with a friend is a great way to compare notes and feel comfortable getting started.
4) Experiment with unusual ingredients: radicchio works well as a kraut because fermentation mellows its bitterness. Shiitake mushrooms work well as a fridge pickle.
5) Fermented veggies are an excellent addition to other foods, like tacos or even soups.
Check out the book, Beyond Canning: New Techniques, Ingredients, and Flavors to Preserve, Pickle, and Ferment Like Never Before, for more tips and tricks!