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Beth's Blog

Yes! You Can Can!

Pallas Erdrich

           I remember as a kid, invited to a friend’s Iowa farm one summer and waking up to the sound of rattling jars downstairs. By 9:00 the temperature had it 90 and as we went to find breakfast, there was her aunt in her bra, hair tied back in an old bandana, sweating over the burbling sauce. DO NOT TO THAT. It isn’t good for anyone.

            I learned how to bust every preserving myth from my friend, the intrepid gardener, amazing cook, and brilliant photographer, Mette Nielsen. Mette grew up in Denmark and moved to Minneapolis in her 20’s after traveling the world. She’s a thrifty Dane with an eye for color and design and imbedded in that Nordic DNA is a refined sensibility for nature’s flavors and colors. She pays attention to the essence of an ingredient and its best use. By reducing the amounts of sugar most often called for in a recipe, she finds the points of contrast and compliment to create the boldest, brightest tastes.

            Plus, every pickle, jam, chutney we’ve made together requires nothing more than a 10 inch sauté pan. All of the recipes in our book are ready in 15 to 20 minutes. Chop, heat, taste, put it in a jar. You’re done!

Photo by Mette Nielsen

Photo by Mette Nielsen