What is up with this trend towards canning and pickling at home? Is this an actual trend? Bon Appetit would have me believe so, but they also seem to want me to buy some very expensive and likely unnecessary cookware, so who knows...maybe they have shares in pickling apparatuses? (apparati?)
Anyway, I have to admit I'm a complete sucker and am dying to can or pickle at home. I have no idea why. I don't even really like pickles that much. But all these people (none of whom I know; in fact, I don't know anyone who pickles. Or cans. Then again, most people I know are university students, and it isn't even a given that they have kitchens. Or know what to do with them) seem to be canning and pickling madly all summer, all kinds of fresh produce; I always imagine that if I lived somewhere in the South (this is where I imagine all the picklers live, when I imagine it), amid all the bounty of the summer season, I would have all kinds of time to pickle and can, wearing my glamorous sun-hat and drinking mint juleps like a lady should. However, I live in downtown Toronto, where even though we get great produce, I am a little embarrassed to say I almost never go to local farmers' markets or try to track down the freshest this or esoteric that. I am pretty happy going to the local Sobey's with the occasional foray into Pusateri's, usually when someone else is paying. Everyone can make something great with just-picked tomatoes or still-squirming shrimp. And of course your home-canned peaches will likely taste better when you whip them out in December than the frozen ones I will use. But the fact that I can make great pan-fried chicken with supermarket, unknown origin chicken, and make my pasta with tomato sauce taste authentically Italian even though I didn't use San Marzano sun-ripened tomatoes or whatever is a source of pride.
I still want to pickle, though. Just to try. Who knows, maybe it will be great and it will become my new career. Maybe just a small pickle? A mini-pickle, if you will...
So moving on from the pickle...to the detriment of my wallet, I've been going out and about eating all over Toronto this summer! Below are some of my favorite selections:
|Jerk chicken, Pride Festival. Street food at its finest|