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  • Writer's pictureNick Clarizio

Can You Can It (Menu #7)

Updated: Oct 8, 2023

Dear Reader,


I haven't posted in two weeks. I'm sure the devoted fans among you will have noticed that. Don't worry, I haven't been fasting. In fact, I've been eating and cooking and talking about food more than ever. But I was doing it in different places and with different faces ---some familiar and some new. Two weeks ago, I made a little journey down to South Bend to visit friends; the week after, I was in Denver for my brother's bachelor party. Both were terrific experiences. I haven't made a menu for these two weeks because I didn't cook enough of the days to make it worthwhile to share with you. I didn't keep track of the food I ate in these places, either. Not because it was lackluster, but because I was more focused on the social aspects than the actual food. The social aspects are actually my favorite element of cooking, but I haven't yet found a format for sharing those with you. (Stay tuned, maybe I'll figure one out.)



I'd like to thank/shoutout my brother's friend Rudy for the culinary inspiration I felt upon returning home. Our conversations about cooking techniques, critiques of the food we were eating in Denver, and imaginary planning of fusion meals (e.g. Italian-Indian fusion dinner) were some of my favorite parts of the weekend. They left me thoroughly abuzz with renewed energy and enthusiasm for cooking. So, I decided to devote the week to cooking. I planned on making dinners, new sauces, and canning something every day. Did I bite off more than I could chew? Yes. Did I accomplish it all? Absolutely not. Was it still worth it? Yes. Here are the highlights of things I created this week (not including dinners):


Zhug (Yemeni herb hot sauce) aioli --- Adapted from https://www.seriouseats.com/schug-zhug-srug-yemenite-israeli-hot-sauce-recipe

Toum (Lebanese garlic sauce) --- Adapted from https://www.seriouseats.com/traditional-toum

Canned whole cherries

Falafel from scratch --- Adapted from https://www.themediterraneandish.com/how-to-make-falafel/

Greek Yogurt from scratch --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRI5tTfW0LY


I'll refrain from giving background on them for now, as I'm sure they'll come back up in subsequent posts. Instead, I'd like to play a fun little game that I like to call "Can You Can It!??!" Let's begin!


The first object: Cherries.


Can you can it? ...

Obviously. This wasn't a trick question. They're pretty easy to can, the process is just time-consuming. It took me about three hours from pitting them to putting them in the jars.


The second object: Peaches.


Can you can it? ...

Surprise--- you can! Why's that a surprise? Because it's theoretically possible but I didn't get around to it. So, you can, can it. But I didn't. Oops.


The third object: Your Hopes and Dreams.


Can you can it? ...

Maybe? Everyone knows shiny old lamps are known to hold genies that can fulfill hopes and dreams. So by a technicality, technically you can, can it. Sadly, not everyone can find a genie, though. Life's hard.


The fourth object: Family Heirlooms.


Can you can it?

Yes! 1000%! Need a way to keep grandma's ole ice spiffy and shiny? Throw them in a jar and heat that baby up real high. This heat method is guaranteed to keep your ice cold until the next family reunion. (Note: the author does not advise canning other family heirlooms, such as the ashes of the deceased.)


The Fifth object: Raspberries.


Can you can it?

Duh. I made raspberry jam a few weeks ago.



The Sixth object: Strawberries.


Can you can it?

Not if they're made of actual straw. But if they're the other kind, you're all good.



Lucky Number Seven: Your Emotions.


Can you can it?

Oof... I know plenty of people who do bottle them up. It's known to be a long-term preservation method. Emotions, especially difficult ones, can stay fresh for years by this method. But watch out: the pressure build-up from their ripening can cause emotional outbursts that your friends and family may not appreciate.


Object Number Eight: Kombucha.


Can you can it?

IDK, is bottling the same as canning? Somebody get on that and lmk.


Final Object: Last night's pizza


Can you can it?

Ew, no... Please don't ---for several reasons. Just accept your fate and eat it cold for breakfast.


I hope you enjoyed my new game. Maybe one day it'll become a prime-time game show.


Without further ado, here's the menu for the week of July 17.



Cherry Canning set-up


Baba Ghanoush, Shakshuka, Kashk Bademjan

Berbere Lentil-Eggplant Curry + Tomato and Toum

Falafel Bowl

Cherry Pitting

Falafels :)

Lentil Meal

My blood, sweat, and tears (JK it's cherry juice)

Cherry canning set-up



Shakshuka



Links:

https://www.seriouseats.com/traditional-toum

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