This past Thursday our staff and Not Far From The Tree volunteers enjoyed reuniting with our friends at Regent Park CFC. On the agenda were savoury preserves. While we’d recently biked over some underripe yellow plums, we came bearing sweet and beautifully ripe purple plums ready to go… for what later turned out to be a spontaneous jam recipe dictated on the spot by the wonderful Emma Palumbo!
The workshop had one or two new joiners, ready to whip up some zucchini pickles or apricot chutney. During the introductory session, Emma also brought out some stunning dried vegetable plants – peas, radish, and dill – for us to separate the seeds from whenever we found a moment. Saving these seeds is an important component of food security and self-sustainability!
Once our re-introduction to the CFC kitchen was complete and folks had fueled up on some snacks, we got to work draining zucchini and onions; measuring or mixing pickling spices; chopping apricots and peaches; and blending plums. Our workshop attendees caught up and laughed together in the process. This familiarity with one another made for such a special atmosphere – one of the aims of Not From The Tree’s partnerships as we continue to expand our workshop series.
We delighted in pouring brine into jars and processing our delicious chutney in boiling water! The mixtures looked absolutely magical. Emma reminded us that one has to wait 24 hours after processing preserves to make sure the seal on the jar has enough time to form. Important stuff for eager makers like us!
After preserving and cleaning, we gathered for a communal meal of fresh potatoes and beets harvested from Regent Park’s Community Garden. At Not Far From The Tree, we’re all about these moments where food brings people together to share conversation, reflection, and fun!