Blue Heron Local Cuisine

Cooking, Eating, and Drinking on the North Shore (and beyond)

On Skills, Economics, and blogs that won’t let me comment October 2, 2008

(photo from Appalachian Farming Systems Research Center)

NPR* has this snazzy little radio show called The Splendid Table, hosted by the grand dame Lynne Rosetto Casper (with a voice like pork cooked with apples, topped by well-buttered biscuits).  About a year ago, she started a local food challenge blog,  which includes posts from people around the country.  I’ve been sporadically following a woman named Autumn, from my home state, West Virginia. 
On 9/11, Autumn posted a thoughtful rant about the economic past, present, and future and how that relates to food: growing, eating, preserving, buying, obesity, health, life, the universe, and everything.
In short: WV has economic and health problems, which grew out of a history of subsistence lifestyles that were rendered obsolete and not properly replaced with anything else (other than coal—a place I will not go today). This lead to a loss of skills and host of modern health issues, which can be summarized by saying that obesity is bad and prevalent. 
Her solution: Rebuild local economies based on meeting basic needs, like food, locally.  (more…)


Not Canning (easy, easy, easy jam) September 9, 2008

Filed under: Preserving the harvest,Recipe — blueheronlocal @ 4:15 pm
Tags: ,
(thanks,, for the photo!)

(thanks,, for the photo!)

We ran out of jam the other day, which constitutes a crisis in our household, as we are major consumers of the stuff. Being low on both funds and the energy to go out and buy jam, I decided to make some at home.


This is an easy way to make jam without canning. You can store it in the fridge for about a month in a closed container. It’s also a great way to use summer berries that you’ve frozen or just gathered. You will need:


4 cups of your favorite berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc., or a combination)
1 cup sugar
A few tsp of fresh lemon juice

Combine the berries and sugar in a pot and bring to a simmer over med-high heat. Turn down to medium and cook until the mixture thickens. This can take about an hour for fresh fruit, longer if you’re using frozen fruit. Stir in the lemon juice when done. Yum!