As summer is at its peak in August and all of the season’s berries and vegetables are at their most delicious, preserving them should be on everyone’s mind. Whether it’s through a class at Cricket Creek Farm in Williamstown or stopping by Guido’s Fresh Marketplace to pickup your favorite jar of jam, preserving the season’s tastiest fruits and vegetables now will ensure fresh tasting food through the long winter ahead. No matter how cold it is outside in February, your jams and jellies will taste like summer.
When we think preserves, we often think only of fruits and forget about meat. The Meat Market in Great Barrington offers a variety of different charcuterie from Guanciale, which is cured pork cheek, that works beautifully as a bacon replacer in pastas or stews, to Coppa, which uses the muscle that runs from the neck down to the 4th or 5th rib of the pig, and is great on sandwiches or served as an antipasto.
The Meat Market makes all of their charcuterie and preserved meats right in the shop. One of the great things about their charcuterie is that depending on the season, humidity levels, and temperature in the shop, the flavor and texture of the meat will change. The Meat Market offers classes where you can learn to make sausage and other delicious preserved meats, so keep an eye out for them on their website, sign up for their e-newsletter and/or stop by and ask.
If something sweet is more your idea of what’s a treat, Guido’s Fresh Marketplace, in Great Barrington and Pittsfield, the Elm Street Market, in Stockbridge, Wild Oats Market in Williamstown and Berkshire Organics, in Dalton, provide a wide variety of jams, and other kinds of preserves. Also Hilltop Orchards and Lakeview Orchard are offering a great variety of jams, the perfect Berkshire souvenir.
The Berkshire Co-op Market located in Great Barrington has a large selection of preserves as well as a lending library for members. The lending library has books on a variety of subjects including preserving at home, and many of the books give great recipes to utilize fruits and vegetables at their peak.
To get a little kick start on your preserve making adventures Cricket Creek offers canning classes occasionally, which are great fun! So keep an eye out for those on their website. A great thing about canning preserving is that you can make a scrumptious strawberry rhubarb pie filling now, while everything is in season, can it or seal it in a jar, tuck it away in your pantry until it’s just too dark and cold out to eat anymore bread pudding, and whip up a beautiful summery great that will transport you back to these wonderful August days!
Be sure not to miss out on Berkshire Grown’s Harvest Supper! It takes place September 15 at Butternut. It is a memorable night of Berkshire food and drink, come and sample the flavors of the seasons.
The 59th Annual Northern Berkshire Fall Foliage Parade will be held on Sunday, October 5. As part of the festivities enjoy Berkshire Restaurant Week, dine at one of the participating restaurants between August 15th – 23rd and 10% of your check will be donated to the Fall Foliage Parade effort. All you have to do is enjoy a night out and mention parade day to your server, and your support will help make this year’s parade the best yet!.
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