Yes, We Can! with Marisa McClellan (Episode 38)

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Marisa McClellan puts stuff in jars and it's delicious. Her Food in Jars blog on canning and preserving went from a side venture alongside a full-time job to her main hub as a food writer. She writes for Food Network and Table Matters (part of Saveur). She conducts dozens of workshops and demonstrations every year. Her first book is Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round, and she is in the middle of writing her second book, Preserving by the Pint. You want to pickle something? She's your woman. She talks about how she built a career one jar of jam at a time.

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Show Notes

Canning Across America (launched as Canvolution and still on Twitter under that handle) is a loosely organized group that encourages spreading the word about all methods of preserving food. Kim O'Donnel is a key mover, as was my late friend and officemate Kim Ricketts. The Seattle Times ran an article in July about the spread of the movement.

The Cooperative Extensive System, run by state agricultural colleges, and often funded solely or largely by the state, spreads information about farming, ranching, and kitchen skills for canning and other tasks. Through extension, one can become a Master Food Preserver. Extension programs' funding has been radically cut in the last few years just as widespread interest in this basic knowledge has exploded.

Michael Pollan's Botany of Desire explains that Johnny Appleseed ran orchards out in advance of settlers, who planted trees to make hard cider (low alcohol) and applejack liquor — both were safe to drink where local water supplies might not have been. People also tested their apple trees to see if they grew spitters or tasty versions, as apples are heterozygous (that's the right word, not precisely what I said on the podcast). An apple-tree owner with a tree that produced great-tasting apples would send cuttings off, get them licensed, and potentially make a lot of money. That's how the few varieties of apple that are grown in massive quantities were found and commercialized.

Episode 3: Good from the First Drop with Tonx and Nik Bauman

Click above to listen in your browser or download the podcast directly (MP3, 23 MB, 48 minutes). Subscribe to the show's podcast feed to get every episode automatically.

Tony Konecny, better known as Tonx, has been sourcing and roasting beans for a numbers of years, and recently founded Tonx Coffee, a subscription service that delivers whole beans from small batch roasting every two weeks. It’s not a bean of the month club. It’s a way to bypass the overchoice that one can face in specialty coffee shops, and get the assurance that the beans are fresh and good every time.

In this episode, listen to Tonx and his ecommerce guru Nik Bauman talk about the joys of coffee and the joys of starting a business in which you can talk directly to your customers without anyone else getting in the way. There’s a brief interlude in which the host and a friend have a little Tonx tasting, too.

(Note: Although Tonx Coffee has sponsored other podcasts, this show is editorially independent and Tonx Coffee didn’t sponsor this episode.)

               

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