This is a blog about home canning—or "putting up" as one might say where I'm from—and it will cover jams and other fruit preserves, pickles and briny things, canned vegetables (above all tomatoes) and the complement of condiments that includes relishes, sauces, salsas and those related preparations that result when you chunk bits of seasonal produce and preserve them in a syrup either piquant or sweet.

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Anise Hyssop

In case you missed this, a reader named JBE left an interesting comment on the recipe for apricot jam, below. He wrote:

I made this recipe last year, and I added fresh Anise Hyssop to the mix. About 4 nice sprigs, twined together and let it simmer with the apricots during the process. Took it out right before set point. I've had multiple people say this is the BEST jam they've ever had. Going to do another batch this year. Thanks for the recipe.

I had to look up anise hyssop in Jill Norman's Herbs & Spices: The Cook's Reference. The herb is a native North American species of the genus Agastache, perennials of the mint family. You use the leaves, which have an anise aroma and flavor, as the name suggests, and a sweet taste. Norman says that anise hyssop is typically used in teas, but that they also can be used in marinades for seafood or pork; with winter vegetables such as beets and sweet potatoes; with summertime zucchini and tomatoes; in omelettes and salads, and--wouldn't you know--with summer fruit such as peaches and apricots. Norman also suggests covering anise hyssop leaves with warm honey to infuse the flavor, which sounds like a good saving the season project.

Bravo, JBE, and thanks for teaching me something this morning. I'll look for anise hyssop at the Santa Monica Farmers Market today. 

Reader Comments (1)

Thanks for the shout-out! Some credit must go to Jerry Traunfeld. He's the Chef/Owner of Poppy restaurant in Seattle (where I work) and he's a constant source of herbal inspiration to me. I'm making my second batch of it today!

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJBE

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