Our first food pickup, like we said in On Our Way blog, was a surprise on many different levels. The list we had made of what we thought we were going to get, was less then half right; the variety of produce that we received was also quit eye opening and the amount. Deciding to document, by unit, all the produce to we received, made a spreadsheet of all of the produce, the place where we picked it up and the date. We counted all of the produce and started trimming all it, a very time consuming task in the beginning.
Rather then start cooking and canning everything right away, we waited a bit and froze all of the produce. After a couple of pickups we were filling up the freezer quit quickly, which for us was a good sign. With the amount of food that we were getting and the amount of hours that it was taking, we decided to have a look at the Food Bank program.
We met Sarah at Whistler Community Social Service (WCSS), who is in charge of the Food Bank. As it turns out she was saying that for them, it was much harder to find fresh produce then canned goods and it would be a most welcome help. Seeming that we had an abundance of fruits and vegetables that would still be good for a few days, making donations and acting as a liaison to the Food Bank was a great idea. The only set back on the amount of food that we could give was, that the Food Bank is only open on the Monday morning, so we had to do our best to get as much fresh stuff as possible to those who need it.
Every Sunday, we would go to pick up food, sort through it, everything that would still last for a couple of days would be donated to the Food Bank. Otherwise we started transforming them. We started out by trying to make Tomato Ketchup, but we really wanted to stand out, remembering that my grand mother use to make it, I contacted my mother. She didn’t remember the recipe exactly, but gave a good direction and did what I do best, improvise.
That same day, we also made a Apple Sauce infused with ginger, lime and thyme, and Orange and Mint Jam. We wanted to take a different approach with the Orange then the traditional Orange Marmalade because in this part of the world it’s not very popular. Our first try with the Orange and Mint Jam, was okay but nowhere nearly enough mint for our liking and still a tad bitter; try again. The Apple Sauce was right, really really good.
We tried again with the Orange and Mint Jam a few days after, and got it right; a bit sweet, a bit tangy and minty enough for a warm summer day, that’s what we were looking for. Also worked on the Rustic Tomato Ketchup recipe and added more spice and sugar, cooked it a bit longer and nailed it; salsa like consistency with bold ketchup taste.
All the while pickup more food, making donations and stocking up.