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Preservation Society Missive #14

Dear Recipients of the Preservation Society Newsletter:
As always this newsletter is being written quite late in the day, so we’ll make an attempt at brevity so as not to disrupt the beauty sleep…
The beginning of November marked the 2nd birthday of the Preservation Society, believe it or not. Like our first birthday, it came and went without hoopla. As Paris Hilton said, “You should live everyday like its your birthday,” which is perhaps why we didn’t notice. But due to this oversight we will, for the coming month, attempt to celebrate as much as possible–
Tomorrow night at this time, we will be in Ottawa at the Spins & Needles Night Market at the Museum of Nature! We sincerely hope you’ll come try some jam and check out the cookbook if Ottawa is your town.

Over the weekend, come to the Salon du livre de Montreal during one of Camilla Wynne’s book signings– Saturday the 23rd from 3-5pm, and Sunday the 24th from 11am-1pm. Of course, she will be happy to sign your copy of Les conserves selon Camilla at other times as well, when time allows, but if you’re at the salon you must stop by!

Less than a week later the 10th installment of the souk@SAT kicks off! This is probably the chicest holiday fair around, and we’ll be there with all the usual wares PLUS some special holiday items. There will be many other amazing vendors, as well as food by our friends at the SAT Foodlab. Please swing by, but be advised that it is unfortunately an 18+ event.
Two weeks later, find us at the Puces Pop Holiday Fair, December 13th to 15th. This is the most fantastic place to find unique gifts, and this year it’s taking place at a new venue. As always, we will be offering PICKLED EGGS ON A STICK for your eating-while-shopping pleasure.
This year our special Christmas items include incredible rum-soaked fruitcakes made with our own candied fruits and packaged in 230mL jars; delectable pickled garlic scapes; a honeyed pineapple syrup (for champagne cocktails or virgin sodas!); scrumptious and seasonal pumpkin, gingerbread, and hot buttered rum caramels; and a new jam– 3 RED FRUITS, made of cranberries, raspberries, and sour cherries. And don’t forget to order some pickled eggs– to serve as hors d’oeuvres or just to keep in your purse for protein while you’re Christmas shopping.THIS IS IMPORTANT: the fact is we’re a very small company, and while we tried and tried and worked our fingers to the bone this year to produce as many jars as possible, there is a great possibility we will run out of certain products, so if there’s something you have your heart set on, please use our handy order form to order yours now so you can be sure to have as your favorites this holiday season.
Last but not least, for all you last minute shoppers, we will be hosting a studio sale with our space mate Savoure and others on Saturday, December 21st from 2 to 6pm. There will be plenty of treats to eat and jars on sale, including limited edition delights! Details to follow…
Don’t forget either that we ship across Canada via foodiepages.ca, and you can find our products in a number of inimitable establishments across Montreal. This week our jars return to Latina in Mile End for the holiday season, and we will soon release two exclusive products in collaboration with the beautiful Little Italy boutique Belanger & Martin(s). Check. It. Out.
Lots of love, always, and wishing you and all of yours an excellent holiday time and winter in general,
yours,
most sincerely,
(Les conserves) Preservation Society
Preservation Society Missive #13

Dear Recipients of the Preservation Society Newsletter:

Just a brief note to update you on all the exciting news here at the Society.
To quote Wordsworth, “The human mind is capable of excitement without the application of gross and violent stimulants; and he must have a very faint perception of its beauty and dignity who does not know this.” Yes, even news about preserves can be very exciting!

First of all, my first cookbook was released this week! Les conserves selon Camilla is available at quality French bookstores, online, or directly from the Preservation Society. It’s full of recipes for exciting preserves to make all year long, plus recipes for using up all those preserves once you’ve filled your pantry beyond capacity.

And tomorrow I’ll be signing books at Librairie Gourmande at the Jean Talon Market from 11am to 1pm! Please stop by and let me inscribe something profound in your copy.

Then, Sunday, September 15th, we’ll be offering one of the last Canning Fruits classes of the season. Don’t miss your chance to learn everything you need to know about making jams and canned fruits.

The next day, Monday, September 16th, I’ll be joining my former chef, Stelio Perombelon, for a Mixeur Master Class. It will be all the talking about preserving you could ever want, which is one of my top most excellent things to do.

And, coming up at the end of September, find Preservation Society at Puces Pop which runs Thursday thru Sunday this year! Currently in the process of dreaming up cool new fall stuff for the fair…

Hoping to see you soon,
to friends near and far,
all the best,
Preservation Society

Preservation Society Missive #12

Dear Recipients of the Preservation Society Newsletter:

Central heating, French rubber goods and cookbooks are three amazing proofs of man’s ingenuity
in transforming necessity into art, and, of these, cookbooks are perhaps most lastingly delightful.
-M.F.K. Fisher

To my mind, insofar there has no better Preservation Society news than this: in less than one month’s time our first cookbook will be released. Les conserves selon Camilla, published by Editions Caractere, is a primer on canning, with fantastic recipes for jams, marmalades, pickles and more that go beyond strawberry jam, icicle pickles and French rubber goods. Plus the photos are gorgeous and the design is classy. What more could you want in a canning cookbook?

Potentially, however, if you don’t read French, you might not think this news is so hot. Don’t fret! An English version will hopefully be released, and in the meantime you can take a fantastic canning workshop with Camilla herself! In fact, there are two coming up terribly soon!

- Canning Fruits August 1st, 7pm
- Canning Vegetables August 4th, 3pm

Don’t miss out on learning to put up the summer’s bounty safely and creatively. Last Sunday’s Canning Fruits workshop was an absolute dream. Eleven participants made a beautiful raspberry jam and created a peerless “fruit cocktail”– rainier cherries and Turkish apricots stuffed with candied grapefruit peel in a brandy and vanilla bean syrup. And we feasted on homemade poptarts (filled with homemade jam, of course) and red currant soda. And it all took place in our fantastic new workshop!

That’s right, folks, we’ve moved. We’ll miss our old neighbourhood, but we haven’t strayed too far. Preservation Society HQ can now be found in cool Mile End, sharing quarters with the amazing company savouré soda, jam and pickle. We are located at 5333 Casgrain, #311. As always, we don’t quite have regular hours, but just drop a line if you want to come visit workshop.

We’re hard at work in here transforming all the beautiful summer produce as fast as we can! Lots of summer favorites are back in stock, including Pur Cassis, Dilly Carottes, and Bread & Butter, which are now also available in an economical 500mL size ($8).

For the record, you can also find our products at a few new boutiques– Sophie Sucrée and Boucherie Lawrence here in Montreal, AND Likely General in Toronto, Ontario(!).

Slowly, but surely… world takeover.
Thanks for coming along for the ride.
Love,
Preservation Society

Preservation Society Missive #11

Dear Recipients of the Preservation Society Newsletter:

This will be brief, as I have been writing more than enough lately. I used to change up that Henry Miller quote, “I am a writing machine,” to “I am a canning machine.” Truth is, lately I’ve been both– writing and recipe testing for Preservation Society’s first recipe book! I won’t tell you any more for now, but it will be out in time for harvest season!
Other things you should know:

We are at the Salon J’ai Faim tomorrow and Sunday 11am-6pm! Come check out folks from all across the Montreal food world!

Following that, we’ll be at the spring edition of Puces Pop from May 31st to June 2nd– always a very good time, plus we’ll be in Ottawa for the first time at Urban Craft on June 9th!

What’s more– IT’S SPRING! Thank goodness. Expect to see the glorious reappearance of your favorites that have been out of season for too long– Rhubarb-Grapefruit Jam, Pure Blackcurrant, Dilly Carottes…

There are lots of good things to come in 2013. Canning classes will also start up again very soon! Stay tuned, or contact us to be put on the waiting list for Canning Fruits or Canning Vegetables (or both!).

Oh! And! Did you see May’s Elle Quebec? There’s a great article on Montreal pastry people, myself included! Don’t miss it…

Hastily, but not unlovingly,
yours,
Preservation Society
(small-batch preserves from Montreal!)

Preservation Society Seville Old Fashioned

In an old fashioned glass (or similar), combine 1 generous teaspoon raw blue agave nectar, a maraschino or brandied cherry (preferably homemade), and a wedge of seville orange. Muddle forcefully. Add 2 oz Bulleit Rye and ice cubes. Stir well.
Very excellent to enjoy while doing early spring garden preparation…

Preservation Society Missive #10

Dear Recipients of the Preservation Society Newsletter:
“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.” -Groucho Marx

After the whirlwind of December you would think January might feel a bit of a respite, but the pot boils on fiercely here at the Society. After all– seville orange season is upon us! It the kind of thing that warms the heart even in weather such as this, to gaze upon the bitter orange orb that will soon be delectable marmalade.

Speaking of December– the truth of the matter is we sold out of absolutely everything we had in stock even before the holidays. This was incredible to be sure, but not for anyone who wasn’t able to get what they wanted. Our apologies if any such folk are reading. If all goes as planned we will have plenty, plenty more at the ready next year and will avoid any disappointments…

Speaking of sevilles– with their triumphant return comes the return of Classic Seville Marmalade, Bombe Matin, and (probably) Ari$tocrat’s Marmalade. For marmalade lovers this is very good news indeed…

Speaking of citrus in general– alongside the seville comes the return of its demure and mysterious sibling, the white (or yellow) grapefruit, which can only mean one thing: White Grapefruit Marmalade with Vanilla, one of our true favorites. Who knows how long they’ll be around? Best get a hold of a jar of this bewitching preserve post haste…

Speaking of marmalade– the Dark Art of Marmalade workshop is back as well (this is a real comeback season! one might even say a new year). Much as in our other preserving courses it covers safe canning practices and tips for success with marmalade-making, but there’s also a good deal of interesting history. All classes include a jar of marmalade and thematic refreshments (marmalade tart and tea, for instance). There are still spots available in this Sunday’s class, but the class will be offered again at least a few more times in February as well…

Speaking in French– and the workshops will be offered in French as well as of February! This is a very exciting (albeit nervewracking!) development, and long overdue…

Speaking of the cold– if you feel you need to warm your cockles in this subzero weather but dream of ingesting marmalade at the same time, check our list of marmalade cocktails on the PS blog. Or, if you’re wandering about freezing in St-Henri this Saturday, stop in at the opening of our newest stockist, St-Henri General Store, where we’ll be doing preserves tastings in the afternoon!

And looking towards the future, as always– as if that wasn’t all enough, Preservation Society has plenty of tricks up its sleeve, including an event at the CCA next month. Very exciting. If you have any suggestions about what else to get up to or simply a comment, please contact us without delay. We look forward to a grand 2013.

Happy, happy New Year to you all, and, as ever, many thanks…

Preservation Society

Another Great Use for Marmalade

I’ve been noticing marmalade popping up in a lot of cocktail recipes lately (well, featured in two magazines, which may not seem like much, but it’s more than I’ve ever seen, so…).

Seeing that marmalade season is in full swing, I thought I should share some of the ones I’ve come across.

 

Last week I gave the Omar Bradley the old Preservation Society try, to very nice effect. I’m not fond of a very sweet cocktail, and this fit the bill. I used Le Tigre, though now that seville orange season has begun I think I’d be more inclined to use the Classic Seville, though it could be fun to experiment with something like Bombe Matin (if it includes whisky then it must have an affinity for it!). If you use a cocktail shaker I recommend picking out the pieces of peel for an instant candied citrus drink garnish (why ever would you waste that?). You may also find, if using a PS marmalade, that you need a bit more, it being slightly less sweet than average and heavier on the peel as well…

Here’s mud in your eye!

(and don’t forget we are offering marmalade-making classes for the next few months if you’d like to make your own…)

Preservation Society Missive #9

Dear Recipients of the Preservation Society Newsletter:

Happy birthday to us. Somehow a year has elapsed in a moment, and Preservation Society is one year old. The anniversary passed without much fanfare, but it goes without saying that it felt a tiny bit miraculous. Canning for a living! What a life! Maybe for our second birthday there will be free cake/shipping/tote bags/samples. But for now it’s just pretty cool that we made it.

Probably the most exciting news to share in this missive is that we are now shipping Canada-wide via our foodiepages.ca storefront! Of course if you live in Montreal it’s still best to order directly from us for pick up, but it’s so exciting that we’re now able to offer our products all across the country!!

It has truly been long enough since last we spoke that some of the new items are already almost sold out! I’m speaking specifically of the Pur Cassis and the Apricot Jam with Honey and Chamomile. Both are amazing but also quite limited in quantity! Order now or wait until next summer!

Really, no joke. If there are any of our products you have your heart set on for the holidays, you might be wise to place an order before all the Christmas fairs begin and we potentially sell out of certain items. Next week the madness begins, first with the excellent souk@SAT, an haute holiday bazaar. We will be on the same floor as SAT’s Foodlab, which will no doubt be dishing out some very fine fare. We will be selling out full line, plus some limited edition preserves and a variety of candied citrus peels– Meyer lemon, Seville orange, Buddha’s Hand Citron… Then, two weeks later, find us at the holiday edition of Puces Pop, which is always a fantastic shopping experience. Look out for our hot chocolate mix, holiday marshmallows & caramels, and goat’s milk dulce de leche. Please stop by and see us at one or both of these spectacular events! Support local artists, etc, etc…

A few of our products have been discontinued! Please see the R.I.P. section of the products page! If you are unhappy with this development, please let us know. If you truly loved a dead item, however, you can always still special order it, there’s just an order minumum of six jars. Which, if you truly love it, shouldn’t be so bad.

On a final note, check out the stockists page if you’re curious about all the great new stores we’re showing up in! As well, we had the fortune to develop three recipes for publication this fall. There was a great spread in La Presse with two pickling recipes, and Citta, an arty new magazine, published a recipe for Blood & Sand jam accompanied by a short article by yours truly.

And, truly, as we step into our second year of business, the thanks goes to all you supportive readers. I obviously could not do it without you. So thanks a million.

Ever your faithful servant,
Preservation Society

Citta, Blood & Sand Jam

A little while ago I had the honour of being asked to contribute a recipe to a beautiful new magazine called Citta.

Additionally it was proposed that I could write the accompanying text if I wished, which I did of course. I amuse myself greatly writing the Preservation Society newsletter, and I liked the idea of both representing myself and seeing it in print.

If you wish to read the text is below. For the accompanying recipe for Blood & Sand Jam, pick up a copy of the magazine. Find out where here.

****************************************************************************

I have been to Berlin, I think, three times, and never for more than 24 hours. I am not an International Spy; I played in a touring rock band.

Tour is a strange thing. On its account I can say that I have visited many cities in the western world, but it would be much more accurate to say that I have passed through many cities. Except, perhaps, in the unlikely event of a day off, the touring experience of a city is something uniquely circumscribed. One rarely sees more than two square blocks of any town—dark club and brightly lit hotel, and maybe passing streets glimpsed through the van window as you come and go.

Thus, what the city of Berlin conjures in my thoughts likely differs a great deal from that of its average visitor. I say this because when I think of Berlin I think of beach bars: outdoor courtyards full of trucked-in sand where people lounged and drank perched on huge rubber tires behind one of the clubs we played, whose other salient feature was a fire-breathing dragon sculpture near the stage. It’s what stands out amidst a blur of cities, no doubt on account of its surreality. As for the cuisine: a vegan burger joint, mojitos, and late-night Thai takeout from a street stand. Elsewhere, mainly in gas stations, I sampled currywurst and other more German-sounding snacks, but never in Berlin.

This kind of culinary experience is often the case on tour. Our band played both Krakow and Warsaw, but the entire time I was in Poland no traditionally Polish food ever passed my lips. On account of a vegan in our ranks we were taken to a hippie-ish pseudo-Indian restaurant and an “international” hotel buffet where a Caesar meant a glass of vodka and a bottle of plain tomato juice.

So it’s not old world style pickles that stand out in my mind when creating a recipe inspired by these places. It is rather the unlikely combination of mojitos enjoyed at dusk in a courtyard full of sand, framed by crumbling graffiti’d buildings. The mind being so circuitous, plucks the liquor and sand from the scene and resurfaces in New York City, where I once had the most superlative version of the cocktail Blood & Sand. The trajectories of the mind’s associations are nearly as strange as the impressions of a city as gathered by the flitting eyes of a touring musician.

The art of canning, having experienced a revival in the last few years, is often framed as being about preserving tradition (pun always intended). While the practice does inspire nostalgia in the how-our-grandmothers-lived way, in fact it can also be employed, like so many other facets of cuisine, to preserve more recent memories, impressions, strange moments in time, and, here, Berlin beach bars at dusk.

Preservation Society Missive #8

Dear Recipients of the Preservation Society Newsletter:

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird
I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
-George Eliot

We delight in fall almost as much as Eliot, but how it did sneak up! That the leaves are beginning to turn colour seems an absolute shock. All the produce of Quebec and Ontario arrived two weeks early this year, which has left us here at the Society scrambling to keep up and, now, incredulous that apple-picking season is already upon us. The apples of Quebec are lovely, however. There is no denying that. And so we submit to autumn willingly.

And what else comes in autumn besides the apples and the pears and the changing of the leaves? The POP Montreal festival, of course, and with it the Puces Pop craft fair. We’ll be there this weekend from 11 to 6 Saturday and Sunday. Please come by for a Pickled Egg on a Stick and sample jams on freshly baked bread!

We have two new products since the last missive, both of which will be making an appearance at Puces. The Concord Grape Syrup is in limited supply, so snap some up if you care at all to make yourself the best darn grape soda (or cocktail!) you can imagine. And our Wasabi Green Beans make a great accompaniment to beers, or would jazz up any plain dish.

If you are thrilled by the idea of new pickled and potted items, consider subscribing to our Members Club. Each month receive two jars, one of which is a limited edition members-only concoction. September’s members got Dilly Carottes and a precious jar of black raspberry jam. Subscriptions are available for two, six or twelve months. The special rate is still available until October 1st.

If you live in the west of Montreal our products just got a whole lot closer to you. The fantastic Jonah James has been serving our jams, but they’re about to open up their extremely charming general store Norah, where a variety of Preservation Society products will be for sale. Check it out! No matter where you live!

October draws near and promises to be a truly fun month for the Society. We’ll be offering two canning classes– one on fruits and one on vegetables, which will likely be the last of the season. Don’t miss out, especially if you want to have the skills to participate in our first annual canning swap, Traffic Jam!! Come and trade jars and meet other canners– what more delightful way to spend a blustery Saturday afternoon. Besides which, think of the inspiration and the pantry diversification! Just in time for winter…

Thank you, as always for reading. And look our for us in some excellent publications this fall.
We remain a Society of one, but would never never never get by without all the help from our friends.

Til next time, your faithful servant,
Preservation Society xoxoxoxoxo