Although it may seem that the time to think about canning and preserving is over for this year, Liana Krissoff's book, Canning for a New Generation: Bold, Fresh Flavors for the Modern Pantry (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2010, $24.95) provides year-round inspiration with her outstanding recipes divided by the four seasons. She has also divided each season into recipes using fruits or vegetables. In addition, there are recipes using many of her preserved foods. Receiving the book motivated me to pull out the canning kettle and make a tomato and a pear jam, green tomato relish and pickles, several different kinds of hot pickled peppers and sweet pepper jam. This winter I can look forward to trying a variety of her recipes using citrus, as well as her version of kimchi.
Favorite or New Plant
Chrysanthemums may be the flowers that most people connect with autumn, but asters certainly give them a run for the money, what with their abundant flowers, usually in shades of lavender, purple, or pink. Although the genus name for New World species has been changed to Symphyotrichum, you can still think of them as asters. The mature size of asters varies considerably depending on the species and variety, but some of the best, lower-growing ones for the garden include 'Monch,' 'Wonder of Staffa,' 'Alma Potschke,' 'Professor Kippenburg,' 'Wood's Blue,' 'Wood's Pink' and 'Wood's Purple.' For gardens with plenty of space, Aster tartaricus, which can reach 4 to 6 feet, is a beautiful choice, especially when planted in masses and combined with ornamental grasses.