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Can-Do Food Tradition Gaining Steam

     A new study verifies what Anderson County residents have known all along: we are a nation of canners.

     Canning is not just for rural grandparents anymore. Americans of all ages and areas are returning to our roots and canning to capture fresher, more affordable flavors. Fifty-five percent of American home cooks plan to can this year, and of those, nearly 97 percent will be canning more than previous years, according to a recent survey of its community, the world's #1 food site. With nearly half of canners aged 40 or younger, the demographic of canners is shifting from Baby Boomers to Generations X and Y. Moreover, almost half of canners live in suburban areas, signaling that canning is no longer reserved to rural communities. As the recession progresses and food prices continue to rise, 61 percent of canners' greatest motivation is saving money.

     While canning may seem like a family tradition passed down from generation to generation, younger people joining the canning craze are looking first to the Internet as a resource. Fifty-two percent of survey respondents said they are using the Internet to find information on canning and there has been a 109 percent increase over last year in page views for canning and preserving articles on Allrecipes alone. Specific searches such as "blanching and shocking vegetables," "jam," and "dill pickles" have risen dramatically.

     In response to the growing demand, Allrecipes created a dedicated canning collection featuring "how-to" articles, recipes, safety tips, blogs, and more. Allrecipes is also highlighting "Cooks of the Week" who are canners. Rachael Schindeldecker from Rhinelander, Wis., who has an Allrecipes blog called "Can It Rachael" and has been selected as the "Cook of the Week" for the week of August 10, says, "I have been canning for about 25 years. My best advice for a new canner is to RELAX and enjoy! Start with ingredients you are familiar with and are grown locally if possible so you can get the freshest fruits and veggies. Make room on your counters because once you start canning, you may find you have a new hobby!"

      Allrecipes is also supporting the national "Canvolution" by partnering with Canning Across America (CAA), a grassroots canning movement started by food writers, bloggers, cooks, gardeners and food lovers to revitalize the popularity of canning. Committed to bringing the lost art of "putting up" food to a new generation, CAA and Allrecipes are encouraging communities across the country to take part in "Can-A-Rama" events on August 29 and 30.



Football Popcorn with Flavor

This is a very speedy, almost too easy, football party-eat that is also, obligingly, rather cheap to make. It's really quite tangy and packed with flavor and might alarm any passing child expecting more regular popcorn. Make a big batch.

Servings: 4 bowls


2 tablespoons wok oil
1 cup (un-popped) popcorn
1/2 stick butter
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground paprika
4 teaspoons table salt
4 teaspoons sugar


Put the wok oil into the biggest pan you have with a lid over high heat, add the popcorn and quickly put on the lid. Let the popcorn pop, shaking the pan every now and then to keep the kernels moving. You will hear it but don't be tempted to look, unless you want to get shot at, and once it has stopped popping - a couple of minutes or so - take it off the heat.

Melt the butter with the spices in another pan and then pour it over the popcorn and put everything into a large paper bag. Shake, shake and shake the bag again to mix the popcorn and get it thoroughly coated in the spicy butter.

Arrange in several party bowls. 


Nigella Lawson's Zuchinni Fritters


  • 4 zucchini (approx. 1½ pounds)
  • 5–6 scallions, finely chopped
  • 9 ounces feta cheese
  • small bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • small bunch fresh mint, chopped, plus extra to sprinkle over at the end
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • scant 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • olive oil for frying
  • 3–4 limes


Coarsely grate the zucchini with either the grating blade in the food processor or by hand. Spread the little shards out on a tea towel and leave for about 20 minutes to get rid of any excess wetness.

Put the chopped scallions in a bowl and crumble in the feta. Stir in the chopped parsley and mint, along with the dried mint and paprika. Add the flour and season well with salt and pepper. Gradually add the beaten egg and mix thoroughly before stirring in the drained, grated zucchini. Don’t be alarmed by the unflowing straggly lumpiness of this batter; it’s meant to be this way.

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan and drop heaped dessertspoons of the mixture into the hot oil, flattening the little cakes down with the back of the spoon as you go. Cook these little patties for about 2 minutes each side until golden, and then transfer to a couple of waiting plates.

Chop up the limes and tumble them about the edges of the plates. Sprinkle over a little more chopped mint and eat them just as they are, spritzed with lime juice as you go

© 2003 Nigella Lawson, used with permission

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