Karen Solomon is the author of 2007’s The Cheap Bastard’s Guide to San Francisco (Globe Pequot Press) and contributing author to Chow! San Francisco Bay Area: 300 Affordable Places for Great Meals & Good Deals (Sasquatch Press). Her recent book is Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It.
From her interview with Megan Zabel of Powells.com:
Megan: You said in the introduction to Jam It that the book isn't meant to answer the question, "What's for dinner?" You write, "I'm a crafter, and food is my medium of choice." I really love the idea of kitchen crafts. Was food always your medium, or did it take you awhile to find your niche?Visit the official Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It website.
Solomon: Not always. It did take a while. My partner and I both work, and we had a kid about two and a half years ago. When you're living that life, dinner happens in about 22 minutes. What you eat every night — we call it "people chow" — is a stir fry or a quick-ass pasta, something that's sustenance. We're not big fans of eating out every night, so it got to be that every meal being eaten, Monday through Thursday, wasn't the kind of cooking that I love to do. I love to take time and make something wonderful and beautiful that tastes fantastic, and that just wasn't happening. I started thinking, Okay, what can I do on the weekends that's going to satisfy that creative kitchen urge, and also yield something really wonderful that I can enjoy throughout the week, or throughout the month? So that's how the book got started.
Megan: You cover a lot of ground in the book — from jam, pickles, and pastas to curing bacon and smoking trout. What inspired you to learn all these somewhat varied kitchen skills?
Solomon: I was doing a lot of...[read on]