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Susan Lutz is a photographer, artist and television producer who is currently writing a book about heirloom foods and the American tradition of Sunday dinner.  She is a certified Master Food Preserver through the University of California Cooperative Extension, where she helps community members with canning and food preserving techniques. She has produced over 300 hours of documentary and nonfiction television programming for numerous cable networks including The Food Network, HGTV, A&E and History on topics that range from food chemistry to knitting to Haitian voodoo.    When she isn't blogging about Sunday dinner, she is often making photographs of heirloom foods or teaching the history of photography.  Raised in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley (where her father still cures his own hams), she currently lives near Washington, DC.

J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Work's finishing salt, pectin jaune and pâte de fruit top my holiday gift list for canners this year. Credit: Susan Lutz

Canners like me tend to give gifts in cans or jars: marmalade from the backyard tree, red wine vinegar made from the leftover bottles

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Roasted Tomato and Corn Salad makes an unexpected Thanksgiving side dish. Credit: Susan Lutz

My neighbors and I are savoring the last tomatoes of the season. I'm starting to prepare for winter -- and holiday meals -- but

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Ground zero for heritage seed savers: Jefferson’s Monticello. Credit: Susan Lutz

Row after row of tomatoes fairly glowed from the wooden folding tables: pointy tipped Pittman Valley Plums, pale yellow Dr. Carolyns, globe-shaped Nepals and

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A garden at Monticello. Credit: ©Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, photograph by Robert Llewellyn

Across the lane from Napa Valley's French Laundry restaurant lies a 3-acre farm that produces many of the fresh vegetables that have helped give

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Using best beginner canning tips yields, from left, homemade apple butter, sweet pickles, rose water marmalade, tomatoes, and green beans even on busy days in cramped kitchen quarters. Credit: Susan Lutz

The process of canning food can seem daunting at first. There's a long list of equipment to assemble, complex instructions to follow, and the

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Sour cherry pie. Credit: Susan Lutz

In our house, asking for cherry pie means one thing: sour cherry pie. Just as there are "eating apples" and "cooking apples" that differ

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Washing ostrich fern fiddleheads before steaming. Credit: Susan Lutz

My first taste of fiddlehead ferns was in a lodge overlooking Mount McKinley in Alaska, so I was shocked to hear the word "fiddlehead"

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The Lutz family garden. Credit: Susan Lutz

Our family loves working in the garden, but it wasn't easy to convince our daughters that planting vegetable seeds was a great family adventure.

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