My name is Gillian Lightman and to say that I have a huge passion for food is a massive understatement. But when I say a huge passion for food, I don’t mean eating it. My passion lies more in the preservation of food, built up over years of watching both my mother and grandmother build their knowledge of the craft. And all of those hints, tips and secrets eventually ended up with me.
It wasn’t until my husband, Dan, and I moved onto our farm in southern Idaho, that I really began to plant my feet. Within a few short years, while Dan was out spending his spare time hunting, I was busy in the kitchen, developing and improving my already-vast knowledge of food preservation. But it wasn’t until my 17-year-old daughter, Emma, suggested I pass on my knowledge via a website, that the idea of Ultimate Food Preservation really took off.
Emma, together with my son Jake, really opened my eyes to the possibilities of just how far this website idea could go. Combining their knowledge of all thing’s internet, they quickly helped me design and build what you see here today.
None of this would have been possible without some fundamental experiences; experiences I lived through growing up back in Wyoming. Most weekends were spent visiting local farmer’s markets, my mother and grandmother keen for the freshest produce possible. It was a great way to support the local economy, as well as the hard-working families that worked the land in the area. Despite doing it tough for many years, locals always helped to support their own.
Having all of that produce meant finding more and more ways to utilize the food. Fresh produce had a very limited shelf life which meant there wasn’t long between the perfect moment and a moment too far. The result was hours spent in the kitchen, creating a vast array of preserves, jams, pickles, chutneys and more. Yes, I said chutney. My grandmother was British and passed on a ton of recipes to my mum and I. She always insisted on us using the proper terms, saying that, “the Queen’s English is proper wherever it’s spoken around the world”.
Her knowledge has come in extremely helpful, not only for me with my own continual pursuit of food preservation, but also with how I manage to feed not only my own family, but also my extended family. Running our farm are my husband and his brother, plus 28 farm hands. Most work-day meals we provide, which means I’m fortunate enough to use them all as my taste testers. And what’s there not to love about having 33 keen taste testers for whatever recipes I like to throw together.
My plan for this website is to share all of the wonderful ways I know about how best to preserve food. Throw in some amazingly delicious recipes and you have all the workings of a one-stop place for food preservation. If there’s anything you think needs adding, feel free to send me a message and I’d love to help you with whatever you need. As long as its food related, I’m keen to help.