Preserving your summer veggies!
If you have a garden, you know how much work it is to get it ready, plant the seeds, water it, and weed it. Then, if you are lucky, the plants actually GROW and produce great veggies and fruits (I’m always amazed when this happens!). And then? You have to figure out what to do with it all. I have found this to be challenging AND time-consuming. But, nothing can beat the feeling of grabbing healthy, locally grown and preserved produce out of your freezer or pantry shelf in the middle of the winter!
What is your favorite preserved produce item that you crave most during the winter months?
One of our favorites are these sun pickles that have been on our back porch steps for a few days!!! I love how simple they are to make – no canning involved! Here is the recipe we use:
SUN DILL PICKLES5 1/2 cups filtered water 3 1/2 c. white vinegar 1/8 tsp. alum
2 dill stalks & heads
1 head garlic
2/3 c. pickling salt (coarse)
Mix all together and pour over chunk sliced or quartered cucumbers in a gallon jug. Set in sun 2 days then you can put into quart jar and store in refrigerator.
Another big producer in our garden right now is BEANS! Since it has been SO hot here in Michigan the last couple of weeks, I didn’t really want to can the beans. Plus, canned beans remind me of yucky school lunches I used to eat growing up. Instead, I blanched and froze them in quart-sized ziploc bags. I am so excited to freeze more and have them to grab for winter meals or to throw in a yummy, nourishing bowl of chicken soup, Garden Chowder or a Homemade Chicken Pot Pie! A great resource for freezing veggies is found on an informative website HERE!
My jalapenos are ripening fast, but my tomatoes and onions aren’t quite ready….so I got anxious about what to do about making salsa. Here’s a quick fix: cut ends off of jalapenos (or other hot peppers) and remove seeds. Place in food processor and chop. Place in ice cube trays, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze. Once frozen, remove cubes from ice cube tray and put in ziploc bags. I plan to use these in my homemade salsa once my tomatoes ripen! I can’t wait to start canning salsa and spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce and tomato soup!
If you are looking for some good resources for canning and preserving, here are a few I’ve used and have loved OR those which I have heard are great: