ight now it feels like my main task in life is figuring out how to preserve the river of produce flowing out of the garden. I know, a rough problem to have, eh? And, too, it's already slowing (46 degrees this morning, an overnight low of 42), and I'm sure soon enough I will be lamenting store-bought produce (especially tomatoes...). I have been rationing fresh blueberries for weeks, rather than eating them by the fistfuls as was my mid-summer habit...
But as I looked back over the summer, I made a list of everything I've put up for the family to consume over the winter. And wouldn't you know it, there are 12 things, one (maybe two) item left to go!
1. Blueberries (frozen). Yes, I did manage to freeze a few, which is an accomplishment as I enjoy eating them fresh so very much.
2. Blueberry lavender jam. Really subtle and lovely. I'm glad I experimented with this one.
3. Tomato sauce. These jars will probably end up in soups, mostly...
4. Tomatillo sauce. Fabulous for soups and enchilada casseroles. A little zipppy, a little sweet...
5. Corn (frozen). Good for enchiladas, and soups, and just eating. It was our best year of corn yet, which is so odd, given how late we planted it...
6. Green beans (frozen). Seth's favorite cooked vegetable.
7. Strawberry jam (well, more like sauce. Had a little issue with the setting up...). Great for ice cream and milkshakes. I think I might experiment with stirring a little into my unsweetened Greek yogurt over granola in the mornings...
8. Pumpkin (frozen). I learned that mashed pumpkin should not be canned, and so since I'd already roasted it, I put up a few bags in the freezer just today. Canned cubed pumpkin will be on the list for next summer... Not sure what I'll do with out bounty from this year, but I do like pumpkin soup, and of course there are always pumpkin breads and pumpkin muffins, in addition to the obvious pie!
9. Salmon (frozen). We indulge when it arrives fresh to Costco and enjoy grilled throughout the winter. I think we have Copper River, Coho and Sockeye... Didn't grow it, but I did preserve it!
10. Beets (roasted and frozen). Will be great for borscht in the winter months.
11. Kale (steamed and frozen). Though I read some debate online about just chucking it into bags and steaming on the other end, I decided that steamed = less bulky kale in my freezer and went with that.
12. Lavender simple syrup. This is really yummy for making lavender lemonade, maybe even lavender ice cream.
13. Still to go: Applesauce! I need to get out to the orchards and pick up a couple of boxes of fresh, crisp apples. (And get an extra box just for eating!). Yum.
In addition, I might break down and actually freeze some grated zucchini. I'm not a big zucchini bread fan, but I have seen a chocolate-chocolate chip zucchini bread floating around Pinterest, so I might just break down and preserve some zucchini... And I have been gleaning off my basil and eaten it fresh so far this year... I suppose before frost I will probably harvest the lot and freeze that either whizzed in olive oil, or as pesto. So, the preserving continues!
How about you? Any preserving in your world? Tell me about it!
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