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My Kitchen Table

August 27th, 2009

My kitchen table is currently littered with canning supplies and a surplus of veg from the garden and the farmer’s market. It is the season for preserving summer’s bounty for those long dreary winter months.
Canning_Jars_on_Table
I’m not a big fan of canning, but I do love the delicious food all winter long.

What methods do you employ to preserve summer’s bounty?

17 Comments to “My Kitchen Table”
  1. Mangochild on August 27, 2009 at 7:16 am

    For most veg, I freeze them. I think the texture just stands up better and it can be used in more dishes. I don’t blanch before freezing, just straight into the vacuum sealed bags. The greens, I’ll cook and puree first. I freeze a good deal of fruit too, whole or in slices. (I should mention, this is with a full-size deep upright freezer) This year I’m canning some fruit like peaches and blueberries in addition to freezing, and am dehydrating things as well (either as fruit leather or the regular dried fruit/veg). I’ve also done pickles, salsas, tomato sauce, etc. Jams/preserves too, with all the fruit.
    Between this and the stuff that can stay in “cool dry storage” such as all the winter squash and root veg, this should be good to get through the winter and early spring, I think. Last year it worked well, though there were an awful lot of potatoes consumed!

    This time of year, my kitchen too is a mess, but only in the best of ways, knowing I can preserve food for the dreary winter days and have a bit of summer memories and warmth…
    .-= Mangochild´s last blog ..Garden Update: August 26, 2009 =-.

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  2. Daphne on August 27, 2009 at 7:52 am

    I’m freezing almost everything this year: komatsuna, spinach, chard, beans, salsa, tomato sauce, berries, zucchini. I do dry my herbs. I have onions, garlic, dried beans and hopefully soon some winter squash and potatoes that don’t need any preserving. I keep carrots and cabbage in the fridge. The only thing I’ve canned so far is some pickled snap peas. I wanted real pickles, but those cukes need to get going.
    .-= Daphne´s last blog ..Destruction =-.

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  3. Dave on August 27, 2009 at 8:43 am

    We started canning a little this year but in the past I have frozen veggies. Right now I’m waiting on the last bean harvest to get going in a couple weeks.
    .-= Dave´s last blog ..The Birdbath Garden August Expansion =-.

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  4. KitsapFG on August 27, 2009 at 9:07 am

    I employ a variety of preserving techniques – depending on th produce.

    I freeze (after blanching – so they retain their quality in the freezer) spinach, swiss chard, broccoli, whole green beans, sweet corn kernels, shelled garden peas, and after cooking them completely I also freeze packages of pumpkin and wintersquash puree – in 2 cup packages which makes a pumpkin pie!

    I freeze without blanching – raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, sliced rhubarb, diced onions, diced peppers, and sliced celery.

    I water bath can – jams, relishes (dill pickle/spiced cabbage), dill pickles, dilly green beans, pickled beets, tomato chunks and dices, and salsa made with vinegar.

    I pressure can – green beans (not always), tomato sauce and paste – particular those with other vegetables chunks in it (salsa, pasta sauce), and dried beans (kidney, pinto, navy), cubed winter squash (for squash soup!),

    I store whole (dry cellaring) – potatoes, onions. garlic, winter squash, and pumpkins.

    I dry – beans (kidney, pinto, navy), and herbs.

    And the best winter storage is keeping food in the ground for fresh eating all winter – carrots and parsnips – or growing them with some protection for fresh harvesting – spinach, swiss chard, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbages, kale,and bunching onions.

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  5. warren on August 27, 2009 at 9:11 am

    We mostly can but we dehydrate a lot of stuff too. It’s easier though it does take a lot of space while stuff is drying (depending on your method). We never have freezer room as it is so we don’t freeze much…
    .-= warren´s last blog ..My Lucky Cricket =-.

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  6. Pampered Mom on August 27, 2009 at 10:57 am

    We mostly do a combination of freezing, drying and canning. I can’t say as any of those are necessarily my all time favorite…especially as the season goes on.
    .-= Pampered Mom´s last blog ..Did you see Pete Seeger’s 90th Birthday Concert? =-.

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  7. Cindy on August 27, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Your kitchen table looks like mine! theres jars and labels and rings and pectin and fruit and scribbled recipe notes everywhere. heehee

    I like to can stuff, esp. fruits, veggies and broth. I’m going to try canning beef stew for the first time this year *crosses fingers*

    I so freeze alot of meat and fruit but after last years fiasco with the chest freezer blowing out its circuit I’m weary about relying on the freezer so much, except for freezing things like bread and flour that won’t become a danger to eat should the freezer fail.
    .-= Cindy´s last blog ..PEACHES! =-.

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  8. s on August 27, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    I do a little of everything here. We just got a small chest freezer last year and I experimented with a lot of veggies to see what we used and liked the most. Winners=tomato sauce, broccoli, corn, eggplant, peppers and zucchini. I love that you can freeze small bits that add up to a lot over the course of the summer. This year I added peas and green beans. We also can tons of salsa, some regular tomatoes, a few pickled peppers and cukes, and jellies/jams and applesauce and butter. Last year I made my first canned pears from our tree and was in love–will definitely do that again!

    So I think it’s a mix of things based on how we use them and ease of preparation and preservation…

    Anyone else notice it’s kind of out of fashion to use canned/frozen produce in recipes? I get the “rebellion” from mom’s recipes that used a bag of mixed cut veggies, but I find it ironic i have to adapt foodie recipes and re-teach myself to use frozen broccoli, LOL.
    .-= s´s last blog ..maybe we don’t need a farm =-.

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  9. the inadvertent farmer on August 27, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Last year is was canning, this year more freezing, always dehydrating. Yes it does make the dreary days of winter a little more tolerable! Kim
    .-= the inadvertent farmer´s last blog ..Chilled Pumpkin Pie Soup… =-.

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  10. deedee on August 27, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    i’m new to this whole thing… no garden this year, but definitely next! our nice neighbors gave us tons of green beans & corn, so i learned how to freeze corn & can the beans this year!

    Reply to deedee's comment

  11. Francesca on August 28, 2009 at 4:21 am

    Hi Susy, I’m the other new co-op writer, and I came to say hello! You have a beautiful blog here. In answer to your question: I’m no fan of canning either, but I’ve been canning grape or cherry tomatoes for the last couple of years: I then just add seasoning as needed depending on what I’m cooking, and I find that I have more uses for them than tomato sauce!
    Ciao, Francesca
    .-= Francesca´s last blog ..Making special pleasures =-.

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    • Susy on August 28, 2009 at 8:13 am

      Thanks! I like to can plain tomatoes as well (after I have enough tomato soup), then I make sauce and other goodies on cold winter days.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  12. kristin on August 28, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Mostly canning, since our freezer space is generally taken up by whole animals (I mean, whole animals in pieces, of course–it’s not as if there’s a whole intact pig staring up at my from our chest freezer . . . anyway). But this year we’ve had big crops of corn and beans, both things I prefer frozen. Plus a LOT of chard, which needs to be frozen.

    I’m afraid the pig might be a tight fit this fall . . .
    .-= kristin´s last blog ..We Should Make It Through the Winter Now =-.

    Reply to kristin's comment

  13. kristin on August 28, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Mostly canning, since our freezer space is generally taken up by whole animals (I mean, whole animals in pieces, of course–it’s not as if there’s a whole intact pig staring up at my from our chest freezer . . . anyway). But this year we’ve had big crops of corn and green beans, both things I prefer frozen. Plus a LOT of chard, which needs to be frozen.

    I’m afraid the pig might be a tight fit this fall . . .
    .-= kristin´s last blog ..We Should Make It Through the Winter Now =-.

    Reply to kristin's comment

  14. stefaneener on August 30, 2009 at 12:49 am

    Can, freeze, keep in the basement, keep eating from the four-season garden. Mostly a mix. Not much in terms of harsh weather here.
    .-= stefaneener´s last blog ..Maybe I should stop now =-.

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  15. MAYBELLINE on August 30, 2009 at 12:57 am

    Canning. Canning. Canning.
    .-= MAYBELLINE´s last blog ..Suggestions, please. =-.

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  16. Ira Mann on October 13, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    I just recently started canning. I am enjoying it very much. Now, I will also, try freezing. It sounds so easy and I am all for new and different. Thanks.

    Reply to Ira Mann's comment

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