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Friday Favorite: Filling the Larder

September 8th, 2017

One of my favorite things time of of year is filling the freezer and the pantry with homegrown goodness. I’ve been making small batches of interesting things: pickled beans with garlic and basil, pickled garlic, pickled nasturtium pods, figs in brandy, minted onions, spiced peaches, and many more. The freezer is pretty much chocked full and the pantry shelves are starting to look lovely.


I have a few favorite canning books, most that provide small batch recipes, which are perfect for small amount of produce and small families. These books are constantly on my table, I leaf through them and read through recipes trying to decide what to make. A few recipes have become favorites and are used yearly, some are made every so often.

A few of my go-to books this time of year:
The River Cottage Preserves Handbook by Pam Corbin
Preserving the Taste by Edon Waycott
Well Preserved by Eugenia Bone

I don’t can much, but the things that I do are throughly enjoyed in the middle of our long winters here in Maine. Every time we crack open a jar of pickles or preserves we are reminded of the delicious bounty from the garden.

What are you preserving from the garden this year?

Squirreling Away for Winter

September 5th, 2017

It’s been a busy week and weekend. My evenings are filled with harvesting and preserving. The apples, tomatoes, beans, and peppers are coming in like mad. Green beans are blanched and frozen, peppers are chopped and frozen. Both things are frozen on cookie sheets and put into freezer bags to be scooped out in quantities needed.

The tomatoes are being put up in a few different ways. ‘Principe Borghese’ are dried in the sun dried tomato fashion. Some tomatoes are canned crushed for winter cooking, others are turned into conserve. Right now I’ve only finished up a batch of crushed tomatoes. Stay tuned for various posts this week about all the other things I’m making with all the garden bounty (including recipes for a few tried and true favorites). While this season seems a bit frantic, it will all be worth it in the dead of winter. When snow is deep on the garden, we can enjoy chili made with homegrown poblanos, tomatoes, and onions. There’s nothing better (and saves more money) than shopping in your freezer and pantry!

What are you preserving from your garden?

Pickling up a Storm (or at least lots of veggies)

August 10th, 2017

Over the past week or two I’ve been pickling all sorts of things from the garden. At the moment, I have six different things in various stages in the pickling process. So far all the recipes are from the book, The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich. I’m making a few favorites and trying a few new and interesting things, like pickling nasturtium seeds and Iranian pickled onions with mint.


So far I’ve made:
Lower East Side Full Sour Dills (page 45)
Dutch Lunch Spears (page 91)
Cornichons a Cru (page 97)
Olive Oil Pickles (page 98)
Pickled Nasturtium Pods (page 165)
Sweet Gherkin Pickles (page 230)
Shallots or Onions Pickled with Mint (page 291)

Still on my list to make this summer:
Zucchini Relish (page 314)
Short Brined Pickled Peppers (page 136)
Pickled Fennel with Orange (page 274)
Pickled Jerusalem Artichoke (page 131)


This is a great book to have in your cookbook library if you have a garden and are interested in pickling/preserving. Pretty much anything you can think of pickling is in this book. I purchased this book years ago and it’s always on my kitchen table this time of year. I’ve made loads of recipes from it and have so many more I’d like to try.

What are you pickling this summer?

Summer Saved

September 9th, 2015

I don’t do much canning, but I do put up a few jars of tomatoes every summer. There’s nothing quite like cracking open a jar of crushed tomatoes in the middle of a snowstorm. The smell brings you right back to summer.
canning_tomato_soup 2
Last night I worked late into the night getting 8 quarts and 4 pints of crushed tomatoes put up. Earlier this week I made 20 pints of tomato soup. I’m hoping to at least double this if the tomatoes hold on and the weather continues to be nice. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for no late blight and sunny days.

Do you jar up tomatoes? What’s your favorite recipe to use them in during the winter?

Picking Pecks of Peppers

September 25th, 2014

This year I had a bumper pepper harvest. I could have left them on the plants longer, but I wanted to clear out that spot in the garden to move the strawberries. Thus I ended up picking mountains of peppers. Most of them will be roasted over a fire and canned, some will be stuffed and frozen (here’s my recipe if you’re interested).
picking peppers 2
Some of them were given to neighbors, others have already been used for delicious meals. There are still a good many to process, looks like I’ll be busy tonight!
picking peppers 1
The small peppers are the Mini Bells I talked about last week, I’m thinking I’ll make mass quantities of bite sized peppers stuffed with sausage, onions, garlic, herbs and cheese. I made a batch of ricotta earlier this week just for them. I think popping a few of these beauties out of the freezer for a quick breakfast or dinner will be so convenient.

Do you like green peppers? What’s your favorite way to enjoy them?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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