Yesterday I decided to go through our pantry where the home canned foods are. This little built in unit came with the house and for the most part I like it.
The second from top shelf houses all of the pickles, chow-chow, and some relish I made. We have a lot of this still and I doubt we will plant many cucumbers come spring. Maybe one or two plants. I should also mention that we have some Claussen pickles in the fridge in the man-cave that need to be eaten.
Along with the pickles we have a lot of jams: mandarin, fig, grapefruit, and tomato. I guess I need to bake more bread for breakfasts!
We still have a good amount of canned whole tomatoes which I really love, they smell so divine when you open them, but we only have two jars of spaghetti sauce left. *Note to self* Make more this tomato season. We also have some salsa left, I’ll have to think of recipes to use that up before summer too. I made some really mild versions last year and they are good to use in rice or stirred in something else.
I think next year I will try to do what Erica does at NW Edible Life and utilize the skins of the tomato to make sauce a little thicker.
As for preserving our harvest in other ways, we freeze beans, zucchini and squash. We’ve also frozen carrots and onions. I also chopped up some peppers and froze them in Ball jars which I’ve really been impressed with in the freezer. Chris bought a dehydrator that we used to dry some onions and I attempted a few other things, oh yeah, eggplant, but I wasn’t keen on the dried eggplant. We will definitely try them on tomatoes this summer; I dried a lot of the cherry tomatoes in the oven last summer and they lasted awhile in the fridge before molding. I think the key will be to use our sealer to suck the air out and bag them up better.
It is hard for me to go to the store these days without thinking twice about where the produce is coming from and what is on it. It makes me really thankful for my garden when we have items to harvest from it.