Friday, September 04, 2009

Putting food bye bye

I photographed my adventures in food storage a while back and am just now getting around to showing you.

And I also wanted to say "Bye Bye" for a bit as we're headed down to visit friends and family in the hot and smoky land of Southern California.

A bottle of Muscato vinegar was traded for 26 pounds of the most lovely organic sauce tomatoes grown by our friends down the street in their 50 foot backyard greenhouse.

Based on the instructions in the comprehensive, yet somewhat daunting (so many warnings!) classic, Putting Food By, the tomatoes were skinned, quartered and cooked for just a bit, then canned in their own juices using the hot water bath method.

I had enough liquid left over to get a couple jars of just juice, which, I must say, is delicious!

Gotta love the trades! I did some graphic design work for another neighbor and in turn was rewarded with 25 pounds of sweet, juicy, organic Suncrest peaches.

Many of these softies became peach compote - speckled with cinnamon and fresh grated nutmeg. The compote I jarred and froze in our new-to-us chest freezer.

Other preservation projects this summer have included:

• frozen blueberries
• dried blueberries
• blueberry jam
• blackberry jam
• frozen cherries (bing, queen anne, sour)
• dried cherries (bing, queen anne, sour)
• dried figs
• raisins (much to Jeff's dismay, this was the fate of many of his precious grapes)
• dried pears
• frozen tomatoes

Along with the onions and potatoes from the garden that we hope will store well in our garage, we're pretty well set for the seasons to come. Amanda reminded me of the apple season still ahead of us, and I'm now looking forward to making up some pie filling to freeze for the next few months. This is better preparation, preservation and forethought than we've ever done before. Let's see how long it all lasts!

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