Thursday, August 25, 2011

Preserving the Harvest

I am so proud of myself...I made my first actual canned pickles! We've been making refrigerator pickles for a few weeks now, but I was a bit intimidated to try canning. However, between running low on room in the fridge, as well as wanting to have pickles that will last beyond the next few weeks, I finally decided it was time to take the plunge!

Here they are...6 pint jars of home-canned pickles:

I have to give credit where credit is due and tell you that Jordan cut up all those cukes for me. He now considers all cucumber cutting HIS job...just so he can use the sharp knife!

Jordan and Joseph have been doing the harvesting this week. They really enjoy going out there and searching for veggies. And yes, I DO mean searching--the weeds really have about taken over. I'm conceding defeat this season and admitting that I just don't. have. the. time. to keep it weeded. Next year I will be on top of that.

Today's harvest:

We're doing our best, but we just can't eat this stuff fast enough! In addition to making pickles, I've been freezing tons of squash, making dozens of zucchini muffins, and filling bags with tomatoes and tomatillos and sticking them in the fridge. I need to buy some cilantro, then I can make salsa verde and tomato salsa. I'm thinking I'll just freeze the salsa verde in meal-sized quantities, but I'm hoping to be able to make enough regular salsa to be worth canning. The tomatoes are still only trickling in, so I'm peeling, bagging, and freezing them for now:

Same with the peppers:

When I have enough, I'll make stuff with them to can or freeze. With the peppers, I plan on keeping some in the freezer anyway, to pop into chili or spaghetti sauce this winter.

One of the reasons the boys enjoy harvesting is that there's no telling when you'll discover a missed giant:

Jordan is awfully proud of that giant cucumber! It'll probably be inedible at that size, but he has laid claim to it and wants to eat it all himself. Joseph, on the other hand, is just posing with the cool humongous "alien squashes." He thinks they're nasty and says he won't be eating them! :)

Silly boys!

I bought lots of seeds to try for fun this year, but the only unique variety that actually made it into the garden was the purple bush beans. I put some in a pan for dinner and told the boys to watch them...they're magic!!

Of course they got bored long before this happened (a whole 5 minutes later), but here's what they looked like cooked:

There were many oohs and aahs when they peeked back into the pan, and I have to admit that even I was quite impressed with the color change.

Who knew beans could be so fun?!!

1 comment:

Annalia said...

Those pruple beans looked like nightcrawlers! Eew!

You have an impressive garden.

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