Start Simple with Food Preservation
This time of year is one of our favorites. The work of planning and planting a garden is behind us and now it is time to think about how to preserve our summer bounty. Whether you are freezing, canning or dehydrating there are necessary steps to take to ensure both quality and safety.
Grandma might not know best…about canning
Is your garden overflowing? I don’t have many tomatoes yet, but lots of everything else! I know some of my neighbors have been busy canning and freezing beans and other garden goodies. Canning and freezing may or may not save money (depending on how many supplies you have to purchase), but the end result definitely tastes good. Although home food preservation has been done for years, we learn more all the time about how to do it more safely and with better quality results. The ‘way Grandma did it’ may not follow current recommendations. For example,
Tomatoes…Yum! Doesn’t matter if they are a fruit or a vegetable
Remember that old argument…is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable? Here’s the answer. BOTH. Botanically speaking, the tomato is a fruit. A “fruit” is any fleshy material covering a seed or seeds. Horticulturally speaking, the tomato is a vegetable plant. The plant is an annual and non-woody. (Source: Produce Marketing Association and the Produce for Better Health Foundation.)
Directions Available for Home Food Preservation
Have you noticed the interest in home food preservation? Equipment sales are up, cookbooks are selling and home cooks, from beginners to experts, are enjoying the pleasure of canning, freezing, jams, jellies and drying foods. Some are doing it for creativity or to give as homemade gifts. Others want to control salt, sugar and other preservatives in the foods they eat. Some want to save money by preserving the excess garden bounty.
How to “Preserve the Taste of Summer”
The heat and drought are hard on fruits and vegetables, so production at home and at farmers markets is down. But, you might still be able to find some great tasting fruits and/or vegetables to can, freeze, pickle, dry or make into jam. Using current tested recipes and procedures is very important, both to make sure your food is safe and to get the best tasting results.
Want to Make Salsa?
This morning I got an email from my sister:
Have you been bitten by the canning bug? Buying fresh local produce at the farmers market or growing it yourself in your own back yard garden has been inspiring lots of people to give canning a try. If you would like to try canning before making a huge investment in equipment, we have some suggestions.
Can It, Freeze It, Dry It
Over the past few weeks we’ve shared how our gardens are growing (Christine, Katy, and Jody ). And next week Justine will give us an update about her garden. Eating delicious home-grown food is a joy of gardening, so it has been fun to review the ways we use our garden produce. While fresh produce from the garden is delicious, sometimes you have so much you need to save it for later.