Preserving the harvest

This is actually just a braggy post to show off some of the ways the DreadBrewer and I have been working to preserve – or even just use up quickly – the abundant harvest from our garden.

I am so pleased with our pressure cooker – it’s not exactly fast but it’s so nice to be able to can things from the garden that we couldn’t previously preserve. In addition to the green beans we canned last weekend, we made up a batch of 6 pints of caramelized carrots this weekend.

Productive 7.17.16

Also pictured is a quadruple batch of our pesto (which we freeze, rather than heat process) and a batch of banana walnut muffins for the week (which we didn’t grow, but I’m proud of our productivity regardless).

July.17.16.2

The girls had a good time watching me and DB work like dogs in the kitchen while they enjoyed a leisurely dinner.

I also made an enormous batch of my world-famous salsa, which means we are no longer drowning in tomatoes, merely keeping our heads above water… barely…

img_0643

And in a fit of adventurousness, we decided that we would try making a batch of okra pickles. “Everyone” says that even people who don’t care for okra like okra pickles. For these, we used a hot water bath to process them, as pickles don’t typically need pressure processing.

Okra 7.2016

It irritates me to no end that it seems like we pack our jars so full that they couldn’t possibly hold another okra or carrot or green bean and then, after processing, the veg floats up to the top and there is, like, another inch or two of space that we could’ve used. Any suggestions on how to avoid the dreaded dead space?

Next weekend I think we’re going to try our hands at canning tomatoes and beets. So it’s a good thing we’re going to work tomorrow, because I think we’ll both need a few days to recoup our strength.

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