Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer...aka Canning Season

It's the most wonderful time of the of them anyway.

All that work we've been doing in the garden is beginning to pay off.  Earlier this summer we had spinach and lettuce with our onions too.

The ever present zucchini have made their way into many of our meals and I've been trying lots of new recipes....we've had:
fried zucchini
zucchini bread
zucchini pizza crust (not very good)
zucchini bites (working on the seasoning)
zucchini applesauce oatmeal cookies

I've also made lots zucchini jam.  Google it.  It's very good, easy to make and cheap.

I've been shredding zucchini and sticking it in the freezer.  I use it in the recipes above and also to stretch potatoes in any recipe that calls for hash browns (I use equal parts zucchini and potatoes).

We also have cucumbers.  So far I've just been putting cucumbers and onions in a quart jar with a little sugar, a little salt, half water, half vinegar.  Let them sit in the fridge overnight and then enjoy!  Delicious.

I'll be making dill pickles later this week.  Bear loves dill pickles :)

And a batch of sweet pickle relish.

We've been eating cherry tomatoes (Bear and Abby love those things too).  Finally some of our big ones are starting to turn.  What do I plan on making?
spaghetti sauce
tomatoes and peppers (rotel)
tomato sauce/juice
diced tomatoes

Green beans are blooming so I expect to be picking next week.
We've already been blessed with sweet corn from a family member so I've got a little in the freezer.  Ours should be ready in a couple of weeks.

We are also growing peppers: sweet, cayenne and jalapeno; eggplant, sweet potatoes, potatoes, onions, okra (I've been freezing some), pumpkins, watermelons and cantelope, broccoli, cabbage, green beans and sweet corn.

It is very satisfying to see the jars lined up on the counter, hear the ping of the seals, walk into a full pantry.  It is a lot of work, but the results are so worth it.  The less I can depend on big business to feed my family, the happier I am.  The more work I do myself, the less our food costs.  Gardening is the ultimate cost saving tool.

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