I started out making jams -
- strawberry balsamic-pepper
- peach-Brown Sugar-Rum
The squashes - summer and zucchini started ripening and I sliced the first and sliced and shredded the second and put them in the freezer for winter eating and baking. I'm going to try to slide the zucchini into other baked items than chocolate zucchini bread. ;-)
The tomatoes started ripening and I had the food dehydrator out for drying apple chips, so all the recipes for 'sun-dried' said to either do it in the oven or in a dehydrator. So a batch or two of the Romas became sun-dried along with the little candy-like Sun Gold yellow-orange cherry tomatoes. I also did a batch of the Romas with olive oil and roasted in the oven. They didn't really dry out, and wouldn't be safe just jarring them, so into a baggie they went into the freezer. I've done a couple of batches of tomato sauce and still have a lot of tomatoes to process. I'm going to roast more and then sauce them I think.
The Chehalis Apple tree ripened in August instead of the normal September so we lost about half of the apples trying to keep up. We still have 12 gallon bags all peeled/sliced/cored and ready to become apple pies in the freezer. A handful of quart bags filled with apple chips in the pantry. Brandon pulled out the juicer and had five gallons of apple juice. Only three quart jars so far of applesauce. The Gala tree is ripening and I want to try to get more applesauce.
We found a great area to pick blackberries and have gotten a couple gallon bags that went into the freezer. They joined the two quart bags of boysenberries in the freezer. I love blackberries.
Beth went to Hood River last week and mentioned that she was going to get pears for .25/lb so I asked her for $2 worth. She brought back a mix of pears, I'd have to go look at all the different varieties to be sure of what she brought back. I made a batch of pear butter that is divine! It has orange juice and the juice from it as well as some grated nutmeg. Almost embarrassed myself if someone else were in the kitchen with me at the time but didn't stick my face in the pot to lick clean. ;-) I'm going to do another batch of this recipe and add a little crystallized ginger for a little zing.
SCA friends Marcello and Kathy are selling their house and spending at least a year in Italy. I've been the lucky recipient of spices, glass canisters, a whole ton of tomatoes, beets, ceramics and 50 lbs of milk chocolate. I traded some of our garb for their honey, for future mead making.
The beets are still new to me as a food item. I've used them as part of my roasted root medley at SCA events but wanted some way to preserve for future use. I had thought about making chips, those are yummy, but the overwhelming suggestion was pickled beets. So I went to Tasty Kitchen and found a pickled beets recipe that called for sugar and cloves as well as the white vinegar. Five tall jelly jars and a pint jar came out of the four pounds cooked. I'm going to try the boil and then peel method for the roasted root medley, it was slick!
I still need to pickle the red cabbage. They're sitting in my refrigerator crisper drawer and really need to come out. I want to do the sweet and sour kind and think because of the vinegar that I shouldn't have any issues with canning it. After all its like pickling - right?
The milk chocolate? I'm dividing up with Shelia and keeping some for my own use. She plans to use it for fudge and I thought that it might not be bad to try making some myself.Went off to Tasty Kitchen and found some recipe possibilities, including a Key Lime and coconut fudge. You don't have to be a member to use the site, the advantage of being a member is you can save recipes to your file.
Not preservation, but also a fall activity - soapmaking. I've put out a request for frozen juice containers to use as molds and am going to do a small soapmaking class in a few weeks. I want some more homemade soap and we've been out for a year. So multiple batches will be made. ;-) I think all of this preserving, soapmaking and fudge making will help balance things out so I don't have to do as much knitting. I really like that idea! Less pressure on me to do something for everyone. I do have a bunch of stuff already made and others still planned, just can scale back some.