There’s no satisfaction quite like putting food by, especially food you’ve grown. Simply opening cupboards filled with gleaming Mason jars is a visual feast. This year the pleasure of planting, harvesting, and preserving food is tempered by concern about the winter to come. Experts say the upcoming months may be “dire” due to rampant Covid-19 cases. We’re already mourning those we’ve lost. I can’t imagine more illness and death…
I’m glad the garden calls. I still have the last tomatoes, beans, potatoes, and tomatillos to harvest. Chard, kale, leeks, sunchokes, and other cold-hardy vegetables can be brought in as needed for the next few months. Nearly everything else is finally preserved as November waves from the distance.
The largest number of our jars are filled with tomato products including marinara, stewed tomatoes, and barbeque sauce. We also make lots of salsa.
I laughed at the size of this pot when my husband brought it home years ago, but now we have several huge pots that are all used when we can.
My favorites to can are fruit, especially jam. Peach jam looks like sunrise in a jar.
We cook food down inside, but process jars outside. We’re very fortunate one of our sons (find him here) built this awesome brew stand, which also works as an outdoor canning miracle keeping heat and steam out of the house.
The dehydrator has also been busy. I’m particularly fond of dried tomato slices, which I crumble into soups and casseroles all winter long. I also dried summer squash, an abundance of carrots, and some peppers. Lots of dried fruit too, including gummy fruits made from zucchini.
Plus lacto-fermented goodies like these peppers, destined for hot sauce
and this pickled vegetable mélange.
Cupboards and freezers stocked, we hope for the absolute best this winter, both here and in every home. Stay safe, take care of each other, and savor your time around the table! May winter be kind to us all.