my pantry

This is my pantry that doubles as a root cellar. I store my jars and vegetables here at a cool room temperature. Vegetables I have here are shell beans, popcorn, coriander, garlic, potatoes, and winter squashes. I spend a lot of time in the pantry. It has a little work shelf. Also storage shelves with garden books and garden supplies. In the middle are plant shelves with lights that I can wheel around. The room is off the garage, well vented, and has its own temperature control. It’s a tight…

pickles, jam, jelly, and sauce

This is a line-up of all my canning from this fall, so far. From left: tomato sauce, End-of-the-Harvest pickles (Ball book of canning), Daikon and Carrot pickles (Food in Jars), Bread and Butter pickles (Food in Jars), Sandwich pickles (Ball), Apple Sauce (Food in Jars), Raspberry Jam (Ball). And on the top: Apple Preserves and Crabapple jelly (both from the Ball book of canning).

crabapple jelly

My mom has a crabapple tree that was full of very big crabapples this year. So I picked a basket full. I’ve never made crabapple jelly before. The apples are really tart (pucker), but the jelly is wonderful. And I love the color. (I used the recipe in Ball Home Preserving pages 107 and 109.)

storage of vegetables – and other items, like honey, fruits, etc

I’ve been winging it so far in storing my vegetables and honey. But my honey has all crystallized and my potatoes are sprouting. I have a pantry with a temperature system that I can set 60-75ºF. Or I can leave the system off and the temperature will stay about 50ºF since it’s on a cement slab. The room also has a dehumidifier. In addition to this pantry, I have a fridge, and a good sized deep freezer. And there are other areas of the house with different temperatures. So, where…

my larder

It’s the end of another gardening season. My larder is as full as it’s going to get this year. I have vegetables stored in different locations: my freezer, refrigerator, and new food storage pantry. My new food pantry is separate small room just off our garage. Similar to a root cellar, we built it here since we have no basement. My husband build pine shelving to line the walls. With a cement floor it stays about 50 degree F like a root cellar, though we put a temp regulator in…

“sun-dried” tomatoes

I have an inexpensive vegetable drier. It is great. We cut up and dried down two big bowls of tomatoes. At 135 F, most were ready after 12 hours, a few went about 5 hours longer. We packed them into several pint and half pint jars and covered them with olive oil. In the past, these have kept 6 months of more in the refrigerator.


An hour or so after Skippy died, my husband came home from work. My mother in law was visiting. We worked together, talked, cried. We made and canned bread-and-butter pickles, dilled beans, raspberry jam, and bottled 50 lbs of honey. The next day we dried 4 pints of tomatoes, and donated 30 lbs of squash to the local food pantry. I have to stay busy.

bread and butter pickles

My cucumber harvest failed miserably this year (beetles), so I went by our farmer’s market and bought a big bag of beautiful picking cukes. They smelled so good. Since I’m out of my garden onions already, I got onions. And some enormous red and orange peppers. I followed the recipe for Bread-and-Butter pickles in the book “Food in Jars” by Marisa McClellan (a really nice new canning book). They are delicious! Spicy and crunchy with a bit of sweetness.

pickled peppers

I started with about 4 lbs of mixed hot peppers:     Jalepeno pepper, Emerald Fire (a new AAS winner)     TexMex pepper, Joseph E Parker     Poblano, Ancho 211 I cut these in rings and canned them according to directions in the Ball Home Preserving book. They are delicious. Nice and hot! I only wish they didn’t loose so much of their bright green color. I wonder if they retain it more with a pressure canner.