preparing for canning

 
 
I just weighed up my tomatoes and hot peppers – I have 15 lbs of tomatoes and 4 lbs of peppers ready to go. I need to pick up some lemon juice or citric acid tomorrow at the store and the I’ll get going on the canning. It should make about a dozen jars of tomatoes. I’m following recipes from the Ball Home Preserving Book: Crushed Tomatoes and Pickled Hot Peppers. At the other end of the kitchen, my dehydrator is humming away. I have a tray of Thai hot…
 

potatoes in storage are sprouting

 
 
I’ve been storing my potatoes in the kitchen since I have no basement or garage (yet). Its usually 65-70*F in here, and warmer sometimes. Potatoes are ideally stored at 35-40*F for long term storage. So I plugged in a small refrigerator, sorted my potatoes by variety (I have All Blue, Burbank russet, and Yukon Gold), found three old mesh vegetable bags I saved, bagged them up and popped them in the fridge. This reminds, me – I should go check on them now…. they’re good. I ended up with SO…
 

vegetables in my larder

 
 
While rearranging shelves where I’m storing my winter vegetables, I spread out everything on the patio. Suzie even posed too! I have metal shelves in the dining room for storage now, but am looking forward to building a storage pantry in the spring.
 

canning pears

 
 
I thought I’d never finish! I canned a big basket full of Kieffer pears. They were perfectly ripened. I canned them in light syrup, some in pint jars and some in 12 oz jars. I added them t my counter top with pickles, sauerkraut, relish, compote and now canned pears. I think this is the last canning I have for the season.
 

tonight’s food preservation

 
 
– Can 7 pints sauerkraut – Process and can 13 pints pear port compote – Roast, skin, seed and freeze 4 bags of chiles
 

chiles drying on my windowsill

 
 
These are a mix of hot cayenne and Thai chiles. I pick them when their shoulders are fully red then spread them on plated to dry. These thin-skinned chiles dry nicely even in our relatively humid New England weather. It takes several months for them to dry.
 

making pickles!

 
 
I don’t have much experience making pickles, but I’m putting up as much as I can this year. I got the Ball Home Preserving Book (edited by Judi Kingry & Lauren Devine). In the past couple weeks I’ve made: Dilled Beans End of the Garden Pickles Grandma’s Dill Pickles Not from this book, I’ve also made: Blue Ribbon Dill Pickles Annie’s Salsa Half Sour Pickles Deli Style, these were too salty for us and went to the compost My favorite pickle recipe so far: NY Times Sour Pickles, a fantastic,…
 

imagining a new pantry for storing vegetables

 
 
I have this vision of a pantry full of stored homegrown vegetables. Shelves full of canned pickles and tomatoes. Baskets full of winter squashes and potatoes. A fridge with carrots, beets and cabbage. And a freezer with pesto and red sauce. Onions, shallots, garlic and dried chili peppers and herbs hanging from the ceiling. And jars of dried homegrown herbs on the shelves. In our old house, I used a section of the basement for my winter pantry. Some years I filled it up pretty well with potatoes and squashes.…
 

pickles

 
 
I processed a dozen of my cucumbers (45 harvested in the past couple days!). I made deli half sour pickles using this recipe: Half sour pickles deli style. A little modification, I substituted coriander seed for black pepper since my husband is allergic to pepper. They’ll be ready to start eating in 3 days.
 

January larder

 
 
I have a pretty minimal larder this year. Mostly because I spent more time cleaning the house and seeding the grass so we could sell our house last summer. The good news is – we have a beautiful new home. And the bad news – I have to go to the grocery store a lot more than I’d like. I have a good supply of garlic – I got that crop in the ground before we started the home-selling stuff. Its really nice, with big cloves and holding fine (even…
 
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