Monday, August 22, 2011

Squirreling It Away

I know my list of what I want to preserve this summer (crossed out the ones I did):

1.  approx. 20 quarts tomatoes
2. 1/2 bushel apples into sauce
3. 6 dozen corn
4.  pesto
5. 1 batch Simply in Season salsa
6. half-batch pimentos
7.  sour cherries
8.  blueberries
9.  approx. 18 boxes strawberry freezer jam
10.  approx. 8 quarts dill pickles
11. 1 batch apple chutney (Simply in Season)
12.  1 batch pizza sauce (Simply in Season)
13.  mint jelly

Compared to last summer, this is light.  But added to my job this summer, it's a lot.

Got my 6 dozen corn last week.

 The children husked it with me, and Ben stayed around and asked to help more.  Yes, please!

On to tomatoes and peaches this week.  I only got a peck of peaches, so I think I might just freeze them instead of hauling out the canner.


Jennifer Jo said...

You must have some pretty late nights, I'm guessing?

sara said...

Busy, busy, do you fit all that preserving in, and a job too, it confirms what I always believed........we are all Superwoman without even realising it.

lily x

Margo said...

JJ, not really. I only have a job 2 days a week. But I was thinking of your insane amount of fruit that you preserve - and wondering why you do it, how you have enough energy. I mean, my peaches this morning turned out a measly 3 quarts and a pint (I still have some from last year).

Theresa said...

How do you make grilled okra? I've never had okra but I acquired some that I need to cook and I'll probably get more tomorrow (we're partaking in a friend's CSA share while they are on vacation).

Margo said...

Hi Theresa!
I just wash the okra pods, dry them well, roll or brush them with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Then I lay them on a hot grill, turning occasionally, until all sides show grill marks and the pods seem softer (10-15 minutes - maybe?). My kids fight over them!

Polly said...

Wow! To me it looks like a pretty hefty amount! How did you decide 'how much' to do? Is it based on consumption...or the produce you are getting...?

Margo said...

Polly, it's both. In May, I counted what was left from last year, both in the freezer and canning cupboard. Then I guessed amounts I thought we would eat and made the list above. I've been keeping notes since 2008 so this helps with quantities, start to finish (see this post regarding my notebook:

But I do add things as I go along based on what I find - today I got local bell peppers at market 4 for $1, so I'm going to chop and freeze them.

Christian - Modobject@Home said...

Considering your part-time job (in addition to a full-time job!!) I'd say you're doing great. Tell me... how do you freeze your tomatoes? We have them coming out of our ears and I must do something.

Deanna Beth said...

Have you ever posted how to do the pimentos?

BLD in MT said...

Tis the season! We made pickles this past weekend. I am eagerly awaiting the tomatoes.....

Happy canning!

Margo said...

Christian, most of my tomatoes will be canned as whole tomatoes (peel, push down in jars, process for 30 minutes in water bath). The rest I will cook down as pizza sauce and then also can salsa (I use the recipes in Simply in Season).
But I saw a post on a friend's blog where she peeled the tomatoes (dunk in boiling water, dunk immediately in cold water, rub the peel off with your hands) and froze the whole tomatoes. She will use them later to make sauce.

Another easy-peasy way is to puree the tomatoes, skins and all, in a food processor or blender. Either freeze the puree for sauce later, or cook it down (even with Italian herbs) for ready-to-go sauce.

I think if you just chop and freeze the tomatoes, the skins will be nasty hard bits when they thaw.

I hope this helps! Shoot me an email if you need to discuss more.

Margo said...

DB, yup, the pimentos and the cheese are all here on this post:

Christian - Modobject@Home said...

Yes, very helpful. Thanks!

Theresa said...

Well, having never eaten okra before I have to say they weren't bad. I like my veggies grilled or roasted, so I think that was a good choice. Sadly my kids didn't fight over them... But if they had fought over them you'd have to pick me up off the floor right now. Thanks for the idea!