Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Preserving the Harvest

There has been a lot going on in the kitchen. It is just that time of year. The harvest has begun and with it come the preserving and canning. It is wonderful to see the empty pantry shelves being filled with all this summer goodness. Even better is knowing how much we will enjoy this bounty when the New England winter is upon us.

First up was quarts and quarts of Roasted Tomato Soup. This is a family favorite and I'm not sure I could ever have enough in the pantry. The goal is to have at least on jar per week. So far we put up 15 quarts, a little short. Luckily the tomatoes are just coming in. So I'm sure there will be lots more.

Dill Pickles is another family favorite that I can't seem to make enough of. I made our favorite recipe and then also made a batch of the Dill Pickles from the Ball Blue Book of Canning. The little jars of dill pickle chips on the end were a last minute addition with the left over cucs and brine. We'll see how they turn out. I've never had good luck with chips staying crisp. And who likes a soggy pickle?

Three pints of wild blackberry jam! Oh how good these will be on toast of fresh baked bread in front of the wood stove. Almost makes me wish for winter mornings, almost. The blackberries are still coming into it. So I'm sure there will be more in the days to come. Of course we will also freeze some berries for pancakes, muffins and such. We are so blessed to have a couple large wild patches in the forest behind our home.

There has also been lots of zucchini! We made this chocolate zucchini cake recommended by Suzanne over at Blueberry Cottage. WOW! It was amazing! And the best part everyone liked it. And that is saying a lot since I have a hard time finding deserts that we all like. We will be making this one again. Along with zucchini bread and frittata. Good thing my friends garden is over flowing with zucchini. I'm shredding and freezing as fast as she bring is over.

Then there are beans becoming dilly beans and three bean salad as well as quite a few bags just slightly blanched and frozen for dinner veggies. And of course we have been making my favorite summer green bean dish. Just realized I have never shared this recipe. I'll have to keep you in suspense a little while longer. Promise I'll take pictures the next time I make it and share. It is so yummy!

Oh and if you've ever wanted to try your hand at making your own ketchup this is the best! Everyone around here loves this ketchup (scroll down a bit). So much better than anything you can get at the store. So you can bet I'll be making up a bunch of this.

This time is so busy in the garden and kitchen. I feel like the kitchen is never clean for very long. But truly I enjoy the hours on my feet with the steam from the canner billowing. Come January I be heating water just to get the chill out of the kitchen and eating blackberry jam and tomato soup thankful for the time spent during late summer.


  1. All your preserving looks wonderful. Pickles and tomato soup are also top of the list here but I aim for a jar a day for tomato soup! This coming season I'm aiming for around 100 jars minimum of soup! That's truly how popular it is (winter lunch nearly every day) and I also use it in any recipe that calls for a tomato puree.
    Happy preserving

  2. You've been busy with canning. I didn't get to too much this year. Only have done jam so far. We made the same zucchini chocolate cake a few weeks back & was given rave reviews by all who ate it.


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