Getting through the winter on what you have grown this summer

End of summer is just around the corner, you are harvesting the last of your summer veggies, tomatoes, squash, herbs; what to do with it all? Dry it, freeze it and can it. I can usually get through to March with most of my vegetables and herbs from my garden.
Are you ready to get busy? Let’s start with the herbs
Basil, parsley and cilantro can be frozen. What I do is clip all the leaves off wash and dry with a paper towel or salad spinner. I really prefer the paper towel, I fill the Ziplock snack bags with enough of the herb for the dish I am making. I date each bag with a sharpie so I know when I put them in so I can use the oldest first.
Sage,oregano,thyme,and rosemary I dry in the oven on 170 F for about 40 minutes you can smell the herbs through out the entire house; it is wonderful! After they coolI put the dry herbs in jars labled and you are good to go for about 6 months. The thyme and rosemary I leave on the stems, for some recipes I like to tie them together in some cheese cloth ( bouquet garni) just to flavor then remove and when you have the stems still attached it makes it so much easier.
Let’s move on to some veggies, lets get those Carrots, peppers, squash, peas, corn and green beans this group will take a bit of time but you will be very happy in the winter time when you are looking for some vegetables for that soup, stew or side dish.
wash all vegetables, cut slice or chop your vegetables, bring a stock pot of water to a boil, drop squash in the boiling water for about 3-5 mins take them out with a slotted spoon drop them into a bowl of water and ice to stop the cooking process strain and dry , put them in ziplock bags dated and labeled and off to the freezer these vegetables will last up to 9 months in the freezer. I know it is late for berries and most fruit but if you hit the farmers markets you can get some peaches you can keep them 3 different ways, slice and peel them in half remove the pit and drop them into a pot of simple syrup with some ginger and a cinnamon stick cook until just tender you don’t want them too soft add them into a sterilized jar ( soaked in a stock pot of boiling water for 2 mins) before you seal the jar make sure you wipe the mouth of the jar with a damp cloth to remove any debris so you get a perfect seal, then you won’t run the risk of any bacteria growing. The other way you can keep fruit is by making jams 3 lbs of peeled and cut peaches or plums 1 1/2 cups sugar, the zest of 1 lemon and the juice of the lemon cook on low for about an hour ladle into the jars. both jams and peach halves once sealed should be placed in a stock pot of boiling water util the water just covers the lids for 8-10 mins remove carefully and let sit until cool. The third way would be to peel and slice drop in boiling water for about 3mins until tender remove with a slotted spoon drop into a bowl of water and ice to stop the cooking drain and pat dry freeze in a ziplock bag labeled and dated. Nothing like fresh peaches in the dead of winter. Yum!!
You can pickle cucumbers, onions, garlic, and fennel so good. I use the similar brine’s for all.
5 pounds small pickling cucumbers
4 quarts water
3/4 cup kosher salt
1 bunch fresh dill stalks
2 bulbs garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1 small fresh red chile pepper,
Soak cut cucumbers in water over night.Bring the water and salt to a boil, add all other ingredients in the jars add the cucumbers and then fill with brine, this makes 1 gallon of pickles.
Tomatoes my favorite, you can freeze and jar, I freeze the tomatoes whole in ziplock bags when I am ready to use them I take them out of the freezer and run them under luke warm water and the skins peel right off, I use them for soups and stews. Jarring the tomatoes clean and cut the tomatoes in 4 core and drop in a large stock pot cook for 30 minutes, run them through a food mill or a food processor ( be careful not too add too much at one time) add to a sterilized jar with a few leaves of basil seal. You will have put them back into the pot of boiling water for 10 mins so you can seal the tops if the tops don’t pop in the center they should not click when you push on them if they do you will need to seal them again with new lids. Let cool and store in a cool dry place.
By preparing these wonderful fruits and vegetables now you will be enjoying the fruits of your labor for many months to come. Don’t forget to feed your soil in the fall with your compost for the spring planting. Life is good when you can enjoy your produce through out the year. When you plant, grow, harvest and keep your own vegetables you always know where they have come from no added pesticides, nothing but clean earth!! Keep connected with earth it helps you stay grounded, healthy and strong Enjoy! Until next time my friends. Good night

About culinaryfusion

Certified Health Coach a real Foodie at heart, Menu planners, Kitchen Counselor, Gluten Free,Bringing families back to the kitchen table one recipe at a time. Health Coach guiding clients with a gentle hand to reach optimum health, fast safe and simple.
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One Response to Getting through the winter on what you have grown this summer

  1. yz94r says:

    Chef, I so admire your ability and enthusiasm to create all these tasty things. I grew mold on my tomatoes this summer. I never got to have that BLT I so wanted.

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