Please excuse my blogging absence. I've been busy with a lot of projects, including preserving the food we've grown. Our garden was not as productive as I'd hoped it would be, but I've learned a few things to improve output next year. Still, though, I am grateful for a little land where I can plant seeds that turn into food for my family.
Our tomato plants did well, and I canned homemade spaghetti sauce and stewed tomatoes for the first time. Considering how many tomatoes I picked, I was a little disappointed with the amount of sauce produced. Next year I'll put in several more plants.
I did save the juice from the tomatoes I processed and ended up with a full half gallon. That stuff burns going down, so I figure it must be good for us!
Besides the tomatoes, I've frozen beet greens, green beans, snap peas, squash, and edamames. I've bottled apple sauce, apple butter, and apple pie filling. We've eaten yams and potatoes and beets. I've dried fruit leather and apple slices. The lettuce, onions, carrots, and strawberries have agreed to be happy outside. I even picked 13 cantaloupes just a week ago, and they are slowly ripening in the garage.
Now my weeks of preserving are over. This year I have a better sense of the gratitude felt by the pilgrims who had stores of food to see them through the winter. Just as they were grateful for the generosity of the Native Americans, I am grateful for my in-laws and four neighbors who shared their surplus with us and helped me process some of it.
Even Kent got in on the canning action. When his brother brought over two jalapeño plants loaded with peppers, he got inspired! Our friends came over a couple Sundays ago and helped us pickle the jalapeños with carrots and onions. While the peppers were processing, we enjoyed a tray of homemade jalapeño poppers dipped in strawberry jam. So good!
Now that my food is harvested, I can get back to storing up family stories on the blog. Stay tuned!