Saving some Food

Even though I have failed miserably at gardening this summer, with the energy of the second trimester and a nesting mother, I have been trying to put up some food for our winter supply.  So far...

The women in my family, and my Dad and Granddaddy helped too, put up 87 quarts of corn. 36 of that was for my house. Boy, was it a lot of work. I could barely walk the next day (bad hips). We bought it by the bushel, 7 of them, shucked them, blanched them, cut them off the husk, and put them in quart freezer bags. It took us all day, but I'm so excited about having delicious corn already in my freezer for this winter. My kids made me very proud that day, they shucked right along with the rest of us. They turned it into a race, with two teams. Gideon wound up winning, but that's probably because he had me and my mom on his team. (We're much more competitive than my sisters on Eowyn's team.) Mom's kitchen was a mess by the end of the day, but we won't have to buy corn for a long while. (And it's cleaned up now anyway.)

Eowyn and I put up about 6 quarts of strawberries. We just washed them, cut them up, put them in quart bags, and added some lemon juice (to preserve their color), and froze them. We can use them to make jams, or pies, or anything we like.

Eowyn and Gideon (with some supervision) put up 10-12 quarts of shredded zucchini. Each quart will make us 4 loaves of zucchini bread. And we love zucchini bread. Esmond will terrorize any loaves I have sitting out. I'll find hunks missing when I've taken them out of the oven to cool. Little punk. I make it with coconut oil and maple syrup, and it is yummy.

I'm hoping, although I may be too late, to put up some blackberries. I've also got plans to try making pickles (again). So far I have always failed at making pickles because we eat dill and I have not been able to make dill that taste right. I've got Grandma on my team this year, so we'll see what we can do. Mom and I are also planning on putting up some peaches, salsa, and I think I want to do some tomatoes too. Maybe this is the year that I can really get good at putting up the food, and next year I'll grow it before putting it up. We do freeze a lot of the produce, instead of canning, which takes up energy and non-reusable plastic bags. Canning is very involved though and scary at times. I always worry that the things I've canned are bad for some reason. I do need to get over that, and trust the method. So we'll can the pickles and salsa. And I think I'm going to can the tomatoes. I use canned tomatoes quite a bit, to stretch things, so maybe I can replace those cans with my own.

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