My husband and I really started to get into the "grow your own" movement this year. Not only do we have chickens that supply us with organic eggs, but we have a lot of fruits and vegetables growing on the property as well. We've had a lot of them in the past, but I must admit that I was overwhelmed with "what do you do with this". A lot of vegetables rotted on our kitchen table, drawing flies and oozing liquids. You can only make so much zuccini bread before you go insane. I felt so bad that so much food went to waste.
I resolved that this would not happen this year. I'm happy to say that aside from some zuccini and cucumbers (which we fed to our chickens - go "free" chicken feed!), we've done a lot with our food this year. We've made several batches of tomato sauce, plum sauce, jams, pickles, relish. I'm proud to say that we processed every single plum we could harvest. I'm particularly proud of the plum-raspberry jam.
It is a bit runny - but the taste is outstanding. The bits of plum skin got really gelatin-y and are completely infused with this wonderful sweet/sour/floral flavor. I have to say it is my favorite jam thus far.
We're continually adding to our edible plants - we added hazelnut bushes, High Bush cranberry bushes, and currants. We hope to add elderflower bushes as well.
Every year, I am resolved to do more with the food that we grow/produce. I am getting much more comfortable with the whole pickling/canning/jam process. I must say, I was quite squeamish about it - having heard all the scary death stories of entire counties being wiped out with a batch of bad peas. But still, I continue forward looking at new ways to process and preserve our food for later months.
What are you doing with food this year? Are you gardening? Are you processing/preserving? Do you have a favorite? Do you have suggestions? I'm all ears!