Thursday, September 10, 2009

Food Resolutions

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!

1 comment:

  1. We have two gardens-the "Big One" at the farm has beets, turnips, peas, beans, corn, squash, pumpkins, cantaloupe, and at least 10 tomato plants. The garden at our house in town is mine and Son's garden, where we plant purple beans, eggplants, multi-colored carrots, asparagus, winter onions, and flowers.

    My kids love green tomato bread. Daughter wants me to freeze a couple so she can take it to school for her Christmastime birthday. Fits in very nicely with the school's wellness policy-healthy snacks and all. Right now I have an 8 foot counter full of tomatoes in a technicolor array of limey green, watermelon, and smoldering red. Hubby likes tomato/veggie juice, as well as "Norwegian" salsa-not too hot. There is a cabinet full of Italian and regular tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, stewed tomatoes...

    Hubby's uncle has a chokecherry bush on steroids in his backyard, so I think I have supplied half of my co-workers with chokecherry jelly and syrup. I NEVER liked helping with the canning when I was a kid, so I know my mom is up in Heaven, with her jaw on the floor, as she watches me can all this!