Sunday, August 24, 2008

how a locavore eats local all winter

Canned peaches on the Hoosier cabinet
by canning of course! we are now full swing into canning season. i did make some strawberry jam and freeze blueberries earlier this summer, but in the last week i've increased my panty inventory by leaps and bounds. i canned some green beans last weekend. then my friend beth elder with terre verde farms came over this past tuesday and we canned corn and peaches.

we had good success with the corn, although i did find beth's missing basket, the next day, full of corn in the utility room frig. oops. so thursday after egg orders went out the door, i canned up the rest. we got a nice haul of corn and it's sooooo sweet! i have two large pressure canners so we did not have to wait for the pressure canner to cool down before we popped in the next batch. very nice.

A bushel of peaches, quickly disappearing!
we canned peaches too, about 1 1/2 bushel's worth. we canned up sliced peaches and made peach jam. after beth left, i decided that i didn't want to go through all the hassle of scalding, peeling and slicing the rest of the peaches, so i opted to make peach butter instead. i washed and cut up the peaches, put them into a large stock pot and cooked them for about 15 mins, while mashing with a potato masher. i then scooped out the cooked peaches and ran them through my kitchen aide food strainer/mill. this cuts out sooo much work! i put the peach puree and juice back into the pot and cooked it down for about 12+ hours until it was nice and thick. i put the peach butter in cute litttle 1/4 pint jelly jars and canned it up in a hot water bath. i ended up making two batches of peach butter. it's so yummy.

i love having a full canning cupboard. canning is my prefered method of presserving the local harvest. i do freeze many items too. sometimes i both freeze and can the same vegetable or fruit, since the tastes and textures are a little different and i may prefer one

Beth slicing peaches
method over another in a recipe. grandma beno's green bean soup HAS to be made with canned green beans, not frozen beans. i need to save all the freezer space i can this year to make room for the meats for our winter csa, so canning suits me well this year.

sabrina, my new canning friend, is coming over monday to can whatever is ready. i'm not sure what that is yet though, so i'll have to take a look this evening. cameron says there is more corn availalbe, but we just might make salsa instead. maybe we'll can up some of those old stewing hens i have in the freezer. they make the best canned chicken!

if you are puzzled by how you are going to eat local this winter, i suggest you "can your own" and start squirreling away whatever you can get your hands on. you can can just about anything, even complete dinners. if you don't know how to can, it's not so hard. there are plenty of resources available online or you can come to my canning workshop on thursday sept. 6. see the side bar for details.

here is one week's worth of canning efforts!

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