Well, last week (and half of this week) flew by and I didn't even get one post in! It's that time of year... fall! I love fall--the cool weather, leaves changing color, switching out our summer duds for warmer winter ones. Of course, the frugalista in me is loving not having to use our AC or heat. Woo-hoo for cheap utilities. Fall is also the time when I do a lot of our favorite foods are ripe and need to be preserved. I spent my time last week roasting, pureeing, labeling, freezing, and other sorts of prepping activities.
Here's what I preserved/am preserving for winter...
10 pounds of tomatoes-sliced, seeded and frozen-ready to be chopped for chili or blended for juice in a veggie or taco soup. If I can find a good deal on Romas, I'll probably do another 10 pounds.
Green Peppers-We have four green pepper plants that started producing a couple weeks ago. So, I washed, seeded, and chopped 8 green peppers-not a lot, but we don't eat a lot. I flash froze them and have them stored in a quart canning jar so I can pop open the freezer and dump the amount I need directly into my bowl, skillet or whatever. I hope to have a few more peppers, but it looks like we might get frost in the next couple of days, so we'll see.
7 pumpkins-I haven't frozen pumpkin ahead in past years. I usually just cooked one and made a couple loaves of pumpkin bread and called it a year. Well, since I ditched canned goods earlier this year and had no plan of purchasing an can of pumpkin if I decided that I needed some, I set out in search of pie pumpkins. Amazingly enough, a local grocery store had organic pie pumpkins for $1.29 each! The cheapest I had previously seen them was $.78/pound and they weren't organic. I snatched up 2 immediately (and a butternut squash) and roasted them. One pumpkin made the equivalent of 3 loaves of pumpkin bread and everyone gobbled it up. It was obvious that I needed more. I called Hubby who was on his way home from work and requested that he drop by and pick a few more up. He bought 5. Now I have enough pumpkin for 21 loaves of pumpkin bread-certainly enough for a whole year.
50 pounds of pears-Just when I finished the pumpkins up, one of my daycare grandmas brought me a HUGE box of pears, a little over 50 pounds (yeah, I weighed it)! Right now, they are on my deck ripening because they just aren't quite ready. I processed them too soon last year and still have a few jars of crunchy pears! LOL Hopefully in the next couple of days they will be turned into pear butter, pearsauce, canned pears and I'm going to try freezing some for pear crisp. That's an experiment, we'll have to see how that works out!
40 pounds of apples-These haven't arrived yet, but they are on my Azure Standard order. I'll make the standard applesauce, apple butter and sliced apples for future bowls of oatmeal or slices of pie, but I might also try my hand at making jelly and/or juice. Oh, and I'm sure we'll save some for eating as well. ;)
So, that's it so far. What foods do you preserve? What's your favorite method... canning? freezing? dehydrating? I'd love to hear about it.