I've been pretty busy in the kitchen here lately. Trying to get things stored up, as I have the chance.
Today I have a couple main projects. I am canning about 15 pounds of tomatoes. I end up doing it as a chunky sauce, which makes it something I can use in a lot of different recipes. I basically use it in place of diced tomatoes. What I love about it is that it isn't really a lot of work. I saute some onions and garlic, wash the tomatoes, cut out the stems and any bad spots, and just cook it all. For a long time. And then I use a blender on 1/3 to 1/2 of it. I put it into quart jars, add a touch of lemon juice, and pressure can them. I could do water bath canning, but at my altitude, why bother?
I am also freezing broccoli and cauliflower. Those are simply a matter of washing them, chopping them, blanching them (put in boiling water for about 3 minutes, then plunging into ice water. I lay them out in a layer on a cookie sheet, freeze for an hour or two, then I pack them up into nice serving sized bags.
I froze seven over-ripe bananas, for use in banana bread, muffins, or pancakes. That was my easiest project.
Earlier this week, I canned six pints of medium salsa. Yumm. I also froze four packages of broccoli and three packages of winter squash. And I made a quart of limeade concentrate. That didn't exactly get stored though...
I also experimented by drying some kale, which I crumbled and put into an airtight container. I'm planning to add a bit here and a bit there -- to spaghetti sauce, eggs, soup, or whatever else strikes my fancy. Here's hoping that works, because when we get kale, we always get more than I can store fresh.
I'm hoping to stay busy this coming week... maybe I'll try to update next week too.