Saturday, August 25, 2012

This week's kitchen adventures

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.


Nikki said...

You are doing great! I don't know if you guys do a lot of fruit smoothies or not, but I've been throwing my frozen bananas in them and it works great.

Michele said...

Wow, Debra, how do you find the time for all of this? Did you grow all those tomatoes? Thanks for your "recipe", sounds yummy!

Debra said...

Nikki! Bananas in the smoothies! Duh!! Thank you!!

Michele -- I did not grow the tomatoes. I bought a box from Bountiful Baskets last week, and got a few others from a friend. I have a lot of tomatoes in my garden... I'm hoping they ripen around the middle of next week (Labor Day-ish). I'll have to start covering them at night otherwise.

I'm guessing at this point that I'll have quite a bit to process at that point too.

Anyway, as for time, I don't have time to do anything fancy. :)

Kate said...

It is so neat that you do this. I know I should, but I don't. I am starting to store up more in my pantry though, slowly buying more things to have on hand should we need it. You encourage me!