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Thursday, September 15, 2011

On the bright side... pickles ♥

One of the unexpected "bright sides" of still having to drive my son and daughter to their jobs is that I am able to swing by the community center to glean some fruits and veggies a couple of times each week. These must be eaten and/or preserved immediately or else the goats and hens find me extra generous with their treats.

Originally, I had planned on buying a couple dozen canning jars to put up some of the veggies from our garden. But, my sister was given about six dozen jars, which she did not need, so she kindly passed them on to me. Free is the best "coupon" of all! My plan is to "put up" salsa, marinara, apple pie filling, and dilly beans. I am also going to freeze some apple cidar to enjoy through the winter months.
I was hoping to find more green beans today. The batch of dilly beans I made last week did not come out so well. Upon closer investigation, I strongly suspect I forgot to add the canning salt to the first batch so currently, my 10 year old is the only one willing to eat them. Having tried them myself, she is more than welcome to them!

I did not find green beans, but I did get enough pickling cucumbers to make 7 quarts of dill pickles. I decided to use my Grandfather's recipe for the beans, slightly modified to accommodate using cukes. My husband and I prepared them together. I tasted one slice from the first jar before sealing them; it was absolutely delicious. If they are as yummy completely processed, I will share my recipe with you all.

I like the feeling of putting up foods in the basement cupboard. I like how they look; all in delicious rows, just waiting to be opened and enjoyed. I like the thought of following time honored traditions of preserving foods to care for my family. I like smell of dill and of apples in the house. ♥

Once again, I froze all of the breads for a later use- except the blueberry bagels my husband will be eating for breakfast tomorrow and possibly Saturday. I am planning on adding the green peppers and tomatos to those I grew in my garden this year as the main ingredients of some homemade spicy salsa. Can't wait!

♥ Sonja

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