Whimsical and Homespun Art Creations with a Little Rural Living Thrown In

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Preserving The Garden Produce

The garden vegetables have been rolling in.  Let the blanching and freezing begin! :)  I've been picking green beans for some time now, but they are starting to slow up a little after the heavy rains.  Although we have eaten them with dinners, I have still managed to blanch and freeze 4 quart bags full of them and might end up with a few quarts more.  My son only planted a few rows this year, so I think that they did pretty good.  This years garden was kind of experimental.  We tried a smattering of different things.  Then we can decide which items to put more in of next year, and where they will be placed.  The green beans are a hit, so there will definitely be more rows next year. 

The green peppers have been very sluggish.  The high wind storm really took its tole on them.  I find that the green bell pepper plants are a heartier variety for our soil.  The multi colored varieties are just sitting stagnant.  I have been chopping up those that were harvested and flash freezing them on a cookie sheet.  So far, I have filled 1 1/2 quart bags.  I hope that the plants will come out of their funk to produce a few quarts more.  I definitely will buy more of the green bell variety next year.  During the winter months, I add green peppers to a lot of my main dishes.  Yum!

I haven't planted jalapenos in years, but it sounded good when the kid and I were purchasing our plants.  The three little plants in our garden just love to grow!  Here is the first pickings.  My initial inclination was to freeze these little guys, but I have many other items to fill my freezer with before the snow flies.  So, my other option was to string and dry them.  Don't they look pretty?  I can't wait to pick some more.  They add some spice to my decorating as well! ;)

My greatest success so far was training my cucumbers to climb the corner trellis.  They just haven't wanted to do it in subsequent years.  The first ones that were picked were long and skinny.  I almost thought that they needed to sit on the vine longer, but after tasting one, I knew they were ready for a recipe.  There were three cucumbers in the first picking, so they were turned into bread and butter pickles.  Since there wasn't many cucumbers, I found this recipe to make a small batch in the microwave.  How crazy is that?  They were a hit with my family.  Next year the garden will see more cucumbers, and you'll find me canning some bread and butter pickles!  I hated these as a child but love them as an adult.  Mmmmm... :)

If you are interested in the recipe for the microwave bread and butter pickles, they can be found here at All Recipes.  They really taste great and come in handy for a quick batch. 

The tomatoes are just starting to turn a reddish orange color.  I only planted six of these.  My family is not big tomato eaters.  Salsa use to be a big hit, but even that has lost its appeal.  There are some squash vines growing like crazy and some eggplant.  We have never eaten egg plant, so it should be an interesting adventure.  The three plants are covered in flowers, and there are six baby eggplants already growing.  I will have to look around for some recipes. ;)   My rhubarb is having a long growing season with 6 quarts cubed in the freezer, and another pile of stalks waiting to be preserved.  I see some strawberry rhubarb freezer jam in my future... ;)


Lee Prairie Designs said...

Yummmmmm! Don't you just feel good when you can or freeze your "crops"!!!!

Thanks for sharing!

Carolyn :)

Brenda said...

Hello Carolyn... I have been so busy this week catching up with my garden. It isn't very big, but it sure is producing a lot of veggies. It will really get crazy when my son starts harvesting his area of sweet corn! Got to get that done before the apple picking begins. The work will definitely pay off this winter. :)