With all the glorious produce coming in, the work of preserving it all begins. My freezer is beginning to fill, the pantry shelves are getting crowded, crocks are 'brewing' in various stages all over my kitchen counters, and a root cellar is in the works (yes!).
I've been getting lots of emails about preserving food these days. I learn so much more about it all every year, and am hardly an expert. But there's an abundance of resources out there, and I thought I could at least direct you to my favorites.
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Websites & Blogs:
~ This year, I'm about equally dividing between the amount of food I've frozen, canned, fermented and will store in the root cellar. Deciding which method to use for what depends on a lot of factors - space, ease in canning, taste, time, and well, whim, too.
~ I have a basic granite ware canning pot with a rack that I use for boiling water bath canning. Last year, wanting to can more stocks, soups and tomatoes, I added this pressure canner to the mix (I loooove it).
~ And oh, the dreaded canning jar lid dilemna. With Bisphenol A found in the lining of the metal lids, I've been making the transition over the past two years to the Tattler reusable lids. Choosing between BPA and plastic doesn't seem ideal...but for now, that's what I'm going with. There are the gorgeous all-glass lidded Weck Jars, which I'd love to use, though the number of them I'd need makes it a bit cost prohibitive. What about the old style glass lids? I use them for storing dry goods in the pantry, and for short term refrigerator use, but not canning.
~ Avoiding plastic in the freezer? Yes, use glass! I've had one jar break in five years of doing so, and it was entirely user error (ahem). Just be certain to leave a little head room for expansion on liquidy things. Oh, and let hot foods come to room temp before placing them in the freezer.
~ I've been doing - and loving - more fermented food preserving and eating. Oh my, heavenly quick and easy pickles and kraut! To that note, I'd add the following two books: Nourishing Traditions and Wild Fermentation. (I picked up some lids for old crocks I already had, found here.)
~ Oh yes, and a root cellar is on it's way for all those beets, squash, carrots and potatoes. Using the great advice in Root Cellaring, we'll be tweaking our existing cellar to make something work. It's a 200 year old Maine farmhouse basement, for goodness sakes. Surely, this won't be the first winter potatoes are stored down there!
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I think I'll save some specific recipes on individual crop harvests in for future posts. Wouldn't that be fun? I think so. Stay tuned for that. For today, though....if you have a favorite book, blog, website or thought to share about preserving food, please do so in the comments for all to read!
Happy Preserving Days to You!