Last week I shared my adventures in canning and freezing and provided you with a few of my favorite canning links. In addition to the pesto, pears and peaches, I have also stored several other summer/early fall treats.
When bell peppers reached a decent price at the farmer’s market, I bought them by the bag full. We now have red and green peppers and lots of broccoli tucked away in the freezer. Previous to this year, I had no idea there was a proper way to freeze foods and that some (broccoli for example), require further preparation other than the obvious chopping and tossing into the ‘ole ice box. Through Amanda, I learned about this website. It’s a fantastic resource on proper food storage from freezing to pickling. And speaking of pickling…
I made pickles! Two kinds actually. Classic dill and spicy sweet curry. The first batch was gobbled up so quickly that it was apparent more needed to be made, and back to the farmer’s market we went. I’m not a huge fan of the curry (thankfully Hubs loves them), but I am over-the-moon about the dill. I will probably never change this recipe. It’s perfection. Thanks Jaime and Jacinda!
Lastly, Hubs whipped up some home brew. An IPA to be exact. Using hops is considered preserving food, right? Right? Last night he transferred it from the carboy to the keg and in ten days the brew will finally be carbonated enough to enjoy. I’d link you to beer resources, but I’m not sure what, if any the Mister uses. I do know that he’s shopped here for several years and they’ve always treated him right. Oh, and last year we used the spent grains in homemade bread. Dang. Freshly baked bread with a subtle hint of hoppy goodness is to die for. Mangia!
Note: As Babe has gotten older, it’s become easier to incorporate him into the food preparation process (um. That sounds as if we’re going to eat our baby, but I assure you we are not.) Because you know he’s right there with us, curious about every little aspect of the prep. He enjoys mixing and tasting his “vegetable soup” (an empty pot and wooden spoon) and insists on having every utensil or vegetable named. This keeps him part of the process, teaches him about food preparation, and with every basil leaf plucked or tomato taken off the vine, it teaches him about where our food comes from. It’s not always easy to take a moment to stop what I’m doing and explain the process and I don’t always do it, but with every explanation, I can see the little wheels turning. We’re hoping this approach instills a love of gardening, good, nutritious food, Mother Earth and making meals a social, familial event.
I’m curious, do you have a kitchen helper? How do you include them in the process, from start to finish?