Cooking from the Plot: Preservation Season

It’s that time of year, the pressure canner has taken up residence in my kitchen, the freezer is full, there are jars everywhere. Welcome to August, the month the garden is out of control and I’m struggling to find things to do with it!

Last year, I did a lot of fruit compote, pesto, and froze other fruit but the vegetables we got through just eating. This year, we froze some rhubarb but didn’t can any, I made loads of cordial from the rhubarb and drank it. I’ve made blackcurrant jam, and apple butter and this weekend will get to Ma’s current favourite of plum and raspberry compote, there are blackberries and blueberries in the freezer with an unseemly amount of plums. This weekend, I’m also going to make more plum gin because I need some freezer space back.

I’ve also canned 17 jars of chopped tomatoes, made a batch of tomato jam, pico de gallo and tomato sauce. Cherry tomatoes are prolific for us at the moment but the big tomatoes are slower, so I’m expecting that in the next couple of weeks, I’ll have enough to do some more pico de gallo and some more tomato sauce.

I made kale pesto last year and we preferred that, so I’ve only just started to make pesto but the kale grows all through winter so that’s something we can do as we go. I slow cooked a bunch of the summer squash with oil and butter, added seasoning and blended them into a ‘butter’ they are in pots in the freezer for use in soups, pasta and whatever I can think of in the winter. I really need to find another way of using up the squash, it’s tricky because you can’t safely can it and I’m limited on freezer and fridge space. Next year, I’ll have that extra fridge freezer and I’ll pickle and maybe ferment more, but that’s not gonna work for this year, so I need to use as many as I can and I may have to take the space hit and grate the rest up to freeze for use in soups and baking.

In the fridge there are currently four jars of cucumber pickles and a jar of roasted tomatoes in olive oil, I’m going to more of those with basil and freeze them, because I have a feeling they’d be great on pizza or as an extra on garlic bread!

When you write it down, it doesn’t sound like much but when you’re doing it, it’s a mission but Ma and I spend a lot of time and money on the allotment growing this food and it would be stupid to waste that time and money on not eating the food. So I do this…

About nicdempsey

Erm...
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