How to Store Root Vegetables

As part of my deep love for gardening, I have always been interested in how to properly store, process and preserve the bounty of produce we bring in each summer. One method we tried out, with great success, was storing root vegetables in our basement.

Root cellars are fascinating, it’s amazing how well a cool, dark location can extend the shelf life of your produce.  I’ve done a lot of reading on different methods – from building a separate, underground root cellar, to how-to’s for basement storage.  Our basement is below ground, cool, with some moisture, making it ideal for storing. Continue reading “How to Store Root Vegetables”

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Canning Recipe: Peach Slices

This was our first year canning peaches, and it couldn’t have been easier. The peaches have held their sweetness, shape, and texture quite well, much to my husband’s delight, as peaches are his favorite fruit.

We did freeze some peach slices, but it is my understanding that canning preserves their natural sweetness better than freezing them. This recipe is easy, and creates a light syrup that does not overwhelm the peaches’ natural flavor.

Continue reading “Canning Recipe: Peach Slices”

Blueberry Mint Jam

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This recipe is simple, easy to make and takes very little time. I developed this recipe while looking for ways to use up the abundance of blueberries we had harvested.

The syrup has the warmth and sweetness of the blueberries, with the refreshing and cooling under tones of mint. This is delicious on waffles, english muffins, toast, shortbread cookies – anything you can think of! Continue reading “Blueberry Mint Jam”

Strawberry Preserves

As I recently shared, my husband and I took our two-year old strawberry picking for the first time. We harvested a little under 30-lbs of strawberries, all from a local farm that offered a relaxing, quiet picking session. The berries were so delicious, bursting with flavor and dripping with sweet juice!

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We enjoyed eating them fresh, often unable to eat just one, and put up four pints of whole strawberries in syrup, to be used for pies, tarts and other fun desserts.  The other recipe that we tried out this year was for strawberry preserves, and we were able to can (5) pints of it. The preserves are sweet and jammy, but still feature the bright freshness of the strawberry, accentuated by the lemon zest.

Continue reading “Strawberry Preserves”

Taco Pickles

I love tacos – who doesn’t, really? I think that most of all, I love the extreme versatility of this food – you can put anything in a taco, load it up with whatever toppings you want, and enjoy. My husband and I love doing “taco night” with our family, and enjoying multiple types of tacos, mix and matching the toppings for different combinations.

That being said, Taco Pickles are definitely something you’ll want to add to your next topping bar! It sounds a little strange, pickles on a taco? But these are not your ordinary pickles! This recipe makes a pickled mix of jalapenos, radishes and carrots that comes out zesty, tangy, and spicy. I love adding it to fish tacos, as the bite of the vinegar compliments it so well. But I’ve used it on vegetarian tacos, venison tacos, shredded chicken, you name it!  Continue reading “Taco Pickles”

Balsamic & Black Pepper Beets

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Beets: the often under-appreciated root vegetable. I have always liked beets, but it wasn’t until I added them to my garden this past year that I feel completely, hopelessly in love with them. Sure, they’re not the easiest vegetable to eat, certainly not compared to the snap peas and green beans we snack on right off the plant, but they’re worth the time spent roasting and peeling them. Continue reading “Balsamic & Black Pepper Beets”

Canning: Diced Tomatoes

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We have been blessed with a very successful gardening year. Our gardens are bursting with fresh produce – tomatoes, peppers, carrots, snap peas, green beans, beets and radishes. Our zucchini didn’t fare so well with the endless, pounding rain storms we had for nearly two weeks straight, but our butternut squash, pumpkins and gourds have held on and are loaded with ripening produce. Continue reading “Canning: Diced Tomatoes”

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