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Preserving the Harvest - 2014

Monday, August 04, 2014

As some of you know, I have started growing a garden each year and doing my best to preserve the harvest. This year we planted 16 tomatoes, 4 jalapeno peppers, 1 chile pepper, 2 banana peppers, 6 yellow squash, 6 zucchinis, 4 rows of pole beans (disaster), 5 rows of corn, some cucumbers, some pumpkins and some watermelon (that isn't producing - yet). I've been putting up veggies for weeks with the help of my daughter and this past weekend, we spent one full day (with lunch and dinner breaks) doing a LOT of canning. It seems to all happen at once, but I also purchase some things when I can find a really good deal - this time peaches and lemons. I had bought the lemons at the store for something else and never used them, then a friend went to an orchard and got a great deal on about 30 to 40 pounds of peaches. So, I had peaches and lemons to process along with about a pound of jalapeno peppers, MANY pounds of tomatoes, LOTS of corn and about a pound mix of chile peppers and banana peppers. Here's what we made:

11 pints of peach salsa

6 half-pints of jalapeƱo pepper jelly and 6 half-pints of lemon vanilla jam

11 half-pints of peach pepper jam

9 pints of corn salsa

My daughter took home 2 large bags of tomatoes (10-15 pounds at least), the bag of mixed peppers, 7-1/2 cups of chopped peaches, 2 limes, the leftover cilantro, some cherries I bought for her and an Avocado, along with some of the canning tools she doesn't already have. She's going to make and preserve Amaretto Peach Butter, Pickled Peppers and Tomato Sauce while I work and she gets ready to head back to college for her senior year. She'll use some of the cilantro with the Avocado and lime for some tasty Guacamole for dinner one night this week.

My daughter's a great cook and a big help when it comes harvest and preserve time. We did a lot of salsa early in July, then we made our first batch of Peach Salsa (4 pints) two weeks later along with 14 half-pint and 4 pint jars of seasoned tomato sauce. My daughter also took home a bunch of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers in between those weeks (I was sick). She made a bunch more salsa (17 pints) for us along with some pickled peppers and pickled cucumbers.

Along with all this, I've been freezing zucchini and eating squash almost every day. I love my garden! I get great food and fitness minutes too.
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