My cupboards and freezer are starting to fill with garden bounty – and I’m LOVING the sight!
The past few weeks have been very tumultuous – as a family, we have not only been dealing with the sudden and shocking death of my Grandfather, but also the clean-up of his house – which has not been a small job. While I haven’t been able to be there to help with the major week-day efforts, I have been down on weekends as much as possible (since he fell and ended up in the hospital) and as a result, the garden has been largely ignored.
With the exception of watering, I’ve done very little other than pick things, here and there, until this week. Last Sunday I came home from Mum & Dad’s house with a plethora of tomatoes. I then picked all of what was ripe in my yard and last Monday I really got into the guts of starting to process some harvest. First things first, I made up some roasted tomato sauce – SUPER easy – the recipe was found and piloted by my Mum and can be seen on her blog about Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce - Mum's blog is called The Messy Gardener.
I had long booked today (Monday the 18th of August) as a vacation day – and so was looking forward to a three-day weekend that would allow me to get some things that I have been neglecting around the house taken care of. Friday night after work, I picked all of my pears. They are now divided up – half (the larger ones) are in a paper bag (with a couple of apples to help speed the ripening process) on my kitchen table and the other half is in a basket, also ripening, but at a slightly slower rate. The second set will be made into pear butter a recipe for which, I found online, and the first set will be for fresh eating (YUMMY!) and canning – I’m going to make light syrup for the canning ones, and I’m going to try out another recipe I saw on line for that one…
|Pear tree - pre-picking!|
|Ripening in a Brown Paper Bag - with Apples to help|
|The Rest of the Pear Haul|
Friday I also got to meet up with my Mum & Dad for lunch – and they supplied me with more tomatoes (yay!) as well as a HUGE bag of green beans and a couple of ears of corn! After I picked the pears, I cut up all of the cherry tomatoes (for drying) and got the dehydrator going.
|Getting the Dehydrator Loaded|
And canned it all.
While the tomato sauce was cooling, I turned off the dehydrator and packaged up the dried tomatoes…
I also stewed up the previously frozen Damson Plums and got
them all stone and skin free… After that I quit for the day.
|All Ready to Make Sundried Tomato Pesto!|
Yesterday I had an out of town chore to look after in the morning…
Once home, though, I opted to get at the beans and look after the plums.
I chopped, blanched and froze two colanders’ worth of the beans – the third colanders-worth I decided to try my hand at dehydrating (for consumption in soups and stews through the winter. One colander is equal to about two cookie-sheets in the freezer – a cookie sheet vacuum sealed and frozen is 3 - 4 meals’ worth of beans (as a side dish)
|Beany Madness in the Kitchen|
|In the Freezer|
|Dried Green Beans|
Last night, before bed, I took out all of the rest of the applesauce from last year that I bagged and froze… I thawed it out overnight, added cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger to it and canned it up today…
On to the beans. Pulled them out of the freezer, bagged and vacuum sealed them – they are now in my chest freezer waiting for winter dinners!
|Frozen and Vacuum Sealed|