Friday, September 17, 2010

Food Preservation 101

Ahh, it's that time of year when the garden is brimming with fresh produce and time to plan out how to preserve the most of my bounty for those long winter months. 

Wednesday morning I roasted a big batch of Anaheim chiles and seeded and chopped them and put the pieces into an ice cube tray, filled it with water and froze them.  When I want to cook up chili with it this winter I can pop a cube or two right into the recipe.  I may get one more batch before the frost, but it of course depends on when the frost happens.

I ordered my new food dehydrator and it got here today.  I had an old one that I picked up at a yard sale a few years back and last summer I worked really hard at prepping garden tomatoes and had it totally full.  Overnight it wasn't hot enough and half the tomatoes molded.  I took the whole dehrator out and threw it away with the rotten tomatoes still in it.  Now I have a nice new one so I can dry a bunch of the tomatoes that are ready to go.

Tomorrow I will also pick up my latest bountiful basket.  Bountiful baskets is a food co-op in AZ, UT, WY, CO, ID, NV, OR, TX, and WA where you pay $15 for a basket that is 50% fruits and 50% veggies, 6 different types of each.  I have participated for about 4 baskets now and have enjoyed feeding my family all that fresh produce at such a great price.  The first basket I did I tried to comparison shop at the grocery store, and using very conservative estimates figured that at the least the basket would have been $26 pre tax at the store.  Bountiful baskets also has special "extras" for each pick up.  Tomorrow I will be getting a 20lb case of peaches for $10 so I will be preserving a lot of peaches this weekend.  I plan to can peach slices and peach jam.  Since I have the dehydrator I may also make some fruit leather, and my husband would like a peach pie!

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