Saturday, June 22, 2013

Broccoli, strawberries, and beets, oh my!

Today was a preserving day (aside from a couple other outside projects). First up, pickled beets!

This is the bed after Jessica thinned it out. These ones will stay behind for table use. 

This is the rest of the content of that one bed, washed and topped but not peeled. Banana for scale. It's a big banana. That's my giant 16" flat bottom wok.
Here are the tops from those. A friend is going to dry them -- not sure what for. We do eat them usually but we've about had our fill for the moment -- and you see we have plenty still growing.

My sweetheart is a chopping machine! It would take me three times as long as it takes her. We only realized later that it's probably much easier to cook them whole and peel afterwards. Next time!

I do them really simple, with just a mix of red and white vinegar with a bit of sugar. No spices at all.
Into the process with you! Note that the tops are showing; I had to ad a bit of water. My little electric range has a hard time getting the big water canner hot and keeping it there. A propane burner is on the shopping/barter list.

This is what was left, bits and peels. I cooked it for 90 minutes or so and made a really thick dye. I think we'l barter it.

Now the broccos! Into the freezer with ye! Quart mason jar for scale this time. Some of those are a little blown out (starting to flower) but they still tasted really good.

Sweetie does the chopping work, I do the sweating work. I like to use our electric steamer for broccoli greens. Then an ice bath, a trip through the salad spinner, and into the freezer.

Neat trick I learned recently: to get more air out of a plastic zipper bag, close partially and immerse in a water bath, then zip closed.

9 quarts crowns, one quart stems, and a couple more of fresh to use in the next week.

And somehow I didn't get good pictures of the strawberry jam process. Jessica got a flat from a roadside stand. But here's the day's canned haul: 1.5 quarts beet dye, 7 quarts pickled beets, and 9.5 pints of strawberry jam. Yum!  Today sets a milestone: it has been a full year since we had any jam in the house that wasn't either made here or in someone else's home kitchen. And it's looking good for next year, too, plus some Christmas gifts!

1 comment:

  1. Good job for ye master gardeners. I love the way ye do the work. Mom said that was what they did on Grandpa Randall's farm--can, can, can!!!