Putting up

For the first time in six years, I didn't make plum jam this year.  When we sold our little yellow house, the plum tree went with it, unfortunately.

That said, I have found some wonderful fruit and a little time to put up a few things this summer and fall.  Here's what's new on my shelves.

Applesauce. I manage to make about 40 pounds of organic akane apples into applesauce.  It's the easiest kind of preserving ever.  You chop, cook, and run them through the kitchen aid food mill, then pop the containers of pink sauce into the deep freeze.  We ran out last winter.  Not going to happen this year!  I think I have close to 35 cups of sauce put away.  Plus, another 20 pound box of apples just for eating set aside in the cool of the garage.

Peach chutney.  I made this with peaches that friends brought us from Eastern Washington, inspired by a recipe that I found in a new book I acquired this summer, "Canning & Preserving with Ashley English." You can check out the book and her blog, which often has some great information about homemade living, here.  I have a feeling this chutney will taste great with baked brie.

Apricot Jam.  I made two batches.  One using super juicy Mt. Pleasant organic apricots from Tonnemaker Farms.  We are pretty much in love with this jam and have already begun depleting our supply.

Then we made a quick trip up to Merritt, B.C. earlier this month to help Byron's dad purge his house of furniture and other items he won't need once he moves to Seattle.  (The plan is to move him down sometime in the beginning two weeks of November.)  In any case, we managed to bring home some of the season's last Okanagan apricots, and I made more  jam, which gives us an ample supply, such that we can now share.

That's about it for the putting up.  If I'm lucky, I'll find time to make some more pickled green beans this fall.  They seem to get eaten up quickly whenever we open a jar.

In other news, we've also been doing a lot of eating up.

As nice as it is to have preserved foods, there are some foods you really must eat fresh from the garden to capture the flavor.  Lately, we have been harvesting and enjoying tomatoes. I bought several plants from a local woman who grows them from seed that her uncle cultivated many years ago -- she calls them Uncle Wilfred's tomatoes.  They are an heirloom, open pollinated variety.

I estimate we've gotten close to 12 pounds of small salad tomatoes from our plants already.  And the vines are still heavy with fruit.  The other day I roasted some with salt, pepper, and olive oil at 300 degrees for about two hours.  They turned into these amazing, caramelized tomato flavor bombs.  We tossed them with pasta and devoured.

Food like this really makes one grateful for taste buds.  Seriously.


Alex said…
Whoa, two kinds of apricot jam! That's my favorite. Perhaps we can work out a trade. We might still have some plum jam.

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