Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas
Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Putting Food By . . .
That's what my grandmother called it as each summer she would fill jars (from little to big) with the summer's bounty. In earlier times, it was the winter food supply but in grandmother's time, it was a luxury not a necessity.
Jars of jelly that shined like gems, jars full of vegetables in all colors of the rainbow, and jars and jars of pickled vegetables.
My mother canned as well -- she bought and put up a bushel of green beans and a bushel of peaches. The grapevine in the back yard provided fruit for jam for the winter, and the pear tree provided pears which she made into what she called "pear honey". They were treats to us and the beans were saved for winter Sunday dinners while the grape jam was always on the breakfast table.
I've canned (and frozen) for the winter as well and like my mother and grandmother, it was because I wanted to not because I had to.
But I haven't really done anything for several years other than pesto.
And then in the last couple of weeks . . .
I bought a peck of crabapples when we visited Daughter Sarah in Minneapolis. Bought for one purpose only - to make into a crabapple jelly!
Crabapples make great jelly and all you need is the fruit and sugar for the crabapples themselves have enough pectin in them that, when cooked properly, will cause the juice to jell.
It's a pretty pink jelly for you cook the crabapples with the skin . . . and a peck of crabapples made . . .
three jars of jelly. Considering that the crabapples cost $11.25 and there is cost of sugar as well -- each of these jars is worth at least $4 which doesn't even consider my time! They are not "gold" but are close to it! We shall, however, enjoy these little jars this winter and I'll think of autumn when I spent an afternoon with the jam kettle boiling . . .
And besides the crabapples, at the Applefest, we also bought regular apples. Red Barron's (which I've never heard of). Bought not for pies nor for jelly but for applesauce!
It's easy if you use the oven method. It freezes well and it is absolutely the best applesauce. I'll never buy canned sauce again!
It made a nice quantity -- enough for dinner, enough for breakfast (for it's really good with yogurt) and enough to eat as luncheon dessert. Two jars were put in the freezer -- for those winter days when we have pork chops.
Not bought at the Applefest nor even at the Farmer's market, but a gift from a friend was a flat of Roma tomatoes . . .
Some of which we roasted . . .
For oven roasted tomatoes are almost, almost as good as sun dried tomatoes and can last a while in the fridge. Roasted tomatoes make a really good caprese salad for the roasting intensifies the tomato flavor.
We ate caprese for dinner and I served luncheon guests caprese as well. The remainder are in the fridge -- for we'll have another caprese this week!
I didn't have enough pans to roast all of the tomatoes so with the remainder, I made . . .
Marinara sauce. Three quart jars. One of which was used immediately for eggplant parmesan. The other two were put in the freezer for quick meals.
It always gives me a warm fuzzy feeling when I "put food by" through either canning or freezing. That I am providing well for my family.
We'll enjoy the fruits of my labors during the next few months as I pull a jar from the pantry or freezer.
Since it's Monday, I'm joining Yvonne at Stone Gable for Menu Monday. Stop by Stone Gable and see what everyone is fixing this week!