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Monday, July 25, 2011

Preserving your own food

There is something inherently satisfying about preserving your own food.  The ultimate would be to preserve food that you grew yourself, but we're not there...yet.

We ventured down to the Farmer's Market in downtown Austin on Saturday and bought a half bushel of fresh peaches.  Saturday evening we prepped them:  removed the skins and pits and cut them up.  Some were prepped for jam and some for just canned peaches.  We had to dig out the canning pots and supplies, but at least everything is under one roof these days!  And we got the propane two burner cooker set up under a new canopy on the back porch.  That canopy is a life saver from the scorching sun!  It was still hot, but without the sun roasting your skin and top of your head, and with a little breeze, it's survivable.  The advantage to this set up that you don't heat up the whole house boiling a huge kettle of water while canning.

And you'll be SO excited...I actually have pictures this time!!  We ended up with 12 half pint jars of jam and 11 pints of peaches.  Yay!

We started out with this lovely 25 lb box of peaches.

Here's the prepping in progress.

Prep done - ready to be made into jam and jars of peaches.

Here's our "supervisor" in the lid to peach box, keeping a close eye on our work.

Jars of jam going into the canner.

Finished jars of peaches and jam.

Peach cobbler for dessert!

"Supervisor" guarded the finished product all afternoon and evening.

We also have some progress towards being able to vermicompost again!  (aka have worms eat your kitchen scraps)   Check out the awesome three tiered worm bin my wonderful hubby built!  It's that beautiful?    We had worms in Colorado and because of the sometimes frigid temps, they lived right in the house.  They were in a corner of the living room and no one ever even knew they were there.  Here in Texas, they need to be indoors because of the extreme heat - especially right now as we hit day 40 of 100+ degrees this summer.  Ack!   If you maintain your vermicomposting bin properly, there is absolutely no odor or anything.  They are really quiet "pets".  They are not demanding, don't need to go for walks, don't need to go out to potty, don't need to be brushed, are very easy to maintain and simply amazing little critters. 

Now we just need some worms!

Oh! And we harvested two zucchinis and one yellow squash this weekend from the Little Garden That Could!  The beans are progressing nicely too.  We thought we had lost our two acorn squash plants.  They were doing well after transplanting and then suddenly cratered.  But they have a lot of "want to" because they are sending out new little runners and leaves and one of them is even full of little budding blossoms.  The pepper plants are taking their time, but they are getting taller and stronger every day.  The basil is just flat out of control!  It's a thing of beauty.  That has to be the happiest plant in the garden.

Well that's all from our little urban homestead.  Very productive and satisfying weekend.  Have you ever tried your hand at preserving your own food?

Until next time

1 comment:

  1. That peach cobbler looks wonderful! And so do all your jars of jam and peaches. I definitely have peach envy - it's one of my favorite fruits, but they don't ripen here until August or so. Please eat a piece of cobbler for me! :)

    Your husband did an amazing job on that worm bin. I bet he could sell those. Your worms will be living in style!