A lot of us are trying to stretch our food budgets by growing our own or purchasing in bulk. Many are also joining CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) programs, which provide them with produce (and sometimes other items) throughout the growing season. To take full advantage of local food sources, we need to find ways to store food after harvest. This post will give you a brief overview of different home food preservation methods, and direct you to addition resources. Then you can decide which methods works best for you.
My youngest loves ketchup. I think he could almost live on salsa and ketchup, if I'd let him. This year we've turned roughly 130 pounds of tomatoes into salsa, and around 60 pounds into homemade ketchup.
When I make homemade ketchup, I generally use it as a means to use up all the odds and ends of tomatoes rolling around, such as excess cherry tomatoes or slicing tomatoes that have split. I'll put a pot on the back of the stove and keep measuring tomatoes into it over a day or two, slowly cooking them down while I'm working on other projects in the kitchen. (You could also use a slow cooker or InstaPot.) The taste of this recipe is similar to a popular national brand – no big range of added spices – but like most home processed products, the flavor is richer and deeper. You can really taste the fresh tomatoes, onions and garlic. [Read more…]
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fermenting Foods
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fermenting Foods by Wardeh Harmon is an excellent resource for both new and experienced fermenters. For those new to the topic, Wardeh provides detailed explanations. She walks you through the process from beginning to end, discussing the “why” as well as the “how”. For experienced fermenters, there are LOTS of recipes – you're sure to find something you haven't tried. [Read more…]