After what seemed to be a very long spring and early summer with no food preservation, I’m finally hitting peak season. I did a Preserving Traditions workshop that yielded 161 pints of goodness, split among participants. Since the event ended up being far smaller than I’d expected*, I got to be a “participant” and bring home about 20 pints of diced tomatoes.
Then today, I was joined by a friend from work and a newly-met neighbor, and we did another 49 pints of diced tomatoes and sauce. They grew all the tomatoes, and they were much better quality than the ones I’d bought last weekend. Next Thursday, I’m going to another friend’s house and we’re doing salsa. The jar total that day should be pretty high; I’m expecting 25 pints of salsa from that. At this point, I probably have too many plain tomatoes and not enough salsa, so I might convert some plain to salsa at some point. Or just sit on the plain, even if it takes 2 years to go through them.
We’re almost done with corn freezing, too. Scott and I have the Corn Dance down pat. We both shuck, then we get a pan of water boiling on the stove and a pan of cold water in the sink. He cooks and cools the cobs, and I cut kernels off the cob and pack into freezer bags. We can do two dozen ears, from shucking to clean kitchen, in just over an hour. That usually yields around 6 pounds of corn kernels. With tomatoes, corn, and salsa done, the “must-do” food preservation will be complete, except for the root cellaring, which is as easy as putting baskets of stuff in the basement. Though, um, I should evict some spiders from the root cellar first, I think…
I also plan to experiment with canned pumpkin cubes this year. My squashes are in the 20-pound range this year, so finding a way to store them after they’re cut will be important. I know I can freeze it, if nothing else. Might try canning some corn, too. Green beans were a total bust; home-canned don’t taste any better than store-canned, imo.
* So, the Can-A-Thon was kind of a bust. Only one team and 5 individuals signed up. Not sure why; I think partly it’s because the Tomato Glut hasn’t hit yet, and partly because people didn’t want to host things at their house in conjunction with a (semi)public event. Next year, I will probably just arrange a couple of distinct work spaces and assign people to them. Or simply find some other way to get lots of food in jars – perhaps an event or two at a commercial kitchen with commercial-scale prep machinery.