Dried Onion Comparison

I dehydrated two kinds of onions this year, and I’m pleasantly surprised with the results! This summer, I diced several large onions (I forget if they were yellow or white) and dehydrated them. I’m forgetting the details; I think it was three huge onions (about 3 pounds) and it filled 6 dehydrator trays, which driedContinue reading “Dried Onion Comparison”

Salsa Recipes for Canning

It’s extremely important to use tested salsa recipes if you plan to water bath can them. With the mix of acidic and non-acidic ingredients, if you get the blend wrong, your final product could have an unsafe pH and harbor botulism. The problem is, most canned salsa recipes taste far too strongly of vinegar forContinue reading “Salsa Recipes for Canning”

Strawberry Rhubarb Yogurt

Every year we make big batches of strawberry jam and raspberry jam, 95% of which gets used to flavor Scott’s homemade yogurt. Today was strawberry jam day, and as per usual, we were wondering about quantities and comparing relative ease and price of different types of jam. Raspberry takes a lot less work than strawberryContinue reading “Strawberry Rhubarb Yogurt”

Apple Compote

It’s another great feral apple year! I improvised this dish two years ago when the tree branches were literally breaking under the weight of the apples and pears and I was able to glean literally all the fruit I could eat. This stuff tastes amazing on its own, and it makes a super-quick apple pieContinue reading “Apple Compote”

Sprouting potatoes

I have something like 50 pounds of potatoes sprouting madly in the root cellar! What should I do with them, besides plant them? On a side note, all of the Kennebecs are sprouting, but very few of the Yellow Finns are.

Review: Electric Canner

Wow. I think I’m turning into a gear hog. *chagrin* I keep buying things that are not, strictly speaking, necessary for home food preservation – but which I hope will help scale up home food processing to something above “one woman and a kettle” but not quite “$10,000 of commercial equipment on a small assemblyContinue reading “Review: Electric Canner”

Canning Squash or Pumpkin

I tried canning winter squash for the first time this week. I’m pretty pleased with the results. I followed the standard canned squash recipe, which explicitly calls for cubed, not pureed, squash.  I’m not sure why this is safer; I assume squash or pumpkin puree is too thick to distribute the heat through the jar. Continue reading “Canning Squash or Pumpkin”


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 bringContinue reading “Finally!”

Neighborhood Can-A-Thon

How many cans can local canners can? Let’s find out Saturday, August 27th during the Neighborhood Can-A-Thon! In 2010, 12 canners at the Grange canned 79 pints of salsa…this year, let’s blow that record out of the water bath! Sign up solo or with a team and bust out your ruffled apron or your batteredContinue reading “Neighborhood Can-A-Thon”

Chicken stock

Aaaaaaand…the canning of meat continues. This pot contains all the bird parts I’ve been chucking in the freezer all year, including some purpose-purchased (stewing hens, turkey back) and some leftovers from roasters. Browned the birds, covered them with four GALLONS of water, added onions, garlic, bay, and salt, and set it to simmer for aContinue reading “Chicken stock”

Oranges and lemons

Oranges and lemons a photo by espring4224 on Flickr. Canned lemon and orange juices, made from trees in Mom’s yard at her “snowbird” home in California

Canning beef

Last weekend, I found grass-fed, local chuck roast on sale and decided to pressure can it instead of freezing it as I usually do. Here are the results! Some of the beef (the jar on the far right), I canned by the raw pack method.  Basically, you brown the roast, cut it into thick strips,Continue reading “Canning beef”

Davebilt bulk nutcracker

If you’re into permaculture in the US, I bet you’ve planted hazelnut bushes.  Great understory crop – tasty nuts – hardy and fairly disease- and pest-resistant.  Have you started harvesting any yet?  Have you started cracking any yet?  If you’re like me, you probably are looking at shrubs just starting to produce and thinking “WhatContinue reading “Davebilt bulk nutcracker”

New (old) jelly cupboard

Ok, I’m perhaps inordinately excited about this Craig’s List find, but I’m so geeked!  Not only do I have a convenient place in the kitchen to hold my entire pantry’s worth of canned goods (home and commercial), but it’s gorgeous.  Don’t know the exact build date, but it’s over 100 years old and not aContinue reading “New (old) jelly cupboard”

Pimp my veggies

I would totally pay someone to wash and chop my CSA share. Various things spurred this idea. My recent decision to buy a share from the Harvest Kitchen next summer. Thinking about why I wouldn’t bother buying pre-made entrees from Making Thyme Kitchen, even though the concept is very similar the the prepared food CSAContinue reading “Pimp my veggies”

How much should I can?

Got an e-mail from a canning compatriot in Colorado today, asking Have you ever seen an annual family food budget that was set up for canning and freezing?   I mean, your August food budget looks much different than your Jan if you are putting up your own food.  You have to buy now to consumeContinue reading “How much should I can?”

Storage cabbage comparison

First, I apologize that I don’t know the exact varieties of these cabbages. I bought them at the market and didn’t/couldn’t find out the specific varieties. It’s obvious they have different keeping qualities, though. These were kept in the garage until it got below freezing, then moved to the breezeway (~50 degrees). The one onContinue reading “Storage cabbage comparison”

Welcome, Señor Porcus!

Naming our food is a long tradition in my family, starting with Boris the Bull, who I believed would cause my parents’ divorce (do YOU really understand how large a whole steer is? Yeah, us neither…). Last year we bought half a hog and named it Eric. This year’s participant has been dubbed Señor Porcus.Continue reading “Welcome, Señor Porcus!”

How to make old-fashioned pickles

I’ve just done a write-up of our pickling event for Preserving Traditions. Follow the link for instructions on how to make old-fashioned, lactofermented pickles. It’s really easy and oh-so-tasty!

Pickling update

I’m starting to think that maybe – just perhaps – I have planted too many cucumbers this year. I’ve never grown them before, and I had no idea what kind of yields, I’d get, so I put 3 “tomato” cages in a 3’x6′ bed and planted 2 cucumber plants (var: Little Leaf from Johnny’s) onContinue reading “Pickling update”

Make-and-take dinner prep

My mom (hi, Mom!) had a great idea that one of the Grange food activities we could do is a make-and-take entree prep night. I’d put together a menu of three more or less complete meals, using complimentary ingredients, and do the shopping. People would sign up for the number of servings they’d like. We’dContinue reading “Make-and-take dinner prep”

Checking out the Grange

At lunch, I met with Robin, the president of the Pittsfield Grange. It was a very cool meeting! They are excited to partner with us on the as-yet unnamed community food venture. The kitchen is large, and if the workflow layout isn’t ideal, there is at least a lot of counter space, big sinks, andContinue reading “Checking out the Grange”

Breakfast for the boys

“Stone the crows…” Originally uploaded by law_keven I finally finished the turkey stock from our feast bird – froze the stock, stripped the meat off the carcass, washed the huge pots – and then I dumped the bones, gristle, and such (plus some kraut that had gone bad) out back. When I woke up thisContinue reading “Breakfast for the boys”

Cheap fruit dehydrator

So I read about Alton Brown’s box fan food dehydrator and decided to try it with some apples I’d gleaned from local parking lots. I actually like it better than my food dehydrator! I peeled, cored, and sliced the apples with one of these, then spread them out on furnace filters. I actually put theContinue reading “Cheap fruit dehydrator”

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