While inspecting our stores and planning this year’s garden, we’re making a mental list of things to preserve in the coming season:
– Freezing peas — One of the earliest tasks; as with tomatoes, we can’t imagine not having some stored away year-round.
– Canned tomato sauce and paste — There was a year when there were no tomatoes because of Late Blight, and now we can tomatoes in two-year cycles to ensure we’re stocked. We’ve still plenty of jars of crushed and whole tomatoes, and catsup; we’re out of tomato sauce, and tomato paste is low.
– Sweet pickled cherry tomatoes — For when the freezer’s already stuffed full of the season’s roasted cherry tomatoes, this pickled version’s a nice alternative. We tried these initially last year, and they were the first of our pickle stores to vanish.
– Lacto-fermented salsa — Another one of our staples, it’s easy to make a jar at a time when tomatoes are in season, and gets better with age. We adjust for spiciness when we’re ready to use a jar, and add some chopped up (defrosted) jalapenos to taste.
– Freeze ratatouille — The vegetables for ratatouille (zucchini, eggplant, and peppers) can be frozen on their own, however, we find freezing up batches of ratatouille a more convenient way of preserving them. Using Julia Child’s recipe, the vegetables retain texture and hold their shape, and we discovered it makes for a terrific Pasta al Forno.
– Fermented kimchi and sauerkraut — We’ll be ready to replace the couple of jars of these left in the fridge by the time napa and head cabbage reappear at the farmers’ markets. We’ve heard there are varieties of cabbage particularly suited for making sauerkraut, and keep meaning to add napa cabbage to the garden list.
• Approximate Yields for Canned and Frozen Fruits and Vegetables
• How Much Canning Do You Need for a Full Year?
• How to Plan a Farm and Garden to Feed a Family
• Growing a Garden for Canning