Thursday, September 16, 2010

Summer Yields

The long summer is finally coming to an end. Our garden is mostly dead, the heat of August usually torches it here in the South, but we have a few herbs still alive, a few bell pepper plants with flowers on it and the cayenne pepper plant--an accidental purchase--still growing like mad.

I wasn't able to can much this summer, I've been down and out with morning sickness. But I was able to make one batch of strawberry freezer jam. Just enough to get us through the winter.

Last week I made pear sauce (instead of applesauce). A friendly neighbor gave us a bag of pears from their yard and I wanted to try something different this year. Last year I canned them, but they weren't a big hit with the fam. In fact I'm still using up pears in smoothies whenever I can sneak them in. We love applesauce and so I decided to try some pear sauce. It was really easy to make, but the grocery sack of pears only made 3 qt jars which I decided wasn't enough to process, so the jars went into the deep freeze.

With our excess of cayenne peppers, Mountain Man made some pepper flavored vinegar. All he did was chopped the tops off and put them in a jar, then filled the jar up with white vinegar. If we'd had cute jars it would've made a great Christmas present. Maybe I'll keep my eyes out for fancy vinegar type jars and use the rest of my peppers for some cayenne vinegar gifts.

I still want to make salsa this year if I can find a good and inexpensive source for tomatoes. We can't live without salsa and we all prefer homemade to store bought.

What fruit and vegetables did you put up this summer?


Ami said...

Our garden was a complete bust. But, I have been gifted plenty of tomatoes by a first-time-farmer, freshly retired aunt. Love her! Have "sun" dried tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato quarters, tomato sauce. Dehydrated green, red, and yellow bell peppers. Dehydrated plenty of summer squash.

Next up: Green beans and carrots for stews and pot pies through the winter. If the baby doesn't come first, we'll get to go apple and pear picking at the local orchard for sauce.

The leader said...

Our garden was growing fine... until "morning sickeness" turned my stomach on it. We still managed to freeze a couple gallons of zucchini, some peppers, corn, and can some tomatoes, salsa, and jalepenos, and of course the obligitory pickles. All from our garden. Canning tomatoes i managed to land in the ER for stitches on my hand though... so i'll try to not repeat that next year.

Canned peaches from a local grower, and a a friend brought me a sac of apples that will be turned into applesauce in the next week or so. Overall, with kids ages 1,2 and 3 at home, and another one on the way, i'd say it's been a pretty productive summer.

Hmm. Thanks for making me think about it. Guess i'm ok for another nap and $5 pizza for dinner. :-)

Anonymous said...

Our garden was slow to start and about half as productive as last year. Pizza/pasta sauce, tomato/mango salsa, plain salsa, peach/tomato salsa, and diced tomatoes with chiles that I use when I make chili. Can you tell we like salsa? Bread & butter pickles, peaches, dried apricots, Dried zucchini. Dried apples, Still lots of apples to can and sauce. Never-ending but so happy to have the food.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I don't miss the morning sickness! LOL Now I have daughters and daughters-in-law with that complaint!
Peppers of just about any sort do well in hot conditions, and usually get really productive toward the end of the season.
Melt some red Hots candies and add a splash of marachino cherry juice to those pears and the kids will eat them up.

Amy McPherson Sirk said...

We put up a bushel each of purple hull peas and sliced peaches, 7 jars of corn cut off the cob, only 3 jars of english peas, 7 jars of black raspberry jam and 6 of peach butter. Now I have pears from the neighbor's tree. I like to can them in a light syrup with some candied ginger. Oh, and a batch of salsa, although we've already eaten most of it.