I use many methods of preserving food from our gardens to keep us through the winter months and beyond. I freeze corn, broccoli, melon chunks or balls, grapes; can or freeze green beans; can peaches, pears and applesauce; pickle beets; make saurkraut in the jars; cool-store winter squash and sweet potatoes; and the list goes on .....
This year I am especially enjoying my pepper garden ...... just look at all the colors!
I cut these in strips for fajitas, mixed them with cut up onion, and tossed into freezer bags. Do you know how much this stuff costs in the stores in off season?? Peppers are so easy to freeze.
But they do take up room needed for other things, so ....
I also dehydrated some. This little bag-full came from a good-sized 3-gal pail of peppers!
My oldest daughter now has the dehydrator her grandmother had, an ExCalibur, so last year I bought a new one, same brand, both have 9 trays with a temp control and timer. Great dehydrator!
This morning I was up at 4;45, could not sleep , so I cut up some yellow squash ( great for adding to veg. soups) about 7 small ones, and started them drying.
I also added a sliced roma tomato on one shelf to see how it would turn out.
and there is the finished product. My hubby has also made a mean beef jerky using this dehydrator. That stuff is expensive to buy..... The thing is making sure to get the food dry enough, so mold and bacteria cannot grow.
We did not always have a dehydrator. Years ago I dried my onions, garlic and dry beans on old window screens and covered with cheese-cloth in the sun in the back yard. I hung my herbs from the rafters in the barn loft. Fruit leathers were dried in the oven. As for canning, I had a three burner hot-plate on a home-made stand on the front porch (way out in the country) and made my tomato sauce in a double boiler, one that covered at least 2 burners. One year I canned 700 hundred qts of produce, Well, gracious.... I had 5 children to feed! (#6 came along later) But I never canned that amount after....
We have also canned chicken, rabbit and venison. I may be canning hamburger this year to be able to shut down a freezer and save the utilities. As far as other meat we have also "salt-cured" hams from our home-grown pork... but thats another story ..........
and now I am off to work for a hour on the border of my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt. A restful end to a busy day!
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