Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Harvesting and Preserving

 Reds and Yukons

Pickled Beets and Tomato Basil Sauce

Closer Look - HOURS of work for 12 jars
The best part about the Garden is the beginning and the Harvest. I could pick vegetables for hours. It's such a joy to see the abundance one seed creates. It never ceases to amaze me.

The Top picture are the potatoes that I grew from  Wood Prairie Farm in Maine. They were so good last year that I ordered them again and they didn't disappoint. 

Preserving is the best way to keep your harvest. BUT it is a LOT of work. I had a huge amount of tomatoes so I made a tomato sauce with toms, garlic, basil and parsley. Blanched, pealed and seeded the toms, cooked them down with the garlic, added the basil and parsley then cooled it for the night. The next day, heated the sauce up, got the jars ready by washing and sterilizing everything. Poured the hot sauce in and hot water bathed the 6 jars for 40 minutes (That's what Betty Crocker recommended).

Meantime - the Beets. They are extremely messy. The color gets everywhere - especially on your hands. Ok - first you boil the beets with the skin on - I can't remember for how long - If anyone wants the recipe, just ask. Then - while they are warm, you take a rag and just slip the skin off the whole beet. It's amazing - you end up with a beautiful, skinless beet - ready to slice. Boil the vinegar, pickle mix while your slicing the beets. Wash and sterilize those jars and fill the jars with the beets and then pour over the pickle mix. Process in the boil for 15 minutes.  Your entire kitchen will be purple.

So - for a recap on preserving. Started with the Tomatoes on Saturday, about 2 hours to clean and chop and cook down. Continued on Sunday, probably another 4 hours which includes the beets. So, it took 1 hour for 2 jars to preserve, My labor, lets say it's worth $20.00/hour - one jar, not including the seed cost, compost,  harvest, and fuel to get it home, it's value is over $10.00. Now - that should be some amazing preserves!

Thanks for stopping by.

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