Tag Archives: freezing

Green Moms Carnival – Food Preservation

Welcome to the July Green Moms Carnival! I’m so excited to be hosting the carnival especially with Food Preservation as the topic because I think that food is one of the first ways that many moms choose to “go green,” by opting to eat seasonally and locally.  Once you’ve found your farmers you can learn to save money and enjoy that produce year-round by buying in bulk and preserving it.   Please take the time to visit each post!

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Food Preservation Basics

Tiffany from Nature Moms Blog gives a nice summary of different types of food preservation, along with some tips for getting started in her post Bringing Food Preservation Back to Our Kitchens.

Katy of Non-Toxic Kids (and my Moms Clean Air Force teammate) shares 3 Ways to Preserve the Summer Bounty.  Berry picking is a great way to teach your children where their food comes from and get some great pictures of ruby stained faces.  Katy also suggests pesto (yum!) and baked goods as ways to preserve.

Laura of Pug in the Kitchen shares tips for preserving food with little ones underfoot in her post Preservation: Pickles, Jelly and Sanity.  I’ve found that my canning has dropped way off (as in, come to a dead stop) since I had Joshua because big pots of boiling and a baby who wouldn’t let me put him down were not a combination I wanted last summer. 

Michelle of Green Bean Chronicles writes about canning, freezing, dehydrating, fermenting and not preserving in her post There is More Than One Way To Skin A… at The Green Phone Booth.

Canning

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There are so many different ways to preserve food, but many people think of canning first.  I have loved seeing the resurgence of canning in the past few years.  It’s hip to can! Can you believe it? 

Deanna of Crunchy Chicken, one of my long-time favorite blogs, contributed some fantastic canning recipes.  Just the titles make my mouth water!

Lisa from Condo Blues and Lazy Budget Chef writes about her first canning experience in I Canned Jam and Nobody Died.  There are so many people who are afraid of canning, but once they try it they realize how easy it can be! It’s blueberry jam, by the way.

Mary Clare from In Women We Trust totals up the return on a $20 seed investment in her post Can Yourself – Grow Money, Grow Friends.  You’ll be shocked!

Anna from Green Talk shows us how she has worked on Greening the Tomato Sauce Process.  There are great pictures to walk you through the steps of using a tomato press.

Linda of Citizen Green shares her tried and true recipe for marinara sauce in her post Use Your Garden Tomatoes in this Sauce.  It’s versatile and can be canned or frozen.

For those of us with a pressure canner and nerves of steel, Jena from Married to the Farm tells us about Pressure Canning Green Beans.  Don’t be scared!

I want to also share a few of my own favorite canning recipes from here at Farmer’s Daughter:

Freezing

Photo Credit: Laura from A Pug in the Kitchen

Lisa from Condo Blues and Lazy Budget Chef shares step-by-step tips on How to Freeze Fresh Tomatoes, for those of us who are a little too scared of the pressure canner.

Zoie at TouchstoneZ shares various ways to make organic strawberries from the local farmer’s market last and finds making freezer jam is even sweeter with her kids and a little reggae on the side in her post We’re Jamming.

Anna from Green Talk walks through the steps of Cooking Pumpkin and Squash for Easy Winter Storage.  She reminds us not to forget the seeds!

Karen from Best of Mother Earth explains that while she doesn’t do a lot of preserving, she does cook from scratch and makes sure not to waste the leftovers in her post How Do You Preserve Food?

Emily from Live Renewed shares a step-by-step tutorial for freezing fruit, along with a neat tip for pitting cherries, in her post Preserving Summer’s Bounty – Freezing Berries.

Lori of Groovy Green Livin shares how to find, freeze and thaw blueberries, as well as their health benefits in Preserve Summer: How To Freeze Blueberries.

Diane from Big Green Purse Blog shares a step-by-step tutorial on how to freeze tomato sauce in her post Make Your Own Delicious, Organic Tomato Sauce. Here’s How.

I love to freeze sweet corn for use in soups, stews and cornbread throughout the year. 

Drying/Dehydrating

Deanna of Crunchy Chicken shares Drying Herbs for Idiots.

Beth of My Plastic-free Life shows us how to make dried apple slices and fruit leather in her post Dry Summer Produce to Keep Through Winter Plastic Free

Mama Bear runs through a pro/con list of dehydrating in her post Kitchen Adventure: Drying Strawberries.   She outlines how to use the oven to dehydrate food.

Cold Storage

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Jena from Married to the Farm shows us how to store carrots throughout the winter in her post How to Store Carrots, and Save them for Seed

Dairy

Deanna of Crunchy Chicken shares:

Marci of Down on the Farm has two grass-fed Jersey milk cows and is in my opinion an expert cheesemaker! Check out her how-to’s:

Do you know what kefir is? I didn’t until I read the following two submissions. Now I want to try some! I have one question, how do you pronounce “kefir”?

Micaela of Mindful Momma‘s husband John shares how he makes homemade kefir in his guest post Kefir Madness.  Can I just say how cool it is that there’s a DAD joining the Green Moms Carnival?

Jen of Puddle Jumping shares her very low-maintenance kefir making system in her post Easy Homemade (Refrigerator) Kefir. I’ve gotta get me some of that kefir.

Baking in Bulk

Betsy from Eco-Novice shares her recipes for baking in bulk and freezing, which means she can have homemade food in a pinch!

Miscellaneous

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Deanna of Crunchy Chicken shares Homemade Rosolio and Candied Orange Peels.

Brenna of Almost All the Truth shows us how to reduce food waste and eat more of the green leafies with her post Getting Greens with Organic and Fresh Green Smoothies.

Phew! What a huge carnival! There were a grand total of 45 submissions! (Unless I counted wrong, my eyes are tired from all this typing!)  I want to send a special welcome to our new participants Marci, Zoie, Brenna and Jena.  Jena is a VERY new mom to her son Kent. Congrats Jena!

Thank you everyone for joining the Green Moms Carnival! Next month’s topic is Back To School and will be hosted by Micaela of Mindful Momma. The deadline is August 4 so get writing!

Please join in by sharing a link (or two, or a few) to your favorite food preservation post.

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Filed under Adventures, Food, Living from Scratch, Local Agriculture, Recipes, Sustainable Living

A Look in Our Freezer

christmas-tree-006When we bought a new freezer this fall, I was worried that it was way too big and we’d never fill it, even though the freezer of our refrigerator was full with veggies, homemade stock, and fruit waiting to be baked into pies.  In the last two months, we’ve filled it up the new freezer quite a bit. 

We have fish that Ed and his brother Chris caught over the summer.  We both love blackfish, and that’s mostly what’s in the freezer.

We have 3/4 of a pig.  We just got back the smoked hams, bacon and sausage, in addition to the pork chops, roasts, ribs and tenderloin.

We have 1/8 of a cow (we split 1/4 with Chris and Melissa).  Lots of ground beef and some roasts and steaks are just waiting to be thawed and cooked.  We just got the beef from Ed’s cousin John and his wife Kris.  They moved from Ed’s hometown to upstate NY to try to make a go at raising beef.  Ed and I are really happy that we got the beef from them because now we know where more of our food is coming from and we’ve gotten away from industrial beef.  Not to mention the fact that we’re supporting a small family farm.

In the future, we hope to be able to get even more of our food locally.  My family and our garden are able to supply almost all of the produce we need.  Ed and I are also planning to plant some fruit trees in the spring.  Ed’s family is planning to get more pigs next year and add turkeys into the mix.  Ed and I are even discussing getting some laying hens someday when we build our barn.  I’m not a big fan of chickens, but I do like eggs.  We’d also like to build a small greenhouse off of our barn for me to start seedlings and grow even more fresh veggies all year.  We can dream, right?

I’d love to hear about changes you’ve made (or traditions you’ve continued) to eat locally.

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August 18 Challenge Update

Wow did last week fly by!  I know this week, getting ready for school and our party, will go just as fast!  I spent all morning today working on school stuff: syllabi, website, summer reading test, activities.  I still have to finalize and burn CD’s for my AP students (to save paper handouts) and go in to photocopy what I need to have on paper.  I’m taking a little timeout to post a couple of updates on my garden-related challenges.

Plant something.  

  • nothing this week

Harvest something. 

  • parsley
  • chives
  • yellow squash
  • crookneck squash
  • tomatoes
  • sugar pumpkins
  • butternut squash
  • spaghetti squash

Preserve something. 

Prep something. 

  • cleaned out the pumpkin, squash and cucumber plants that were decimated by bugs, to get ready for a fall planting

Cook something new.  

Manage your reserves.  

  • organized the freezer, again, after I messed it up to make room to freeze berries

Reduce waste.

  • continue to recycle, compost, carry reusable bags, and limit packaging

Work on local food systems. 

  • groceries from my family’s farm market
  • visited the Durham Farmer’s Market

Learn a new skill.

  • How to freeze pie filling in a pie pan

The Growing Challenge

Yesterday afternoon, Ed and I got to work doing what we’ve been talking about for a couple of weeks now, ripping out one whole side of our garden.  We harvest everything we could before we removed the bug-ravaged vines.  We got 7 sugar pumpkins, all in the process of turning orange, 4 spaghetti squash, and 2 small butternut squash, which are sitting on our deck right now in the sun, ripening up.  As we were picking the pumpkins, it seemed like time goes so fast, and we just couldn’t believe these grew so quickly.  It feels like we just planted the seeds.  Ed’s going to bring home his dad’s small rototiller today, and this week I’ll get to work planting spinach, broccoli, turnips, and more lettuce.  Anybody have any advice on what will grow well in fall/winter in New England? We’re talking about building a cold frame eventually, and the thought of having our own lettuce all winter is just great!  Our tomatoes continue to ripen little by little, and there are still very many green ones, so we’ll hopefully have them well into September, barring an unusual frost.  I have to say that even with the trials and tribulations and droughts and bugs, I’m so happy that we put in our veggie garden.  The sunflowers are so beautiful and healthy, towering over the little garden, and they make me smile every time I look at them.

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Filed under Food, Gardening, Home, Local Agriculture, Outside, Sustainable Living

Peach Raspberry Crumb Pie

I had some leftover pie crust in the fridge from my last pie, and needed to use it up.  It was only enough for a bottom crust, so I decided to make a crumb topping.  Ed and I were both pleased with the results!  I doubled the filling recipe and froze one pie’s worth, which doesn’t take that much time, since you’re already peeling and slicing the peaches.

Peach Raspberry Crumb Pie

  • dough for one-crust pie
  • 5 cups peeled, sliced ripe peaches
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 heaping Tbsp flour

Crumb Topping

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • dash cinnamon

Line the pie plate the the pie crust and crimp the edges.  Combine peaches, raspberries, sugar and flour in a large bowl.  Pour into the crust.  Combine all ingredients for the crumb topping, using your fingers to mix until crumbly.  Top pie with topping, and bake in a 350°F oven until the fruit is bubbly and the crust is golden brown.  You probably want to put it on a tray to prevent drips in your oven.

If you want to freeze a pie’s worth of filling, double the recipe for the filling.  Line a pie pan with foil, then pour half of the filling in it.  Freeze until hard, then remove from the pan, peel off the foil, and store in a gallon-sized freezer bag.  For a picture, see my post about freezing peach pie filling.

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Filed under Food, Local Agriculture, Recipes

Independence Days Update, July 28

Plant something.  

  • too rainy last week, didn’t plant anything…

Harvest something. 

  • parsley
  • basil
  • pickle cukes
  • greenbeans
  • yellow squash
  • crookneck squash 
  • chives
  • my first couple of (small) tomatoes

Preserve something. 

Prep something

  • Ed built shelves and hangers in the garage.  We organized our gardening stuff.

Cook something new.  

  • maple/mustard breaded baked pork chops (my invention, but forgot to take a picture… I’ll post pictures next time)
  • bacon and onion pizza using Chris and Melissa’s onions
  • Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe from Animal Vegetable Miracle)

Manage your reserves.  

  • used some of the pesto I froze earlier this summer 
  • organized freezer

Reduce waste.

  • reusable shopping bags
  • Sigg water bottle 
  • made pickles out of the plethora of cukes from our garden and Chris and Melissa’s garden

Work on local food systems

Learn a new skill.

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Freezing Corn, Part II

The other day, I wrote about how to freeze corn, but due to how busy I was with the surprise party, I didn’t freeze it then.  Today, I took advantage of the scorching hot weather outside by staying in and freezing two dozen ears of Butter and Sugar from my family’s farm.

I also tried out a new method that I saw Rachael Ray using on TV to cut the kernals off of the cob.  She took a large bowl, turned a small bowl with a flat bottom upside down inside it, and rested the cob on the small bowl.  When you cut the kernals off, they fall right into the big bowl (and not everywhere else).  I found that I could cut up about a dozen at a time before having to empty the bowl, and there were minimal kernals on the floor, counter, and me, which made me really happy that I tried this technique, because when I freeze corn, it’s usually a very messy project. 

Here’s a picture of the big bowl/little bowl set up.

And here’s a picture of the 7 bags (2 cups each) of corn kernals that I got!

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