First canning project of the year!

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A follow-up to my strawberry-sourcing dilemma of last week: We were invited to come and pick all we wanted at our CSA, since their crop was about to finish up and they didn’t want to parcel out quarts for their shares anymore. I went down there and picked about three quarts. (Another follow-up: I did this with my daughter on my back in a Mei Tai carrier–my favorite new solution for gardening with kids. It’s changed my life.)

At home, I regarded these bountiful berries as a challenge. What to do with them? Making shameful amounts of strawberry shortcake was certainly tempting, as was simply eating them by the fistful, but I exercised some discipline and decided to preserve them instead. I found a recipe for strawberry-orange compote in this book (co-written by a former ABODE contributor) and made three pints.

It turned out well, though a little more citrusy than I’d imagined–I think I should have cut back on the O.J. since the orange I used was particularly juicy.

Meanwhile, in the basement, I’m confronting some of the less-successful canning projects of years past. There are the canned potatoes, which I preserved mostly just to learn how to pressure-can. Mr. Green Scene finds them unappealing, so we’ve never used them. There are many jars of mincemeat (a pie filling–I made a vegetarian version with green apples, raisins, and lots of spices). That stuff can be very tasty, but this particular batch didn’t turn out too well.

Some of this stuff is now two years old, as are a couple of bags of green beans in the freezer. What do you think, readers? Beyond the pale? I’m thinking if we haven’t eaten it by now, the best thing to do is compost it and get those jars back in rotation.

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