When the veggie tide cometh, get thee to a cannery

When the veggie tide cometh, get thee to a cannery

So, anyone else out there feeling inundated with vegetables?

It’s a lovely time of year, really, when you open the fridge and see two and a half cabbages, eight summer squash, a couple of giant bags of basil, four (four!) cucumbers, some beets, some snap beans, and a green pepper. That’s what’s in my fridge right now. Oh, I forgot the tomatoes. And the leeks. And the chard.

Meanwhile, in the garden, we have loads of tomatoes, a frigging scary number of peppers (though they’re not red yet), an army of spaghetti squash and more cukes and zukes and beans and basil.

What does all this mean? It means I’m a lucky, lucky woman. In a world where many do not have enough to eat, I am fortunate enough to live with a positively embarrassing surplus of food. This is because we belong to a CSA (for the experience, the community, and the quite reliable supply of food) and we garden (for the joy, the satisfaction, and the pretty reliable supply of food). We know it’s too much. We do it anyway. And so I try to keep from wasting anything by canning, pickling, and freezing what we can’t immediately eat.

Under pressure!

Last year was my first year to seriously “put food by,” as the title of my hand-me-down reference book has it, and we enjoyed eating and giving away the preserved goodies all winter. In fact, we still have some salsa down there in the basement, I believe.

Given all that’s in the fridge right now, and fattening outside the back door, I clearly have my work cut out for me. I will make pickles with the cucumbers. We’ll make and freeze pesto with the basil. We’ll leave the peppers to ripen so we can make pepper jam with them when they’ve sweetened. If I’m really on the ball, I’ll make zucchini bread and freeze it if we can’t eat it this weekend. And, since I figured out the pressure canner last night, I now feel able to can the green beans.

Jump in with your food-preserving tips, folks! We’re all in this together.