Feeling ‘buried alive’ in tomatoes and peppers, cucumbers and of course, zucchini? Or canning like the next Ice Age is fast approaching? Yep, it’s August in Appalachia and the mounds of produce piled on tables by our Market vendors each week reminds us there is work to be done.
To help you enjoy this season of plenty, here are a few suggested websites to get you started. New to food preserving like canning and drying? Contact the local Extension Office for information on safe food handling. Always read the instructions on proper canning and freezing methods of various fruits and vegetables. The Ball® Blue Book has been the standard written guide to food preservation for decades.
If you’re like me and see everything in the garden as a potential pickle, then Serious Eats is for you. Check out 23 Pickle Recipes We Love.
No time to spare? Then take the fast way and freeze your bounty. This is a great site with plenty of photos and step by step instructions on freezing things I never thought were possible. Frozen avocados anyone?
Whenever our herb garden is starting to look like something out of the Little Shop of Horrors, I dash out with my scissors, trim back everything to a manageable size, and in a few hours in the dehydrator, I’ve got a years supply of thyme, basil, lemon balm, sage. And drying is the oldest and easiest method of food preservation. There are so many ways to use herbs not just sprinkled in our food but in vinegar, seasoning salts and rubs.
And yes, who can live without Pinterest.
When you’re at the Market, ask our vendors how they use or preserve some of their produce. Some of them may have recipes to share. Check in with our botanical crafters to learn the many ways to combine herbs for beauty and health. Don’t use sugar? No problem. You can even make pickles with honey and our bee vendors have some of the best around.
Now that you’re primed for filling that pantry, get yourself down to the Market this Saturday and load up with your favorites during one of THE best times of the summer. Onward!