Preserving the Bounty

Preserving the Bounty - image  on https://megactsout.comI’ve been doing a lot of reading (and a little bit of buying) on canning and the preservation of fresh foods, particularly produce. I’ve got canning jars sitting in the back of my car — and was super excited to find that they more often are sold with cool silver lids these days rather than the outdated brassy ones! I guess design and aesthetics interest me more than I’d like to admit… 😉 Still, the idea of canning (especially when it entails the use of a pressure cooker — which I don’t have, and are generally pretty pricey…and, can they really explode like in Breakfast at Tiffany’s?!?!) was slightly intimidating.

So, how excited and serendipitous was it that my Nourished Kitchen newsletter today contained a Preserve The Harvest Challenge?! Pretty durn excited, I’ll tell ya.

The challenge is as follows:

In the month of August, we’re setting aside our pressure canners and we’ll be preserving the bounty of the summer season naturally while optimizing the nutrition of the foods we put up for winter. Over the course of 5 weeks we’ll cover sun-drying, oil curing, freezing, fermentation and salt-curing – traditional techniques that optimize nutrition and don’t heat up the kitchen like canning. Plus we’ll have some great prizes for participants! You’ll receive an email once a week covering a specific technique for traditional methods of preserving the harvest. So sign up, share it with a friend and hit up the farmers market! Who’ll preserve the most?

Last year, my family put up enough of summer’s bounty (without canning and its resultant nutrient loss) to last us until April! So let’s learn the lost art of traditional food preservation this August – filling our pantries, cellars and freezers with the rich fruits and vegetables of summer all prepared through time-honored techniques.

So, not only do I get classes on the different methods of preserving foods, I have an EXCUSE for shopping at the farmers’ market — actually, a guilt factor! Awesome!! 😉

I’ll let ya know how it goes. Oh, and I WILL do some canning. For now, we’re focusing on preparing for our annual garage sale, which will be this Friday and Saturday. Less than a month to go before summer school’s over! Lots goin’ on.

5 thoughts on “Preserving the Bounty”

  1. My mom used to can tomatoes and pickles in August. It was amazing to watch and the kitchen would get to about a thousand degrees! But, you knew it was summer when Mom was canning. And she did make the best bread & butter pickles, by far!

    It seems like canning was popular for a long time, then kinda became a cult thing for awhile – i.e. people who knew how to do it either did it or just stopped and gave up, but no one new was really picking it up or learning much about it. Good to see it coming back into the mainstream again.

    I have seen several articles on canning lately in some magazines – some with recipes that don't involve all that much effort (or temperature!). I was even entertaining the thought of giving it a shot, too. Though, more for experimentation sake, then actually out of necessity – just to say I had done it and succeeded! 🙂

    So, good luck! Hope all goes well!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Bob, and the sweet story about your mom. My grandmother made great bread & butter pickles, too — I'm sure your Mom's were the best, though. 😉

    I'm excited to maybe start a new tradition…and have a few tricks up my sleeve for a recipe using our MANY tomatoes. 🙂

    (BTW, thanks for posting to the comment section!)

  3. My Mom used to make and can pickles too!

    Btw, pressure cookers definitely can explode. When industrial size pressure cookers explode, they can wreck great havoc…

  4. You're going to do great! This is one of my favorite all-time subjects. The first year we really made an effort to preserve food (2007 maybe? 2006?) we mostly canned, but last year and this year it's all about traditional techniques and we're so happy for it!

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