The Goodness of the Garden . . . All the Year Round

July 10, 2024

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Preservation Season

In this part of the world, the heat, humidity and lack of rain have been a constant for the past month. If you’re experiencing the same thing, you might read “preservation season” and think about hours inside a comfortably air-conditioned house that keep your energy and health preserved and protected from the elements.

But alas, I’m the woman who still gets out for at least one daily walk. When I headed through the neighborhood last night, it was hot but it still felt good to stretch my legs. Then I came home to water one of my gardens and a few potted plants. I’m trying to fill in while mother nature challenges us to keep our world green without rain.

Because we had generous spring rains that soaked into the ground and the roots of our plants, we’ve still had a good vegetable harvest so far. It’s the time of year when there’s so much fresh produce coming in from the garden that I want to preserve it. I’ve been experimenting for years to determine what is best frozen, canned or dried. Then there’s which technique to use with each. And which technique suits the tastes in your family. I have a friend who likes to freeze corn on the cob after blanching it. I tried it and found the kernels too soft after they had been in the freezer. I experiment to find results that satisfy our taste.

One recipe that I return to nearly every year is a vinegar-based winter slaw recipe. My mom gave it to me years ago and I shared it in this blog previously. I think it’s worth sharing again for new readers during the season when cabbage is abundant and I would rather shred than cook it on top of the stove. You can gather plastic containers to fill with this slaw and store it in the freezer for those winter months when locally fresh greens are not to be found.

Winter Slaw

Mix together in bowl:

3 lb. shredded cabbage

2 chopped onions

2 chopped green peppers

2 chopped red peppers

Bring to boil then pour over slaw mixture:

1 TBSP salt

1 C vinegar

1 C water

2 C Sugar

2 tsp celery seed

2 tsp mustard seed or mustard powder

Mix then chill. When chilled, fill freezer containers, label and stack in the freezer for a winter treat.

What are you preserving this season?

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