Monday, December 21, 2009

Harvest Monday - 21 December 2009

Or how am I going to eat from the garden in winter?

Over the year I've been preserving some food from the garden. I started as early as May when I blanched and froze my spinach. I don't have enough to eat as well as I do in the summer, but then again I just don't eat as well in the winter anyway. All I want is pumpkin pie, apple cake and soup. OK so I can eat pretty well if I make more soup. Now that we have hit the winter solstice, what is left of my stash?

The first place I'll take you is to my freezer. I have a nice chest freezer that my mom bought for me when we first moved into this house. On Friday I had the fun chore of defrosting the thing. I do this only once a year and need three tools. An ice scraper, a scoop to get the ice out of the bottom, and a pot to collect the ice. I've gotten good at it over the years and it only took about half an hour this time. Which involves totally emptying it first then putting it all back together.

While I did this I counted the frozen goods from the garden (the corn and some squash came from the farmers market). In addition to what is listed I hopefully have my winter stash of ground beef from grass fed beef from the farmers market. I also have things like homemade soups, Mexican rice, chicken pot pie filling, and meatloaf. When I cook for two I often make more and freeze it. Then dinner is pretty fast. I also have a handful of store bought. The wonton soup is one of my husband's favorites (though to be fair to me I made homemade wonton soup for the first time on Thursday).

  • squash puree 18 cups
  • tomato sauce 23 cups
  • salsa 6 cups
  • applesauce 8 cups (I ran out of jars)
  • zucchini shredded 9 1/2 cups
  • green beans 1 1/4 lbs
  • corn 1 3/4 lbs
  • serranos diced, 6oz
  • jalapenos diced, 14 oz
  • raspberries, 1 3/4 lbs
  • carrots 12 oz
  • spinach 5 cups
  • chard 1 cup
  • komatsuna 9 cups
  • raspberry sorbet 4 cups

Then it was on to the pantry. I have some assorted herbs, but the real fun is in the jars.

  • applesauce 11 pints
  • raspberry jam 3 cups
  • raspberry jalapeno jam 1 cup
  • apple pie filling (really very chunky, sweetened, spiced up applesauce) 3 pints
  • apple butter 5 pints
  • pickled snap peas 6 pints
  • dill pickles 3 pints
  • dried beans (on the far right) 2 lbs

I always love the look of home canned items on the shelf. You can see what is in them unlike commercially canned items. I know most of the things on the shelves are apples. Way more than half. I think I made too much applebutter. But I'll find out come spring - hmm maybe come August or September for the apple products since I won't make any more until then.

I also have my pile of food in the fridge and on the counters. I didn't weight it out, but I still have plenty of carrots, onions, garlic, potatoes, cabbage (those three big ones from Wilson's Farm), two apples, a bit of Chinese cabbage and some pickled serranos and dill pickles. I'm more than half through the potatoes and onions. Next year I need to plant more. Though I think I won't have room for potatoes.

I've yet to buy a lot of produce from the store. Besides lemons, ginger, and mushrooms which I buy all year long, I think I might have only bought cranberries so far. So I may have no harvest, but I'm harvesting from my stock. Will it last all winter long (I hope I eat better than that but don't count on it), or

If you would like to help me believe that harvests still exist, put your name and URL into Mr. Linky below. It doesn't matter how big or small your harvest is. You don't have to count the pounds like I do. If you have had a harvest this last week, show us and join in! Really I'm dying here under the snow and ice (we just had a huge snow storm). I need visions of tomatoes and spinach to dance in my head for the holidays.


  1. Whoops! Once again I mess up Mr. Linky. I've got it all fixed up now I think.

  2. Daphne, this is a brilliant idea. With 2 freezers full of local food, I've got plenty to write about. I'm impressed by how tidy your freezer is!

  3. Ali, it is only that tidy because I just defrosted it. I always put things back in neatly and well packed. That way everything gets back where it belongs and I can find it. Just don't look at it in July.

  4. This is a brilliant way to showcase Harvest Mondays in winter. You are still reaping the benefits of your harvest. I won’t show you my chest freezer, it’s a jumbled up mess right now.

  5. I have an upright which I love, but occassionally I wish for a chest freezer like yours because they store things more efficiently - fitting more into the same cubic feet of space.

    You have a good stash put by from your summer garden and the local farmer's market purchases. We are definitely leaning on our freezer and canned foods hard right now. Using fresh harvests about two days a week now and preserved items for the rest of the week's dinner prep. It will be like that now through February and I think I have enough to get is comfortably through the "lean season" of low garden output.

  6. Wow! Your freezer looks ultra organized. I'm planning on purchasing one this summer.

    I love the look of home canned goods too! Supermarket food has soooo many labels on them these days. Yours look nice and neat.

    Have you asked the farmer that supplies you with local beef what kind of plastic they use when vaccuum sealing the meat? I thought I read somewhere that it is similar to PVC.

  7. No visions of red vegetables from my garden at the moment, but there's still a little green stuff left to show off! I started digging into the freezer (an upright that needs defrosting at the moment) for tomato puree and tomato sauce weeks ago.

    We have lots of soup during the winter also. There's almost always some in the fridge to warm up for an easy lunch or dinner.

  8. You've put up alot of food this year! I really like the looks of canned items on the shelf, too - but my wife hates it. She says that I took over her pantry. :-(

    BTW - it took me 5 hours just to get the apples ready for the crockpot Friday night, and my huge mess cleaned up in the kitchen. It would be nice to have help sometimes....

  9. It's so organized! I keep meaning to get into mine, clean it, and then sort stuff in boxes.

    Our secret vice is frozen pizza. The kids just love it, the stinkers.

    I just made a few gallons of turkey broth. That should fill up the freezer some.

  10. GrafixMuse, I hate when my freezer gets messy (and it does - remember this is an after photo) because I can never find anything in it then. But at least once a year it is so neat and tidy.

    kitsapFG, I keep wishing for a chest freezer because it is easier to keep organized. I added shelves to one side so I could sort things better. I picked a chest freezer though because it is more efficient. Every time I open it the cold air stays mostly inside. With the uprights the cold air just flows right out when you open the door. Plus I could get a smaller one. All the uprights I saw were huge.

    Thomas, I just couldn't live well without my freezer. I love making huge batches of things and freezing them. It makes my life easy. I have no idea about the plastic. I never thought it would be different than what all the supermarket use, but it does make sense that it is.

    Michelle, it is what I had for lunch (along with coleslaw - I've broken into the cabbage). Soup is so good.

    EG, Five hours? Ack! Sometimes things like raspberries are so much easier. You don't have to do anything but toss them in the pot.

    Stefaneener, there is frozen pizza in that freezer too. You just can't see it because its space is flush against the front wall. My daughter and husband love the stuff. My husband prefers it to my homemade pizza :/ Oh how I could use a few gallons of turkey broth. That would be tasty. Too bad I don't have the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner so I can have the carcass after.

  11. I too must congratulate you on that tidy freezer! Which reminds me, our's is getting ready for a defrost too. A splendid stock of frozen and canned preserves!

  12. Every time I need a tomato product or a frozen veggie or a jar of jam, I could kick myself for not bringing it all south with me! Oh well, I'll sure have a lot on hand when I get home in March...I won't even have to plant tomatoes next spring. Sure, like that's gonna happen ;-)

  13. I'm in envy of your nice clean freezer (ours has caked up freeze pop spillage that needs scraping up) and what you have in your counters and jars as well. Haven't made it over to see how my broccoli is doing under the snow. We got just under a foot. Got the seeds though, thanks.

  14. Jan, I just hope they last through the season. I'll probably be dying for fresh produce come spring. I had to buy bunching onions at the supermarket for the first time since last spring and they just aren't the same.

    Granny, lol I'm sure you will plant too many tomatoes in 2010 too. And your friends will shun you at harvest time. ;>

    Sally, I hope your broccoli is surviving. We got about a foot of snow. We didn't think it would be that much just looking out, but we were surprised when we started shoveling.

  15. I've added a link to my blog in melbourne, Australia so you can see the first summer tomatoes and dream of the seasons ahead for you!

  16. Funkbunny, welcome it is great to have another person from Australia. I loved seeing your tomatoes.