Getting Creative with Preservation

Over the past few years, I’ve been slowly expanding my repertoire of produce preservation methods. Two summers ago, I started canning, simple things like fruit butters and applesauce to begin.  Last year, after acquiring our chest freezer, I revved up my freezing. I also started making jams, canning fruit slices and even infused a jar of vodka or two.

This year, I’m all about the infusions and finding some more creative shelf- or freezer-friendly ways to put my summer produce to use. There are pestos, of course — basil, arugula and garlic scape varieties, for starters — and salsas and pickles and fruity sorbets.  Soon there will be compound butter. I plan on freezing some apple cinnamon waffles and maybe some peach scones.  Perhaps I’ll even freeze a batch of taquitos while corn and peppers are still in season.  If you want to do the same, here’s a little preservation guide to get you started.


If You’re Going to Can, Do It Safely! Supplies You’ll Need




Note: Be very cautious when adapting any canning recipes from books or websites.  I only feel comfortable doing so because of my food engineering background and understanding of the intricacies of canning science. Use only trusted, tested recipes when canning.

Corn and Cheese Taquitos

It was a busy weekend. We stained and sealed the deck, and made two trips to the farmers’ market. We cleaned and organized in the wake of last weekend’s “move almost all of the upstairs furniture” spree. We hiked Buttermilk with Adam and Laura, and had multiple game nights.  I made dilly beans and pear ginger preserves and pear salsa and pasta from scratch.   And I made these taquitos, filled with the last of the sweet corn and two types of cheese.  They were a hit with our vegetarian friends!

Corn and Cheese Taquitos

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Yield: About 12 taquitos

Corn and Cheese Taquitos

These taquitos will please omnivores and vegetarians alike. If you don't have sour cream in the refrigerator (I never do), try making your own! Mix equal parts plain Greek yogurt and heavy cream in a bowl and allow to rest at room temperature for about thirty minutes. Whisk and you should see that it has thickened into a thin sour cream. If it isn't there yet, try adding another tablespoon or two of yogurt and let it rest another 10 minutes.


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 red or orange bell peppers, chopped
  • 3 ears sweet corn, kernels removed from the cob
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 3/4 cup sour cream (see headnote for a substitution tip)
  • 5 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
  • 5 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
  • Pinch of salt
  • 12-15 6" flour tortillas


  1. Preheat the oven to 425F and grease a 9"x13" baking pan (don't forget to grease the sides as well!).
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the onion, peppers and corn kernels. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to brown, about 5-8 minutes.
  3. Add the oregano, sour cream, cheeses and salt and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook and stir continuously until the cheeses are entirely melted.
  4. One at a time, warm the tortillas in a griddle, then fill with 1-2 tablespoons of corn filling. Roll the taquitos up tightly. If the ends look a little empty, use your fingers to push some filling into either end. Place seam-side down in the baking pan and repeat with the rest of the tortillas and filling.
  5. Bake at 425F for 15-17 minutes.

Make Ahead and Storage