5 Preserving and Homesteading Blogs You Should Follow

 

In the summer especially, I love seeing what other people are doing with their gardens and what they are preserving.  Even if I get a little property envy from time to time (I wish we had room for huge crops of potatoes, carrots and other “one-time harvest” vegetables!).  Here are five sites I’m referencing nearly daily lately, as I preserve summer’s bounty:

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Broken Plow. Cassie (also of Back to Her Roots) and Craig have been homesteading since 2012, on the property Cassie grew up on. I love their weekly food tallies and their gardening updates, and it is fun to see what they’ve been preserving. I am now inspired by their food tallies to track every little thing I harvest from the 2014 Savvy Garden — I’ve only been tracking the big things (cucumbers, beans), but not every handful of greens or herbs I pick.

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Food in Jars. If you’ve ever Google anything related to canning, you’ve probably stumbled upon Marisa’s blog.  She is my go-to resource when I can’t find the answer to a canning question or recipe in any of my cookbooks.

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Peach Salsa

Peach Salsa

I decided to lessen my peach preserving load, and split my efforts into two parts. One half bushel is destined for salsa and peach rum sauce and some frozen slices this week.  Next week, I have a canning date with friends, and plan to turn another half bushel into honeyed and spiced peaches, as well as some more frozen peaches.  This way, I won’t get as overwhelmed, plus we’ll have fresh peaches for eating two weeks in a row, without having to buy any extra.

After picking up my half bushel of peaches on Tuesday, I came home to start preserving. I pushed my canned cherries and strawberries to the side (er, I should really put those in the basement inventory and take them downstairs) and began weighing out my peaches – 5 pounds for salsa, 3 1/2 pounds for “pirate” peaches, 3 pounds for freezing, to start.

As I went through the motions of peeling, pitting and dicing my peaches, I thought about how long it has been since I’ve spent an entire afternoon in the kitchen by myself. A storm was headed our way, so I had the kitchen windows pushed all the way open to welcome the cool breeze, in that grey it-is-about-to-downpour way. I found myself calmed by the process of dropping peaches in boiling water, then dunking them in an ice bath so that I could peel off the skins. With podcasts playing through my headphones, I focused on cutting first the peaches, then the onion and peppers, into tiny, even pieces.

The whole afternoon felt almost like an indulgence, spending so much time putting up fruit on a Tuesday afternoon, even though I knew I’d be making up for it, work-wise, on the evenings and weekend. Except at the end of this “indulgence,” I had five pint jars of peach salsa, four half-pints of peach rum sauce, two cookie trays of frozen peach slices, and five cups of peach pit juice to be made into jelly in the future.

Today, I’m tackling the rest of the half-bushel.  I’ll freeze most of it, but I’m also planning on making another batch of peach salsa. We can already tell we’re going to go through the first 5 pints way too quickly.

Peach Salsa2

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