I’ve been cooking and canning every weekend for several weeks; partly because I have a lot of family coming for Thanksgiving and partly because I have a garden this year. I haven’t had a garden in several years. Although I had to fight rodents, it was worth it for the fresh organic foods I’ve got during the summer. But it is fall now, and I had to take everything off the vines. So it is time to preserve and use what I had left over.
It’s a good thing I love cooking. I have only been canning on a small scale since my garden was small and it’s just my husband and I. But I am going to have enough for the winter and to give some as gifts. I made green tomato mincemeat, crabapple syrup, piccalilli, green tomato enchilada sauce, cinnamon apples, sweet zucchini relish, and apple pie filling. I also baked cookies, fruitcake, banana bread, and zucchini bread. I pickled asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and green beans. I love the variety and the fact that I know what is in everything.
On top of this, I also made meals such as corned beef shepherd’s pie and corned beef egg rolls. I will do the same with tri tip tomorrow. And I have both meats chopped and ready to make hash. So my extra meals for the week are also about ready.
Today I cooked the first of my butternut squash. It was sweet and creamy. I will cook more up to put aside for Thanksgiving. And to top it off, I still have watermelon that is chilling in my garage waiting to be enjoyed.
I am excited to be able to enjoy these foods with my family with little work while they are here. Also, I am looking forward to savoring the foods on a frozen night remembering the summer.
But it doesn’t stop there; I am in the process of planting my winter garden in the greenhouse. This is also my first year with the greenhouse complete. I can actually plant lettuce, peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans. It is making me want to cook more.
The benefit, though, is that with all these fresh foods with flavor, I will be able to eat healthier than I have been.