Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard - August 30, 2012

It's been such a crazy week, I posted this on Wednesday thinking it was already Thursday. Needless to say, all this was done before this week started.

I couldn't keep myself out of the kitchen this past week.

First, I harvested the outer stalks of my neglected celery plants and cut them up to freeze in our awesome new freezer with cooled shelves. Everything freezes super fast in this fine piece of machinery (that is, until our 1/2 cow comes and there's no more room on the shelves). I ended up with 2 quart bags full of chopped celery.

Then, I dealt with the green bean harvest that had been piling up. I also took the chance to try out our new FoodSaver. With sales and coupons, we ended up getting it for $30 at Kohl's a few weekends ago. These are frozen in packages that are the perfect size for a meal for the two of us (just over a cup of beans).

Then, it was on to canning. First, I pulled out the "accidental tomato paste" I made last year (that's what happens when you take a nap while you're making sauce) and tried making taco sauce for the first time. It tasted pretty good on the stove - we'll see how it works off the shelf.

I also made fiesta salsa. Although a lot of tomatoes go into salsa, I chose this recipe mainly because it also used cucumbers, and I've been trying to get through the huge pile of cucumbers I overbought when I made pickles. I've yet to find a salsa recipe I like that gets canned, so we'll see how this one holds up.

I also put up about 1/2 a gallon of tomato sauce (frozen in 2-cup portions), but didn't get a picture during the cooking. I used a recipe for "quick blender tomato sauce" that just involves coring and quartering the tomatoes and throwing them in the blender with garlic, basil, parsley, and carrots, then reducing on the stove. It was an excellent way to use the two quarts of canned tomatoes that hadn't sealed during canning the weekend prior, as well as some extras I had sitting around.

I haven't gotten a Kitchen Cupboard post up in awhile, so here are some other things I've been up to:

Mom and I had a marathon tomato canning session on
August 19. I bought 50 lbs of tomatoes at the farmer's market
for $30. She planned to make the trip and I didn't have nearly
enough tomatoes ready, so now I've really got a lot!

I also canned over 40 jars of pickles in July, but apparently haven't taken photos. Perhaps they'll make an appearance in a season-ending pantry photo.

To see what others are doing with their harvest, visit the Gardener of Eden.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. I'm still learning when it comes to some things, but I'm having fun while I do it.

  2. Boy, you have been really busy preserving! It looks like you will have a lot of good eating this winter!

    1. No one really wants to go to the grocery store in the middle of a snowstorm, right? I'd much rather be able to eat out of the freezer and jars :)

  3. Liz all looks real good. Don't you just love the foodsaver and for that price.

    1. Thanks! I was amazed we could get the Foodsaver for that price. I've definitely been putting it to use - froze 8 more bags of green beans last night, and my husband has been using it as he starts his hop harvest.