This time of year it’s all about eating fresh in season food and trying to figure out the best way to preserve some of it for winter. I’m trying to work on growing more fresh food during the winter months, but until I get everything figured out I’m still canning/freezing/drying fruit and veggies. My sister has two HUGE cherry trees on a plot of land she rents for a garden. There were way more cherries than they needed, so she asked if we wanted some. Never being one to turn up free food, we went out last week and picked and picked, and then picked some more. It’s hard to let anything go to waste.
With mountains of cherries, I had to figure out what exactly I wanted to do with them. Since I haven’t been preserving for a long time, I like to try different methods to see which one we like best. I also didn’t have a ton of time to work on them since we had other things going on. I decided to dehydrate as many as I could and make maraschino cherries out of a few as well (we picked ones with stems just for this purpose).
I ended up running out of time pitting for drying and freezing, so I brined 4 and half gallons for canning whole. A few of them will be preserved with brandy to give away to friends, most of them will be canned whole with the stems for making chocolate covered cherries at Christmas time. I’m excited to try the canned ones to see how we like them.
I really want to have Mr Chiots build me a solar dehydrator. That way I can preserve food without using much energy at all. Dehydrating is also very nice because it doesn’t require any refrigeration for long-term storage. I also love it because it doesn’t require, jars, lids, boiling, cooking, so it saves time. Dehydrating will be my method of preservation I chose above all this year.
Do you try preserving with different methods to find which one works best for you?
I can also be found at Chiot’s Run where I blog daily about gardening, cooking, local eating, beekeeping, and all kinds of stuff. You can also find me at Simple, Green, Frugal, Co-op, and you can follow me on Twitter.