Why Preserve Food?

Cucumber

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Why would you want to preserve food?

Let me tell you a story about Jordan.

It had been snowing for 6 hours.  She turned on her radio. The latest news told her area to get what they needed. They would be stranded for several days.

Jordan went to bed and slept soundly. The next morning she was flabbergasted.  There was at least 5 feet of snow around her house — even blocking her door.

Jordan wasn’t worried. She always plans for have enough food for herself and her dogs for just such emergencies.

Preserving food and putting food by are excellent ways to save money. Buy fruits and vegetables by the box is always less expensive. You can save even more by growing your own.

What are you to do with the extra that you can’t eat fresh — can, freeze, culture.

Recently, Terry (my son) planted 23 tomato plants. What was he going to do with so many tomatoes? Without a moments hesitation, he said, “Eat fresh, dry a lot, bottle them in olive oil, and can.”  So, they had tomatoes to use in all their sauces that they use in their cooking. “And give away some of our specialties for Christmas!” he added.

He could make cultured catsup and salsa, cultured green beans along with pickles from end of the season cucumbers. (Shhh! Don’t tell anyone it’s good for you — It tastes good too!)

Of course, the root vegetables can be put down in root cellars, or in new clean garbage cans in a sheltered area. Winter squash can be kept in a warm, dry area.

All fruit freezes well. Berries and small smooth skin kiwi freeze whole on a wax-paper covered cookie sheet. They can be stacked 3 layers deep with wax paper between each layer.

Melons, papayoas, nectarines, pears, and apples can be cut in half, quarters, slice or chopped and put on the cookie sheets like the berries and kiwis.

Pineapples are good cut in slices, quartered and peeled. Pieces of frozen pineapple are as good as a popsicle.

When you are considering a new fruit or vegetable, try a small amount. Did you like it?

Drying is probably the oldest way to preserve food. It can be done in the sun, but a dehydrator is helpful. Prepare fruit for drying in much the same way as you would when you are planning to freeze it.

Vegetables can be frozen too. Tomatoes and all peppers freeze without blanching.

If you invite the kids to help, you can have quality family time while saving money.

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