When you first started preserving food for winter, what did you choose to put up? How do you know what you will eat come winter? I have been asking myself this a lot lately. Sometimes it is difficult to get in the mindset of what we eat in winter around here. But, I tend to go back to previous meal plans and hope for the best.
Right now it is tomato season. We are getting several pounds of tomatoes in our CSA share each week, and the tomatoes in the garden are ripening quite well. Not an overwhelming amount, but just enough. I am straddling the fine line between gorging myself on fresh tomatoes (probably my most favorite food on the planet) and taking those fresh tomatoes and turning them into something for the dead of winter. We eat salsa pretty much every week, so obviously I am trying to can as much salsa as possible, but I also like to have crushed tomatoes on hand for soup, pasta sauce, and chili. Now the question is, should I put up anything else that has tomatoes as a base?
I don’t eat ketchup, but my husband does, so should I make a batch of ketchup? I only use BBQ sauce in the summer, should I make homemade BBQ sauce? Looking through the canning book, there are so many amazing recipes! Chutneys, and relishes, and jams, the possibilities are endless. I fully expect that come March I would eat just about anything that I canned, even if it is ketchup straight from the jar, but I really want to put up what we will eat, and most importantly, what we will miss when it runs out. Do you have a go to tomato product? I am considering making pasta sauce because we use that quite a bit as well, but I don’t know if I want to be bothered with the whole process of making the pasta sauce and letting it simmer all day to thicken up etc. etc. You may have noticed that I am not a patient person 🙂 Surprising considering all the extra hoops I go through to eat whole foods…
Apple season will be here soon enough, and I am looking forward to putting up apple jelly and apple butter (which is a regular condiment for the muffins I seem to make most of the winter). And canning isn’t the only option, I am trying my hand at drying (in the oven) and also freezing veggies, which I always try to do anyways. It is hard though, to get all of those fresh veggies from the garden, CSA, or Farmers’ Market and then can the majority of them for winter…when all I want is to eat them raw and fresh. Fine line, fine line 🙂