Depending on where you are in New York State, you can look forward to your winter being either very long, or kind of long. Fortunately, you can keep the flavors of summer throughout winter by using a few different methods.
- Drying: You can dry (dehydrate) your produce using a cookie sheet, a piece of cheesecloth, and your oven. Even though dehydrating your produce isn’t hard, there are a lot of steps to follow. First, you will want to blanch your vegetables in hot water. Blanching is putting your veggies in boiling water for a short period of time and then cooling them under cold water. You can get the rest of the instructions and handy charts to help you here: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09308.html. You can get the steps to dry fruit here: http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/uga/uga_dry_fruit.pdf.
- Canning: Make your own jams and jellies at home using your saved summer fruit, and your kitchen will smell amazing! Fruits, tomatoes and pickles can all be canned using a water bath on your stove. Learn how here: http://www.freshpreserving.com/getting-started.
- Freezing: Bread and meat are super easy to freeze – just pop them in the freezer! However, to reduce the risk of food-borne illness, it is best to not re-freeze meat that has been thawed. If it’s your first time freezing fruits and veggies, maybe stick with hardier fruits like blueberries (they freeze like a dream) because super soft fruits like strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries are more difficult to freeze. Here are step-by-step tips: http://www.designmom.com/2013/05/living-well-11-secrets-to-properly-freezing-produce/
- Remember Fruit Roll Ups (do they even still make them)? You can make your own fruit leather at home using farmer’s market fruits, and all you need is a blender, a baking sheet, microwave-safe plastic wrap, and an oven. If you make a lot, you can pop them in the freezer to save for later too! Learn how here: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_make_fruit_leather/
What’s being picked this week*:
*Availability will vary by market due to differences in growing zones.
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