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Last Call for Tomatoes

This weekend or next may be the last call for tomatoes for the season, so break out the canner, freezer bags, dehydrator or whatever you preserving method of choice is. Tomatoes do best with nighttime temperatures above 55 degrees, but overnight temps in Portland are more consistently in the low 50’s at this time of… Read more »

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It’s That Time of Year

Fall… the crisp colorful leaves, the brisk mornings, that smell after a fresh rain… And of course, the canner. It’s a permanent fixture on our stove at this time of year while the dehydrator keeps a steady hum on the homestead. I have been busy, which is an understatement. Our ten heirloom tomato plants keep… Read more »

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Preserving Tomatoes

Tomato season is just about to come to a close and I’m just a few pints and quarts away from being okay with that. Here is how I have been busily preserving the tomato harvest this year. First, dry them! You can leave the skins on or off depending on your preference. Sauce tomatoes work… Read more »

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Preserving Asian Pears

Asian pears are still in season here in the Pacific Northwest and we just can’t get enough of these little gems! I often see two types grown locally – one with a thick, brown skin and one with a thin, yellow-green skin. I prefer the latter as I find the flesh to be softer and… Read more »

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Apricot-Rosemary Preserves

Our Puget Gold apricot tree has been prolific this year! This variety of apricot was developed in Washington and is particularly well-suited for the Pacific Northwest, with our late cool springs. They are self-fertile, meaning you only need one to get fruit. Apricots are a finicky fruit tree that doesn’t grow well in much of… Read more »

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Making Plum Chutney

Plum chutney is a sweet-and-tangy spread that is perfect for roasted meats, on sandwiches or as a dipping sauce. I made it last year with a box of Italian plums I picked with my friend Brigitte from a local farm. It has to be hands down one of the best chutney combinations I’ve ever had…. Read more »

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Tomatoes! Tomatoes! Tomatoes!

Our harvest baskets are bigger than ever this month and we are buried in tomatoes! I am happy to report our later-ripening Brandywines are in full swing. That means we have mounds of Sunburst cherries, San Marzano sauce and fat Brandywines all coming on at once. I have been chained to the canning pot, putting… Read more »

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Tomatoes for Canning

Every week more and more jars of preserved goodies are added to our cupboard. Canning tomatoes is especially satisfying because I know we will blow through them this winter, as we always do. This year I am putting my efforts toward simply canned tomatoes (click link for recipe!). They are versatile to have in the… Read more »

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Making Fig Preserves

Figs are the jewels of summer, only lasting a couple days once picked, and their subtle flavor is something to be savored. But when our Desert King was bent over with fruit, I had to find ways to preserve the harvest before the figs were too far gone. This year I decided to cook up… Read more »