I spend a good chunk of the fall foraging for wild mushrooms, specifically chanterelles, around the forests of the Pacific Northwest. As I’ve gotten better, my harvests have gotten bigger and bigger – leaving me with the dilemma of how to process and preserve so many in a short period of time. After years of experimentation, I finally discovered the perfect preservation method: roasting, then freezing
This fall I spent more time hunting chanterelle mushrooms in the woods than I spent in our own garden. The combination of foraging for wild food, hiking for hours and simply being outside among torrential rains and giant trees made me feel more than alive at an otherwise sleepy time of year. I ended up with baskets full of mushrooms – more than our family could eat fresh –
When I was growing up, we always had a whole shelf in our freezer devoted to frozen blueberries. Around early July our family of six would visit the same local blueberry farm to u-pick about a hundred pounds of berries. All of us kids ended up with berry-stained hands and bellies full of fruit as we drove home with the car packed with berry crates.
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 best since they are not too watery. If you use
Winter storms are the perfect excuse to hole up inside on these dark days over a bowl of slow-cooked roast beef. We recently purchased beef in bulk from a local farmer to help us spend more time lingering at the table this winter and less time running out to the grocery store. If you are a meat-eater, buying your meat in larger portions can be
Making homemade pumpkin puree is insanely simple and the flavor is far superior to anything you will find in a can. The most important aspect is choosing the right pumpkin. Grocery stores often carry small “pie” or “sugar” pumpkins that work well, as they have a higher sugar content. I tend to favor Rouge vif D’Etampes, a French heirloom, which is sweet and a good keeper.
October is giving us the last drops of warm-season harvests, but it’s time to draw the curtain for winter. Juniper helped me pick the last of the ripe fruits and veggies. Her way of helping has more to do with eating than actually putting anything in the harvest basket, but I enjoy the company nevertheless. Our cupboard is already packed with tomatoes for winter –
It’s the end of the growing season and all the last of the fair-weather garden need to be harvested. Freezing is one of the quickest and simplest food preservation methods – a great option for those of us short on time with lots to preserve. But it’s not just as simple as throwing your garden veggies in a bag in the freezer. Many vegetables need
Aronia is a gorgeous small shrub, more tree-like in shape, that produces heavy crops of dark blue fruit. The berries resemble blueberries, but are not nearly as sweet. They are however packed full of nutrients and a great addition to the homestead. The foliage turns a brilliant scarlet in the fall, making is as pretty as it productive. I harvested our one small shrub recently,