Bounty of Summer

I spent most of today on food. In spring and early summer you lay away firewood for the next winter; in late summer you lay away food. We usually hang strings of peppers to dry, and we freeze many things, but this year I decided to try canning as well.

I made up a bit more than a gallon and a half of salsa and chipotle sauce, and canned a few stewed tomatoes and peppers as well. If the seals are good tomorrow, I'll make a bunch more.

We're also getting pears off the trees we planted for the first time this year. The trees still look like sticks after two years in the ground, but they've begun to produce.

My apple trees are still not producing, but someday! We'll have cold-pressed cider, and apple pies, and apple jelly and butter.

This is what I made the wife for dinner. It's just a garden-fresh stuffed pepper with a bunch of red chili and pico de gallo, but she thought it presented nicely and wanted you to see it.


bthun said...

That looks good!

Eric Blair said...

All the great chefs are men. That is all.

bthun said...

Great chefs are, well, great, but truth be told, I'm not overly picky when it's time for grits.

Luckily here at the Hun hovel this evening, we had some BBQ shoulder roast, slow cooked in a dutch oven for over 10 hours. We garnished the sammiches with home grown/put-up pickles on a bun, a pile of mashed tatters, a scoop of squash casserole, and a side of sliced cucumbers from the garden slathered in zesty Italian salad dressing.

Watching my BMI doncha know...

Yup, if we'd not recently poked till we choked, I could have easily fixated on the image of that stuffed pepper plate.

douglas said...

"It's just a garden-fresh stuffed pepper with a bunch of red chili and pico de gallo, but she thought it presented nicely and wanted you to see it."

Well, she was right, and you should frop the word 'just' from that line. Who doesn't like a good stuffed pepper? Fresh from the garden, even better.

MikeD said...

Please inform your bride that gloating is unbecoming. :P

Seriously though, that looks wonderful.

Texan99 said...

Beautiful! Nothing like a stuffed pepper.

The NPH produced some fine polenta with cream cheese and poppy seeds. Irresistible, but not very photogenic.

Anonymous said...

I'd just like to interject some precautionary advice regarding food "canning" (bottling): foods other than fairly acidic fruits, and pickles, need to be bottled in a large pressure cooker, with careful timing. The reason is the danger of botulism, which is all too real. I knew a woman many years ago who had lost almost her entire family that way, from home-canned beets, as a result of one catastrophic meal. In bottling certain fruits, you'll need to add some lemon juice, or other source of acid. THESE INCLUDE PEARS! And probably some of the modern low-acidity tomatoes.(If you get the acidity up enough, you don't need the pressure cooker with those.) But with a pressure cooker, and adequate timing (that is, long enough at high enough temperature), you can bottle meat and vegetables with adequate safety.

I'd suggest, in bottling pears, that in addition to adding lemon juice, you place some thin slices of orange in the bottles with the pear halves. This gives a delicious flavor, different from anything you've probably ever tasted, to the bottled fruit, after some months in the bottles. Try it and you'll see!

Mark H. Nelson
Salt Lake City, UT

Texan99 said...

We can a lot, relying on a good canning manual and following the pressure-cooker timing recommendations scrupulously.

Someone just brought us a bunch of pears from her mother's tree in Arkansas. The orange slices sound like a great idea.

Grim said...

I put lemon juice and hot peppers in everything I canned, and boiled it for 85 minutes. I don't have a pressure cooker, but with high-acid foods like these I think I'm OK.

The pears I'm planning on turning into a pie. Thanks for the suggestion, though, about the oranges -- next year I hope to have more pears, and will probably be canning!