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Monday, 18 September 2017

Preserves

Zucchini, peppers, onions, cauliflower, chop, chop, chop, chop.


Peppers, onions, tomatoes, chop, chop, chop.


Those vegetables don't include the chopping for the spaghetti, pizza and marinara sauces.  I am a chopping machine these days. Preserves fly out of the kitchen as I label bottles of zucchini mustard pickles, salsa and the rest to store for the coming year. 





I love this time of year and this activity. It harkens back to my youth, when Nan and Mom and all the women of the neighbourhood made preserves. It started in August as berries ripened and berry picking expeditions headed out to areas known for various kinds of berries. I always loved berry picking and when I was old enough, I worked at the preserving as well. 


Wild raspberry, blueberry, strawberry and partridgeberry, also know as lingonberry, patches yielded buckets of delicious fruit, made into pies, puddings, cakes and jams. Much of a woman’s work this time of year was preparing for the winter and preserves were a key component of that preparation.


Pickles were a common preserve as well. Mom always made green tomato pickles or pickled beets. We usually had enough until the next preserving season. 


These days, my husband and I are not jam lovers, so my focus is on pickles, plus salsa, pizza and other sauces, made from my garden tomatoes. Marinara sauce is next!


P.S. While I was chopping tomatoes for a recent recipe, my husband asked, "What are you making this time?"


"Salsa," I replied. 


Seconds later, salsa music filled the air. Chopping to the music made the time fly. Too bad I threw out my back.





38 comments:

  1. This takes me back to when my grandma used to do this. She used to keep her preserves in a cave on the farm. It was nice and cool in there. I used to love going in that cave with her. Any kid would like to go in a cave.

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    1. Great memory, Ratty. My grandparents had a cellar but I didn't like going down in that thing. The upper level was fine.

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  2. Good for you to save summer's essence for the winter.

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    1. The bursts of flavour from these preserves when eaten mid winter are wonderful, Tabor.

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  3. Ouch! I've done that too often, but I don't can. I suppose now that I am a gardener the next step is to learn to can. My mom never did it, so I never learned. But you and several other bloggers make me wish I could "preserve" a bit of summer for the long winter days. :-)

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    1. The preserving is another way to know what is in the food you eat Jan.

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  4. Really nice and heartwarming thoughts indeed. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Links to wonderful past memories can give us great comfort, B.

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  5. Salsa for salsa sounds liek fun.

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  6. I can just picture you chopping to the salsa beat Marie, what a thoughtful husband you have �� Your kitchen must be a delight of cooking aromas! Aimee and I say every year how much we'd like to go berry picking but we never seem to get there ☺

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    1. Chopping to the music was fun while it lasted, PDP.

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  7. WoW!! You have been busy. I love the salsa story!

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    1. This time of year is busy preserving time around here, Debbie.

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  8. Yum. My savoury tooth takes precedence over the sweet tooth too. Jam can last months. Pickles/preserves/chutney? Quickly gone.
    Hopefully this year I will preserve again.
    I hope your back is much better.

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    1. The back was a temporary setback, EC. The salsa music was worth it though.

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  9. Ooooh those look great, I am not a jam fan either and would prefer to make sauces. I have said for years I should start doing preserves. It hasn't happened yet!

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    1. Preserves are great, Jenn. I like knowing what is in my food and by growing the tomatoes myself, I know what went into them.

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  10. All that preparation is wonderful Marie. You can't beat having summer's food in the winter. Wonderful aromas and wonderful food. Salsa is one of my favorites, picking berries is fun too. Last year we got tons of blackberries and salmonberries, they are great in yogurt.

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    1. I've never heard of salmonberries, Bill. I'd like to try those!

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  11. When I go to the farmers's market I see people with big bags of peppers, tomatoes, zucchini..
    I wish I had the patience. But I did try to make peach, pear and tomato jam 2 years ago. Not too bad!
    : )

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    1. I've made tomato jam too, Catarina. It was delicious.

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    2. Very few people I know had ever heard of tomato jam before I mentioned it to them!! It is very common in Portugal. And yes, it is delicious!!!
      : )

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    3. I didn't realize tomato jam was common in Portugal, Catarina.

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  12. Very much a different season here - just getting the garden beds organised for spring plantings.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  13. I so hope your back heals and you can dance while you chop, chop, chop. :)
    We had an old fashioned Concord grape arbor where we lived. Mother made jam and jellies.

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    1. I made plum jam for the grandkids today. Lots of work removing the pits. Not my favourite preserves to do, Mage.

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  14. I guess growing up in Houston I missed the fun of canning. My grandmother, a country girl, did make jellies and jams which she shared with us but never invited us over for the work. Maybe Mom was just not interested. That happens sometimes. However the jams were always wonderful and I have great memories of eating them. I also had a grandfather that made what he called Cherry Bounce. It was some kind of alcohol that we never got to taste but the grown ups did. Hahaha

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    1. Cherry bounce sounds great. I wonder what that was like, Barbara?

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  15. I've been chop chop chopping too Marie! It's a great feeling to make things to store for winter days. We only eat strawberry jam here, so I've got those all done, and now I'm putting up tomatoes as they ripen. We freeze our squash to eat throughout the winter, as well as the green beans and broccoli. I made several batches of dill pickles. I am still trying to decide what I want to do with my cabbage, as we don't really like sauerkraut. Happy chopping, and hope the back gets to feeling better!

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    1. I am back to chopping to the music again, Marilyn. I love having the foods grown in summer for winter meals and at least I know what went into them.

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  16. Impressive!! How nice is to have all of these when Winter is here. You are an inspiration!

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    1. I love this work. More salsa in the schedule for this weekend, Angela. It makes great hostess gifts.

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  17. Looks delish! Missing it this year while we get ready to move, but I suspect it will be back next year.

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  18. Moving would make canning tough for sure, FG.

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  19. What a great idea! However you have made so many preservings!

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  20. I forgot to say. Your new header is lovely! I will return to your posts soon.

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