Fresh Only? Canning? Drying? Freezing?

I got an email from a good friend today who had just read my last post. He said, “I’ll bet there are very few Americans who bother with storing food for the winter anymore.”

Well – I guess we are in the minority but I think there are probably more of us out there than he thinks. From what I read there is a large shifttowards home gardening again and that may mean that canning, freezing and drying would increase as well.

He and his wife preserve food using all three methods – freezing, drying, and canning – and find comfort in seeing all the gleaming jars of food in the pantry.  Admitting that freezing is the easiest he said they have taken “the path of least resistance more and more.”

Unlike my friend I don’t see much reason for canning unless your freezer goes out. The word easy appeals to me a lot and I don’t necessarily see a problem with taking the path of least resistance if it still accomplishes the result you want. In order to accomplish everything I want to do, I have to choose things that will get me to the end result in the most time saving way.  For me – its freezing.

If you have never preserved any fresh produce from your own garden you can’t imagine what a treat it is for the winter table.

We consider frozen garden peas manna from heaven.

When guests come and we cover scoops of Breyer’s Ice Cream with strawberries frozen when only an hour from the garden ——it’s a dessert fit for king.

Picture: Taken from the freezer in January, these berries are ready to be spooned over ice cream.

Frozen blueberries for blueberry pie – fantastic!

I would hate to have to go through the winter without tomato essence which as my friend pointed out is ready to use for the recipe of your choosing and with all the taste of fresh tomatoes.

On a winter evening when I’m tired and short on time, its a delight to take fresh vegetable soup out of the freezer – heat and serve with fresh bread.

I usually don’t freeze any of my asparagus, because I have never liked the taste of canned or frozen asparagus. After receiving my friend’s email, I am wondering if I remembered correctly and plan to freeze some this year just to make sure.

And by the way, if you are a would-be canner, my friend (who really knows canning) sends the advice to use only wide-mouth jars.  The small-mouth jars are harder to clean and getting those jars clean is important to your food preservation.

If you like doing things the easy way why not join me and freeze what you think you will use of your fresh berries, vegetables, soup etc.  If you do a pint or so each day from the daily harvest you’ll find it easy and rewarding.


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1 Comment

  • I do love to see jars of tomatoes on the shelf and when our freezer failed, they were even more beautiful!

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