Winter is Coming

The nights are getting cooler and the days are getting shorter. Already, the farmer’s market has cut Wednesdays out of its schedule and vendors are disappearing for the winter months.

Fall is my favorite time of year, but the transition from summer’s bounty of delicious fruits and veggies to the hearty squashes and root vegetables of winter is difficult…at first. Keeping with Rushing’s and my resolution to eat as much local food as we can, I decided make the most of the waning days of farmer’s market bounty by canning and freezing as much as I could.

First up was salsa! We go through an obscene amount of salsa, so when an ultimate frisbee teammate had a bumper crop of jalapenos, I knew exactly what to do. CAN!

Step One: Assemble ingredients and make salsa!
Step 2: Decant salsa into jars. A funnel helps. But I don’t own one 😦
Step 3: Seal! This was the hardest part. I had to try a couple of times on a batch.

My canning project yielded 10 jars of homemade salsa, now awaiting chips or tacos in our fridge and pantry.

The other project was freezing some summer vegetables for later in the season when they wouldn’t be available locally. I chose eggplant, bell peppers, green beans, and lots and lots of okra!

Frozen veggiesSince freezing tends to negatively impact the texture of fruits and veggies, I’m planning on using the eggplant and bell peppers sautéed in pasta dishes. The okra is going to make a whole mess of gumbo throughout the winter!

I know I missed some opportunities- peaches were too late in the season when I began freezing, and so was corn. But that just means something to try next year!