Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day Weekend: Preserving the Harvest

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It's been quite the weekend. We've spent the past three days working on cooking projects. Smoking corn on the cob. Roasting red peppers. And canning everything in our wake.

1950's corn relish
Fire-roasted pepper-tomato sauce
Roasted red pepper spread

Harissa
Lemon pickles
Chipotle salsa

Tomato juice
Tomatillo salsa

We're utterly exhausted. And yet the work was entirely worth it.  We have a pantry filled with gorgeous canned goods that will last us well into the spring.

Best of all, we did it on a relative shoe-string. $22 for 25 lbs of tomatoes at the market. Just $20 for 5 dozen ears of corn. Merely $25.00 for a year's worth of tomatillos. A straight-up $15 for a few pounds of dried chiles at the local ethnic market. And $60 for 30# of organic red peppers.  Every bit of it local. Every dollar of it well spent.

Canning is tiring work. The kitchen is hot. Our feet are sore.  But, somehow, it's worth all the effort.

After all, we've spent mere hours storing up foodstuffs that will feed us for days and weeks.  It's nourishing food that will sustain us through the autumn, winter, and most of the spring.  And best of all, we know exactly where it came from and what's in it.

We're genuinely looking forward to the night when we can enhance that otherwise straight-forward chicken panini with roasted red pepper spread.  We can't wait to create a quick weeknight pasta with fire-roasted pasta sauce.  And we can't even begin to explain how the priceless it is to have access to fresh-frozen sweet corn that tastes like it came right off the grill in the middle of February.

And don't even talk to me about the amazing bloody marys we'll be making with that tomato juice. Best. Ever. No lies.

Happy end-of-summer everyone!
Happy Eat Local Challenge Milwaukee!
Hope your weekend was lovely and your harvest season is bountiful!

©BURP! Where Food Happens

5 comments:

  1. I'm jealous! Looks great, you guys.

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  2. Good for you! It's such a satisfying process; you will be very happy when you are opening these beautiful jars all winter long.

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  3. Do you have a recipe (including canning instructions), for the red pepper spread? Looks delicious and I'd love to try it!

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  4. 4fish - Yes, we can share the recipe! stay tuned :)

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