August 19, 2012

Processing the Gifts of Summer

It was a big produce weekend that started with picking up our organic peaches Friday and waking up to pick some wonderful figs on Saturday morning.  The first thing I did was whip up a vanilla chia pudding and added some of the chopped ripe figs. My husband is enjoying it right now.  Aside from snacking on the lovelies all day, I dried many of them for future recipes and snacks.

Figs headed for the dehydrator.

I delivered Rachel's peaches to her out on Puget Island and took out a couple of my own boxes.  I grabbed a few random veggies to use for our meal. I love this time of year when I go shopping in my own garden. We spent a lovely day canning, visiting, and enjoying the day.  We picked up Kaylee on the way out and I brought her a bead making kit for something to keep her busy.  She doesn't stay in much there though.  She gets to feed and run with chickens and kitties.  It's a pretty free place for a kid. She and Allison sat together and created bracelets for everyone there.  We were all decorated at the end of the day.  Every one helped out with the peaches, picking up a knife and peeling and pitting throughout the day.  I manned the jars and the canners, keeping them going.  We processed four boxes, eighty pounds, and ended up with 33 pint and a half jars.  That should make for some good peach treats through the winter.  We always have a great time doing this too.  This time Allison joined in and made a fresh apple pie with the apples she and Rachel foraged on the Island.

Sunday at home and I have lots of produce coming out of the garden right now.  I have to get to work preserving it so it doesn't go to waste. Even though we're not able to give away as much as we'd like, we are still pulling out a good amount of groceries.  This morning I had two very large heads of cabbage I wanted to get into something.  I made a nice pot of Tuscan Cabbage & White bean soup.  I used some white onions, red onions, garlic, carrots, collards, and herbs from the garden.  I added a couple of the ripe heirloom tomatoes I picked up at the organic farm Friday, and used some low sodium vegetable broth.  I cooked up about a cup of white beans ahead of time, but you could use a drained and rinsed can of white beans.  I seasoned it very simply with fresh garlic, sea salt, ground black pepper, a sprig of thyme, and a spring of rosemary.  Here's a link to a pretty easy recipe for cabbage and bean soup.

The big red cabbage became sweet & sour cabbage just like my grandmother used to make.  I put three pints up, but I don't think they'll last long.  I really like it. I think of my grandma with every bite.  This is really good stuff. It's pretty easy to make.

 Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage Recipe


  • 1/4 cup vegan margarine, non hydrogenized
  • 1 2-pound red cabbage, thinly sliced (about 12 cups)
  • 6 Tbsp sugar
  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar


Melt the vegan margarine in a large pot over medium heat. Add cabbage and sauté until slightly wilted, about 5 minutes. Add sugar, toss to coat evenly. Add vinegar. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover, simmer until cabbage is tender, stirring often, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serves 6-8.

The canning station is ready, I quickly put some cabbage soup and sweet & sour cabbage up for a quick meal sometime.

Somehow this weekend I also managed to squeeze in some almond and flax meal crackers with rosemary and garlic.  I made a pretty wonderful vegan capri cheese for them.  I've been playing with a few vegan cheese recipes.  I think I'll have some good ones coming up soon. I roasted up some beets & onions and it all made for a great Sunday dinner.

But that's not all, we still had a large zucchini and probably would like something sweet on hand this week.  I shredded it up and stored most of it for salads and meals this week.  But, not before I made a double batch some of what I call "Zucchini Muffin Top" cookies.  I made these gluten free too.

I should warn my calorie counting friends at work, I'm going to mess with their calorie count tomorrow. ***giggling***

It's a bit of work, but none of the fresh produce is wasted, we have some great handy meals for lunch and dinner this week, and we've stored some goodies for later.  I don't have to cook, if I don't want to, until at least Wednesday.  I'd say it was a successful weekend.

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