Home Sweet Home Magazine - October 2021

per two cups of herbs. Then, pack the mixture into ice trays and freeze. Once frozen, move the cubes to another storage container. These herb cubes are great for pastas and soups during the winter. Still another option is to create cocktail ice cubes, such as lemonade combined withmint leaves or pureed strawberry and basil leaves. These add a nice flavor to drinks during the off season. Canning Canning foods is an excellent preservation technique. Most vegetables need to be canned using a pressure cooker to ensure safe processing. Green beans, carrots, corn, peas, peppers, and potatoes are just a few examples of vegetables that can safely line your pantry shelves for months or even a few years.

The technique is similar for each type of vegetable, but there are countless recipes online and in canning books for inspiration. To start, clean vegetables and cut away all ends, damaged pieces and peels. Cut into consistent sizes, and be sure to pack tightly into the canning jars. You’ll then add salt and fill the jars with hot water. Fill jars near the top, but leave some headroom, and be sure to release any air bubbles trapped inside. Then, seal the jars and process for the recommended amount of time. Fruits, jams, and tomatoes are quick and easy to can and only require a hot water bath for processing. You can use a traditional canner or just a large pot with a lid. However, if you don’t have a canning rack to support jars while they process, place a towel in the bottom of the pot to keep the jars from touching the bottom.

Blanch asparagus, broccoli, leafy greens, okra, peas, summer squash, brussel sprouts, artichoke hearts, and cauliflower. Blanching times range from one to six minutes. Some sources will tell you to also blanch corn, sweet peppers, onions, and tomatoes, but it’s not really necessary. Do peel and cut onions before freezing. Combine peppers and onions in bags to use for fajitas or pasta sauces. Garlic bulbs can be frozen with or without the skin. Tomatoes can also be frozen. To prepare them, remove the core and cut them into wedges. Flash freeze, place them in a freezer bag, and remove as much air as possible. Herbs are another garden-grown goodness that hold up well in the freezer. You can flash freeze them on a tray and then store in a bag or jar. Alternatively, you canmix the herbs with oil at a ratio of ⅓ cup oil


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