Friday, August 17, 2012

Preserving The Bounty

When it rains it pours.  For the last few weeks we have been working like crazy people, putting up the bounty of fruit and vegis produced here. The shelves are stocked with many varieties of apples, pears, plums, summer squash, winter squash, tomatoes, raw honey, and cheese from all the milk our doe is producing.  This years favorite ways of preserving the bounty are roasted red and yellow tomato salsa, raw pack plums with a hint of honey, Gravenstein apple sauce, as well as, green and yellow zucchini chips.  

After getting some inspiration from one of my favorite blogs, we have been transforming gallons of milk into raw goat cheese labneh balls preserved in extra virgin olive oil (with a bit of rosemary and sun dried tomatoes!).  We used to make labneh regularly years ago, and I had forgotten how incredibly yummy it is.  The best thing about making the cheese this way is that it is shelf stable.  

Good old plum jam is a winter staple in our house.  Sour and sweet, the color brightens any shelf and tastes wonderful on freshly buttered toast.  

Even though we recently lost one of our hives to ants and yellow jackets, the latest honey harvest was a success. Our little kitchen has been such a busy place!  We are still trying to decide what to do with these top bars which are left after the honey processing.  No matter how many times we do this it never gets any less amazing.  

All of the work involved in processing the food we produce here makes us long for many more hands and a better network of helpers, especially since we try to waste as little as possible.  We have learned that taking it all in small batches, with smiles and some good music really works for us.  It is a satisfying and rewarding feeling to see the fruits from a year of labor filling our pantry.  Continuously giving thanks!

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