Friday, August 29, 2014

Challenge #31: Can It (or Freeze It, or Dehydrate It, or Ferment It. . . )

This week I have been really busy with canning, freezing, and otherwise preserving food.  So, naturally, when I was contemplating what type of challenge I wanted to post on Friday (that would be today), my thoughts turned to food preservation.

There are so many ways to preserve food and store it for future use.  And, with vegetables being in full swing right now, and orchards starting to get in on the fresh food action too, there won't be a cheaper time this year to acquire many different kinds of food than right now.

Don't tell me "But I don't have a garden, or fruit trees."  That's a poor excuse.  Farmers markets are in practically every town anymore.  Not like ten years ago when they were mostly quaint old memories or something you had to drive a long ways to get to.  Most readers will be able to find one within a not very far drive from where they live or work. There are websites with lists and lists of farmers markets all over the U.S. that can help you locate one.

And even if you can't find a farmers market close enough to shop at, the produce sections of the grocery stores are full to bursting currently.  Prices on abundant in-season food are low.  Buy now.

Don't tell me "But I don't have a canner."  There are other ways to preserve food.  You probably have at least some freezer space, don't you?  Before I even moved out of my parents' home, way, way back in another lifetime, I froze a few veggies in late summer.  It's not difficult, and thanks to the internet, instructions are close at hand.  You don't even have to own a Ball Blue Book anymore to be able to look up how to prep just about anything for the freezer.

In addition to canning and freezing, some foods take well to dehydration (either in an electric dehydrator, your oven, on trays in the sun, or even in your car on a bright sunny day!!) or fermentation.  I don't have a lot of experience with either of those, outside of dried apple rings and sauerkraut, but, again, instructions abound on the 'net.

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