Sure, during the warm months it’s easy to enjoy all the amazing produce from my local farmers and, of course, my own garden. Maybe even, just a little bit, I take it for granted. I can just walk into the garden and eat a sweeter than sweet tomato right off the vine. I’m enjoying the fruits of my labor as I labor.
Maybe I didn’t quite think ahead as much as I could have. (Yes, I still have a fear of canning.) However, in my own way, now I get it. I just get it. I “get” why I made the extra effort and stood over a hot stove in August making sauce, not for that night’s dinner, but instead for a date which seemed so far off. I “get” why I hung bunches and bunches of herbs to dry everywhere possible. I “get” why many of my local food blogger friends diligently can and preserve much of summer’s bounty.
I have discovered that during these especially dark, snowy and cold winter days there is nothing sweeter than plunging into my freezer for some homegrown summer deliciousness. Popping frozen whole yellow pear tomatoes into chili or stew, grinding dried cayenne peppers and coriander for spicy chicken, or reheating frozen marinara sauce for pasta – these are a few of my favorite things.
My garden will be expanding this year and so will my “save some for a wintery day” resolve.
What did you preserve/can/freeze from the summer that’s making your winter meals smile?
I have quite a few butternut squashes left that I put up in a bin in my basement. I learned afterwards you should rinse the skin in a dilute solution of bleach to keep the fuzz from growing on them…But they are hanging in. Also I have dried tomatoes and roasted ones frozen. Hope to have more next year…