Category Archives: Cooking

Grow-your-own and Foraging

This year has been a pretty productive one for our freezer! Between the gardens, my summer counseling job, and picking, our freezer is stocked! From the garden alone we’ve already either eaten or put up (or both)…

  • 11 cups of snow peas (6 frozen, 3 eaten, and 2 remaining in the fridge)
  • 5 cups of string beans (all eaten)

This is only the start! Yesterday we pulled the potato plants due to some illness killing the tops off, only to end up with an 8:1 ratio of picked to planted. I now have roughly 40 pounds of ‘taters to clean, blanch, and freeze.

At work the program provided kids with bagged lunches from one of the local school systems. Apparently kids these days do not like veggies. I couldn’t see throwing away carrots and apples as they were perfectly good and, had they gone bad waiting to be processed, could be placed into the compost bin. This scrounging gave us…

  • 26 cups of baby carrots (22 frozen, 4 eaten)
  • 10 pounds of apples in the fridge

Between rhubarb from the Raymond property in New Sharon, fiddleheads from the neighbor’s property near them, and pick-your-owns, our freezer is well stocked.This doesn’t even include what we’ve eaten from this list or what I’ve already made quick-jams out of!

  • 8 cups of fiddleheads
  • 16 cups of rhubarb
  • 36 cups of strawberries
  • 28 cups of blueberries

I’m hoping that next week we can scrape up the money for me to either get a large canning pot or that I can figure out a way to do it without. I know I definitely don’t want to play in that hot water without the canning tongs! Regardless of how I do it, we definitely have more than enough to do some canning with.

Aside from all of this, we had an insect start eating away at our potato plants. They were pulled out of the ground about three weeks ago. From planting five pounds, we now have 40 lbs of potatoes! We couldn’t have asked for a better ratio. As far as grubs went, only one or two potatoes had been touched.

“When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste.” ~Laiko Bahrs

I’m actually excited that I didn’t get called in to sub today. While we desperately need the money right now, I had my pinto beans soaking last night and was looking forward to this morning and getting them going in the crockpot. This is my first time every making beans and I’m proud to say that I’m using my Grammy Vaughn’s recipe. Depending on how they come out, I may be willing to share.

The picture above is from this morning, thus you can see the onions in all their glory. I’m a little worried I might have added too much water, but that might fix itself if the beans soak up more. The only thing that I didn’t do is add salt pork. Call me a wimp, but now knowing the part of the animal it comes from, it might take me a while to get used to the idea of ever using salt pork again for anything! The plus side of not adding it, though, is that it means the meal is completely vegetarian friendly and will most likely be a lot easier for me to digest.

Hopefully I will remember to take a photo of the beans tonight when we have them for dinner. They will be hanging out in their pot for close to eleven hours before the boy gets home. It will be so tempting for lunch, but I’m going to make sure I don’t eat any until dinner. Well, excluding the occasional taste test for flavoring.

Another plus of this is that I had to buy mustard powder and picked up some Coleman‘s. We’re going to try mixing it up for mustard next time with have brauts or burgers and see how we like it. If it works out well, I might try my hand at growing a mustard plant this spring.