This basket is from a previous week. We get a dozen farm fresh eggs every week(except for two weeks when a opossum made its way into the hen house) and we got fresh blackberries 4 weeks in a row. You just never know what will be in the basket. It's been so much fun---the surprise of it---that Butch will even ask when he's out-of-town: "What was in the basket?" If he's in town, I always wait to show him before putting it all away.
Now, back to my bright idea. Last week when the entire family was here, there were vegetables at every meal. I'm sure cooking a lot more. Still, I had an overabundance. Then when I picked up the basket this Wednesday night, I knew that there was no way we'd eat all of this. Out-of-towners were arriving on Thursday and I was leaving for the beach on Sunday. I gave a lot of veggies to Steph, but still there was a lot left.
I decided to "don" my earth shoes from the '70's and "preserve the harvest." I searched the internet for tips on freezing and I had a recipe from my sister, Joyce to make "sun" pickles. I made my list and on Thursday, I added Ace Hardware to my regular list of errands where I was to find canning supplies. By the time I left the store, I had $105.60 worth of jars, plastic freezer containers, pickling salt and spices and a large gallon jar for the sun pickles. At least I resisted the urge to buy a "seal-a-meal"---another $100 bucks---the one I had in the 70's was about $20.
I'm still in my frenetic, obsessive mode, so this seemed like a piece of cake to squeeze into my already jammed packed schedule. I started this "project" at 3:30 p.m. I worked straight through until 7:30 p.m. I forgot how time consuming all the steps are: washing the vegetables, peeling, slicing, blanching, dunking in ice water, containerizing, labeling, etc. By 7 or so, Butch even chipped in to help---especially with the clean-up---you can't believe the mess I made---with company on the way.
But here's the sum of my efforts:
In the freezer I have---1 qt. and 3 pts. of chopped green peppers (I'll have to do a lot of cooking to use up this much green pepper---and I can really only think of one dish that I use green peppers in), 1 qt. of okra already breaded and ready to fry, 3 qts. of squash, 3 qts. of eggplant, 1 qt. and 5 pts. of bread and butter pickles. I haven't even started on the tomatoes yet and didn't even make the sun pickles as the jar is so darn big, I don't think it will fit in the refrigerator.
Sheesh, it would have been a lot cheaper and less time consuming if I'd just thrown it all away---gasp!!! Me and my bright ideas! At least I saved money by not buying the "seal-a-meal!" But, I'm seriously thinking about it....