Wednesday, 12 September 2012

It's that time of year .....

Blanched carrots 2012 - Whole Baby and roughly chopped large.

It's that time of year ..... when the crops are all being gathered in and we spend our time thinking of ways to preserve the taste of Summer for as long as possible. 
 The other day as I blanched and prepared for freezing all the carrots I had just picked from the Veggie Patch I was thinking back to previous years and the crops I dealt with then.  Looking through my reference books to make sure I was doing it all right, very wary of doing it wrong and losing all the luscious crops we had grown.

Pears in Brandy 2011 - Totally lush and we still have 1 jar left
I needn't have worried so much. 
 I think over the four years of living this self sufficient lifestyle I have thrown away perhaps half a dozen jars of food that have developed mould through ill fitting lids, and absolutely no frozen stuff.  Everything in alcohol has worked perfectly as have all the pickles.

Apple and Rhubarb Crumbles 2011 - none left

Pepper, Tomato and Garlic Sauce 2011 - 3 left

Pickled Beetroot 2010 - 1 left

Common sense and good hygiene means that the foods store well, no matter what your method of preservation.  Having the confidence now to just try things makes me smile and remember back to that townie with the book in hand who fearfully tightened up the lids over and over and checked week after week in case of exploding jars in the cupboards.
I've come a long way since then, and it's been lovely having lots of you along for the journey.
I'm off now to wilt some Spinach (cook until wilted, cool, chop and press into hand sized, burger shapes, open freeze and then tip all the blocks into a large tub or bag and pop back in the freezer).  We still have some in the freezer from last year, but I never say no to a little bit more.
Later today I will be setting off for Manchester to spend a couple of days with my lovely Mum, she's even signed me up for a spot of Line Dancing ....
....... so yee haa .....  see you all next week.
Sue xx


  1. The years we had a glut of carrots I made spicy carrot chutney. It keeps well and we often used it spooned out of the jars as a vegetable. We haven't had a glut for a couple of years and making it with bought carrots isn't the same.
    I just found your blog. We lived part time in mid Wales on the border and were more or less self-sufficient in veggies even though the plot was at 1000 ft. When the big decision came we sold up and moved to Poitou-Charente in France. The lack of big juicy carrots is due to the drought again this year!!
    Helen in France

  2. We've never been successful in growing carrots. Not sure why. There has always been enough greenery to keep the rabbits happy but never enough orange carrot to do more than one meal so we've given up. Any pointers to growing carrots successfully would be gratefully received.

  3. Intiqued by the spinach. I leave my carrots in the ground all winter. The big rains don't start here in Portland, Oregon until Dec or Jan. It's always fun for the boys to go get a carrot or two in the winter months. I admire what you are doing. And you always make me smile. Thanks for the nice blog.


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