Harvest Time!

harvest.jpgThis past week has found me harvesting many different items from my garden and the gardens of others.  I have preserved green beans and I have made several jams.  This week I will be making and canning salsa from the many yummy things that I have grown in my garden.  Soon after that I will be freezing corn for the winter.

I love the satisfaction that I get when I preserve foods.  I feel I have accomplished something great for my family because I am putting to use the things we have grown in the garden.  I also know exactly what we are getting when I can the items and I know exactly what is in them.  I love having that control.

I have several favorite recipes that I use when I am preserving foods for the winter.  Whether I am freezing items or processing them in jars, I have definite tastes and likes and dislikes.  I have found that I like to have green beans both canned in jars as well as some frozen on hand.  I use them for different meals and I prefer the differences in texture and taste in different meals.  Variety is good for the soul and the pantry.

Since I didn’t get very many zucchini recipes, I thought that perhaps I would try again with a collection of recipes from all of you.  I will again compile the recipes into a downloadable FREE e-book.  I will also include the small number of zucchini recipes and ideas that I received in the book.  We are just going to expand it a bit.  So here is what I would like for you to do:

Leave a comment below this post with your favorite HARVEST recipe.  This can be anything that you like as long as it uses items from the garden.  You can even include canning and freezing recipes for inclusion in the e-book.  I am looking for recipes for breads, muffins, jams and jellies, beverages, relish, salsa, skillet dinners, casseroles, side dishes, main dishes, desserts.  If you can think of a recipe that includes garden items, then leave a comment with the recipe and your name so I can credit you properly.

I can’t wait to see what we can create from the Harvest of our gardens!  

Photo Provided by  ppdigital

Strawberries in the Kitchen

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If you look around, you will find that strawberry festivals are abundant these next few weeks. Check your local listings to find one that is near you. It is sure to be a pleasant interlude for your appetite. It will also help you to dream of your own strawberry fields in your garden at home.

With all of this talk of strawberries this week, I am sure that you are dreaming of all of the things you can do with them once they are ready to be picked. The possibilities are endless. There are so many different culinary confections available to tickle your taste buds.

One of the most popular is strawberry shortcake. There are many different variations of this popular recipe and personal preference is the most important part of culinary satisfaction. Many people will make an old fashioned shortcake recipe that is similar to a biscuit and ladle the sweet berries over it. Still others prefer to use an angel food cake and ladle the berry concoction and glaze over the white fluffy cake. In either recipe, the strawberry plays a starring role and are joined with whipped cream.

Strawberries are often used in salads. You will find them in fresh fruit salads and spinach and strawberry salads. Strawberry ice cream is a favorite flavor for many. You can’t beat a homemade ice cream with fresh strawberries added. My personal favorite is fresh strawberry-peach ice cream when both strawberries from the garden are available and the peaches are on.

Strawberry smoothies are fantastic for breakfast. Strawberry-rhubarb pie is a favorite of many people. Of course you can always make a good strawberry jam to enjoy the fruits of your labor all year.

For the adventurous, you can’t go wrong with a good strawberry bread, strawberry muffins or strawberry crepes. Don’t forget the tantalizing old standard of chocolate-covered strawberries.

Now lest you think that I would mention all of this great strawberry goodness and not help to satisfy your cravings think again. I have found a video that will show you how to make strawberry cheesecake. Mmmmm…

Now that you have read about some of my favorites, I would like to invite you to share some of your favorite strawberry recipes. We will put up a recipe page for all of those garden recipe gems that you have and are willing to share with the rest of us. So think strawberries and show me what you are willing to share.

Photo by Andrea Fantoni