Hunting, Gathering and Preserving

Yesterday I GATHERED the potatoes that have been growing in one of the wicking bed bath tubs.
I have to say I much prefer this method of growing them. No mucking around with potatoe grow bags which didn’t do at all well last year. I just popped in half a dozen potatoes that had sprouted in the pantry and look at how many I dug up. Best of all they were easy to find, there was no heavy digging and lifting and they look amazing. We will be having them boiled in their skins for tonight’s tea.

Today I HUNTED down the first cucumber of the season from my vine/bush.

Fist Cucumber

Last years effort was a complete failure due to powdery mildew and plants turning up their toes at the slightest sign they weren’t happy.  Fingers and toes crossed this years plant is a good one. It should be I grew it from seed I had saved from another years crops.

As of ten minutes ago the cucumber is no longer. James spotted it and has just eaten the lot.  Show much for showing Ashley my efforts…lol.

This morning I PRESERVED Peaches using the Microwave method of bottling fruit.

Microwave bottled Peaches

The method worked perfectly, the kitchen didn’t heat up and I had everything done and cleaned up by lunch time.

This is the book if you want to have a go yourself.

Microwave Bottling

Isabel Webb has written several books on Microwave bottling and preserving and while you might have to hunt to find them they are definitely worth the effort.   I borrowed one other book of hers from the library and  I knew that when I saw this book for $5 in Bendigo the other day it was a must buy. The books are simply written, have loads of recipes and cover every possible detail you might want to know on bottling fruit in your microwave and yes you do bottle the fruit with the lids on – it’s ok and doesn’t arc in the microwave.  I can’t imagine not using the Fowlers Vacola preserving unit – in fact a year without putting fruit into bottles, fitting on rings, lids and clips and having the preserving pan bubbling away in the laundry is pretty much unthinkable – but for small amounts of fruit the microwave method is brilliant.   Plus it has the added benefit that I can preserve smaller bottles of fruit than I can with the Fowlers which are the ideal size for Mum and Elise where there is only one person eating the fruit.

Yesterday I GATHERED Garlic Bulbils and Garlic Cloves which will be planted next year and picked the one onion that didn’t run to seed. Not sure what I did wrong with the rest of them – but at least there will be plenty of seed for sprouts this year.

Giant Onion and Garlic Bulbils

I’m going to cut up the onion and dehydrate it for those days when there are no onions in the cupboard but I desperately need some. I did some onion not long after I bought the dehydrator and it was brilliant. To make onion flakes I just ground the dried onion up in my food processor.

Tomorrow I might just have to make some Apricot Chutney as I have a box of apricots sitting there calling my name.  Despite the heat I do love this time of year.  All this preserving and storing of food that will feed us in the coming months and seeing all those bottles of fruit, chutneys and jams gives me a warm glow and that’s not just from standing over a hot stove.  ; – ))


3 thoughts on “Hunting, Gathering and Preserving

  1. I am most interested in the dehydrated onion…haven’t got the power to run one just yet but it is something I will keep in mind. I was also fascinated by the silverbeet seeds as sprouts idea. Obviously I haven’t been hungry enough to think of it but….I am certainly going to give it a try. No power required for that one.

  2. Thank you for posting all the lovely garden goodness. It dark, gloomy and freezing here right at the moment and seeing your post was a much needed boost. I love reading about your garden and how you use all the veggie goodness from it.

    The peaches look wonderful and who would have thought microwave bottling? I’m going to have to have a look at the book and see how that works. What a time saver.

    I’m not positive but I think onion will flower in their second year but when you think of it I plant dutch sets out that are little bulbs so I’m not sure what’s with that. Where these onions that overwintered in the garden?

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