Saturday, 14 May 2016

Preserving my winter vegetables

Today was sunny and bright but rather cold here.  However I spent it in the garden clearing out the raised beds at the front of the house. I picked all the remaining vegetables that survived the winter and prepared them for the freezer.

Two types of kale - Black Russian and Red.  Both varieties have done well here.  There was a lot more than that in the photo but I do love munching the stuff raw!!  It's now in the freezer ready to make smoothies.

The last of the leeks now chopped up and frozen.  Good for soups.  Like all good Scots I use the whole leek, not just the white bit.  Really annoys me that supermarkets cut off all the green bits.

I scored a wee ham joint on Thursday night, well within date.  I got 25 decent slices plus some trimmings. 2 slices were enough for a generous ham sandwich and I used 2 more in a stir fry for tea.

The rest is now being open frozen then I'll bag it up.

I picked up some cinnamon and raisin bagels for The Teenager. 4 for 10p!! I have to say they smelled delicious when I was slicing them.  They're also in the freezer.

I'm not having much luck running down my freezers so I can defrost them and clean them out.  I can't resist a good yellow sticker bargain and I have to preserve my harvest.

I've been looking on Pinterest for inspiration as freezing is my default method of preservation.  I don't think I'm in much danger of lengthy power cuts here in the city so it seems safe enough.  A few years ago when I was living in the middle of nowhere we had a power cut for 3 days and was snowed in. I lost a lot of food in my freezers then.

I'd like to try canning but I'm not sure about it yet.  That needs further investigation especially as there would be a financial outlay for all the bits.  I'd really love a dehydrator and have been eyeing them up on eBay.

Anyone got some preserving tips and hints? Or disaster stories?  All advice welcome.


  1. I would like to try canning too, particularly for fruit. I usually get millions of plums off my tree and I really don't like plum jam. I don't eat much chutney so very few can be kept that way and I've often thought I wish I could can them and eat them later in the year as plums not prunes! Once you find out about canning I'd love it if you would do a blog post on it. Most of the ones I've seen are in American blogs and sometimes their stuff is a bit different from ours. I also find it hard to 'run down' the freezer. I go through phases of 'eating out of the freezer' then make a batch of sauce or soup and the freezer fills up again before I get it even remotely empty! Good luck with that!

  2. I don't eat jam but love chutney. I'm jealous of your plum tree. Making your own prunes would be fab! In fact I'm bidding on a once used dehydrator on eBay right now. Researching canning will be my summer holiday project

  3. I love canning. It's so satisfying seeing all the jars lined up on the counter when you have finished. I have a water bath canner and a pressure canner so I can 'can' just about everything. I have canned corn on the cob, kernel corn, carrots, green beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, salmon, trout and many many different kinds of fruit. It's really nice opening those jars in the dead of winter and enjoying produce from your garden or fruit trees. I was a little apprehensive about the pressure canning at first but as long as you follow the directions everything is fine. You should go for it!!

  4. I've recently started using my dehydrator - does a great job on kale and apple rings. I've been bottling fruit and tomatoes for years, but have still to have a go with the pressure canner (still in its box), but I'll get round to it. A dehydrator is a worthwhile investment - the dried and stored foods need no power to keep them; also good for fruit leathers, but not done them yet. I paid just under £40 for mine I think, from Amazone.

  5. Lost out on the once used one on eBay but bought one for £40 :-)

    Started looking at canning for beginners articles. I know the difference between water bath and pressure canners now :-)

  6. God I really want a dehydrator but so expensive didn't even think about eBay which is strange as I'm on there all the time. I'm gonna take a look now lol

  7. Go for it! I've just bought a basic one but if it proves successful then I'll save up for a really good Excalibur one

  8. How far above the white part of the leek do you go? The green part of our leeks gets leathery just an inch or so above the white part. I do cut up the green part and simmer it in water for a couple of hours to make a vegetable broth but then I throw the solids into the compost bin.