Looking Ahead

So we’ve neared the end of the season of sowing. We’ve worked the soil, planted the seeds, nurtured the sprouts, and though there are many many hours of weeding still to do, the majority of the work is complete. The plants themselves are inspected at least once, typically twice each day to check for growth, needs, pests and disease. All that time I’ve been spending perusing seed catalogs, reading books on the best planting methods and placement, searching for new and unique varieties of veggies and anxiously watching the calendar and the weather for the green light to plant is available. And I’ve moved on.

Now.

Now that the sprouts have turned into real plants and I’m beginning to see the first glimpses of actual produce, I am looking ahead to harvest. What will I do with all the food that will, seeimingly overnight, spring from the earth (not to mention all the goodies showing up at the farmer’s markets these days)?
So all my gardening books have been replaced with preserving books. Canning, pickling, freezing, drying, root cellaring – we’re planning a little bit of everything.
And now my head is swimming with possibilities:
Jam
Jelly
Preserves
Salsa
Sauces
Chutney
Relish
Pickles

Every book I pick up has more recipes that make me squeal with excitment. Peach Lavender Jam, Pepper Jelly, Spicy Pesto, Dilly beans…

Do any of you have a favorite preserved summer veggie recipe?

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