I have been especially busy in the kitchen lately! I still want to write a post about some summer recipes we've tried, and I've also been working on a post about the recipes you shared in this post. But for now, garden produce is at the forefront because we've had so much in the last couple of weeks!
We'd never grown basil before, and since we had a bumper crop, I wanted to make pesto. I used the recipe from my classic Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, and one of the ingredients was 1/4 teaspoon salt. I wanted to quadruple the recipe, and somehow in my head, I thought I needed to add a whole teaspoon for a single batch. Thus, I added a heaping tablespoon to the mix. When I tasted it, I wondered why it was so salty. Then I realized my mistake. Sigh! It took me almost an hour to prep the basil leaves and garlic the first time, but I was back at it to try to correct some of the saltiness. I even tried looking for tips on-line, but most suggestions were about adding a potato to soup, and nothing was relevant to my situation. I added the rest of the basil leaves I'd reserved for drying, and threw in some additional olive oil and garlic. It still tasted a little salty, but I think I'll just thin it with pasta water when I prepare it and hope for the best!
If you can believe it since it's only August, I've already made enough applesauce to last my family for the entire year. Eric's friend has three productive apple trees, and he didn't want any of the fruit, so Eric took the kids twice and filled up a large cooler or two each time. I don't know how many pints of applesauce we ended up with, but I feel pretty sure it will last us until next fall. Per these instructions, we also diced 35 cups of apples to fuel our muffin supply for the year. It was a lot of work upfront--about 6 hours worth (for 2 people!)--but it will be so nice to have this done, plus the apples cost us nothing!
Next weekend, I plan to harvest all of our garlic. I'll store some whole cloves with the onions, but I also plan to freeze some minced garlic using these directions. (Stephanie has a whole series of informative posts about food preservation.) Has anyone else frozen minced garlic before?
I've also been eating tons of tomatoes. Eric is allergic, neither of our kids like them, and I don't care to can them, so I eat whatever I can fresh and give the rest away. I've been having bruschetta or pasta salad almost every day for lunch!
We've had plenty of grean beans, bell peppers and onions, too, and soon our potatoes will be ready to dig up. Has anyone else been busy preserving?