Monday, September 22, 2014

preserving the harvest effectively, when the harvest is over.........-part 2

This food is from our small backyard garden. Small harvests are easy to process and while it does not seem like you are going to have enough, when the growing season is over, you have all you need. The process to successfully process and store your harvest can be found here

Now that summer is coming to a close, the harvest is complete for many of the crops in the garden. The sudden hot burst in our summer weather ended the growing season for our string beans and  sugar snap peas. But not before we got plenty for the freezer. The garden contained two types of green beans, a tri-color mix of bush beans and standard pole beans. This year we did not plant Italian Roma green beans.

The tri-color beans were snapped raw and tray froze, while the pole beans were left whole, blanched and frozen on a tray. As each bean type was harvested, they were processed and bulk stored in large 2 gallon freezer bags until ready for long term storage. You can check out the post about changing the way I store food for the winter, here if you like. This year has gone so well, even though my food saver decided to break and a Costco run was necessary!

Today I packaged the bulk stored food. In order to eliminate unnecessary waste, packaging was in usable amounts. Or amounts that will allow flexibility. For instance. The snapped beans are in one pound packages. While I won't cook the full package for just the two of us, since they are individually frozen, I can pour out what I do want to cook and return the rest to the freezer. Yet I have many recipes "pinned" on Pinterest calling for, yep you guessed it, one pound of green beans.

The blanched green beans are also in one pound packages, but for a different reason. When thawed these will be used for winter salads like this one, and again one pound of green beans is needed. In addition, I have some salads and stir-fry recipes "pinned" that also use one pound of green beans.

The sugar snap peas are another matter, these were packaged in 12 ounce packages. They are delicious simply thawed and dressed lightly with vinaigrette or an Asian style dressing and 12 ounces is plenty for a salad or even a side dish of gently cooked pea pods.

Rhubarb is processed in one pound packages of sliced chunks, as many recipes call for that amount. There will also be packages of diced rhubarb, if a recipes calls for less than the package, like the snap beans, the rest can be returned to the freezer.

The Swiss Chard was packaged to serve just the two of us. These packages will also be a nice addition to soups or pasta dishes. If we are serving company also, simply grab more packages!

While I will continue to harvest, process and freeze Swiss Chard and Rhubarb, this is what was packaged for long term storage today:

In packages intended to be used, in recipes and cooking
that will fit our needs.

The bulk storage bags are washed, and drying, ready to be used again. Often I will use plastic bags many times before they are tossed into the recycling. The exception is meat. I also prefer to hand wash, while I have put a bag through the dishwasher, I do not think they are as strong after that process.

And last years produce, is in the bottom slide drawer in the freezer, to be used first.

Oh look a package of Roma green beans!

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

This post shared with:
garden tuesday @ sidewalk shoes
tuesday garden party @ an oregon cottage
natural living monday  @ homemade for elle
homestead barn hop @ the prairie homestead
hearth and soul @
tuesdays with a twist @ back to the basics
homemade mondays @ frugal by choice

Lasagna Stuffed French food with leftovers!

Yes as goofy as this seems,  we did it again, only this time with leftover lasagna.........And just like before when we used spaghetti and meat sauce, this is yummy. This kind of spur of the moment food is great "game day" food for the guys.

Lasagna stuffed French Bread
by the seat of my pants!
350 degree oven

left over lasagna
left over Italian or French Bread
olive oil
garlic salt
Parmesan Cheese and/or cheese of choice

Cut the bread in half, but leave the crust on one side,

Drizzle olive oil on bread and season with some garlic salt,

Cut lasagna into small pieces and pile on the bread,

Sprinkle on some cheese,

Bake 20-25 minutes or until hot,

Cut into narrow slices and enjoy!

We enjoyed this for lunch, on the back patio, watching the birds. But I promise it will be equally good in front of the TV, remote in one hand, this crunchy nibble in the other!

As always, thanks for taking a minute to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

Recipe rating:
Oh yeah, will make again!

this post shared with:
see ya in the gumbo @ ms enplace
homemade mondays @ frugal by choice