Too much local produce? Pickle it!

Kissin’ The Pickle
Originally uploaded by kk+

Tom and I spent the last week in Seattle on a much-needed vacation. Before the trip, however, I was scrambling to figure out how to deal with the four pounds of peaches and ungodly quantity of tomatoes we still had in the house from our CSA adventures. We lost our monster peach harvest from a few weeks ago due to unexpected life-happenstance, and there was no way I was letting a planned vacation cause the same tragedy.

Unfortunately, being new to the eat-local movement, my preservation skills are pretty much limited to… freezing. I have no canning jars, no recipes, no nothing. I made a sauce out of the tomatoes and sliced up the peaches to freeze in quart-sized bags.

So of course it’s THIS week, with all this frozen produce in my freezer, that the Post runs an article on Heather Shorter, proprietress of Jam Tomorrow. She’s renting space in the kitchen of Ray’s the Classics in Silver Spring and will be selling her homemade pickles to restaurants and specialty shops around the area.

There are some really interesting and easy-looking recipes to accompany this article- I no longer have any slightly underripe peaches to pickle in brown sugar and balsamic vinegar, but should I get any in this week’s CSA box, I will be ALL OVER THAT.

What about you all- any suggestions on how to preserve my local produce harvest when I run out of freezer space?

Tiffany Baxendell Bridge is an Internet enthusiast and an incurable smartass. When not heckling the neighborhood political scene on Twitter, she can be found goofing off with her ukulele, Bollywood dancing, or obsessing about cult TV. She is That Woman With the Baby In the Bar.

Tiffany lives in Brookland with her husband Tom, son Charlie, and two high-maintenance cats. Read why Tiffany loves DC.

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One thought on “Too much local produce? Pickle it!

  1. You could probably pick up some Mason jars for cheap on either Craig’s List or Freecyle (the latter is where Jessi and I obtained all those Mason jars that we used for our wedding). You’ll want to snag lids and such from Tarj or a hardware store.

    I believe there is a “how-to” section on canning in _Teh Joi Ov Cukin_. There was also an episode of Good Eats where Alton showed you how to can (I think it was the jam/jelly/preserves ep).

    More important to the process, though, is getting a large group of people together to do this. Canning is basically an old school farm chore. They canned craploads of veggies/fruits for the upcoming winter, and the farm families generally got together to help each other out. Perhaps the others in your farm share?