Each year I preserve about 100 – 150 pounds of peaches in jars saving enough for jam. I use a light syrup to allow the flavours of the BC peaches to come through. I have found the first semi free stone Glow Haven capture the best of the season. There are additional varieties such as Fair Haven and New Haven each with the free stone properties. They must be saved and hidden from family members because of the incredible flavour that helps you remember the summer. Extra fruit is saved for the incredible jams such as Maple Scotch or Amaretto to add some flair to your toast.
Last year I decided to get more asparagus from one of our local farmers. I have read about the ability to dehydrate more vegetables to save on space. I have done a few fruits like apples, strawberries and bananas but never such a watery veggie like this. It dried faster than usual vegetables and the intense aroma was quite amazing – oh was that aroma or smell. I moved it to the garage. Once it dried completely to a brittle state without burning I transferred it to the vitamin. I got one pint of dry mixture to about 1.5 pounds of fresh produce. The smell and taste is incredible. I add it to soups and stews a tablespoon at a time. The amount of space I saved rather than freezing so much was also a bonus.
Tomatoes, berries, herbs and basil are my freezing favourites. I roast tomatoes with fresh basil and garlic in the oven at a low temperature with olive oil. I store the mixture in freezer bags and store in the freezer. I make basil and store them in small mason jars in the freezer – remember to leave a head space at the top of the jar when freezing. Berries are first put on a cookie sheet in the freezer first to allow them to be used easily. I also chop herbs, put them in ice cube trays and fill them with either olive oil or coconut oil. The options are endless and thank goodness I got a new upright freezer.