I did try to post on Halloween. But every time I did, my computer kept rebooting. The internet was being obnoxious. Even though I saved the copy in my drafts folder, I couldn't find it. And while I had it in Word, I hadn't saved it yet, so lost it one of the reboots. Obnoxious.
What it boils down to is when we knew a hard frost was coming, we went out and picked the last of the produce that we could and brought it into the house. I processed 60 pounds of zucchini, which is a real pain in the neck but will be nice later. There were 6 and were about 10 pounds each, they were so big, so we cut them as we went so we could go at the pace we wanted and not have to do it all at once.
I found an ice cream scoop to be quite effective at taking out the seeds. I saved the best of the seeds to plant next year. I don't know if they will breed true or not, because I think this is a hybrid, but one never knows. I have about 40 seeds, far more than I need, but seeds are getting expensive.
So after that you have to shred the zucchini, which was the easiest part since we used a food proceesor. After that we put the zucchini in colanders over pots to let them drip all day. I very lightly salted them as salt brings out the juice in a vegetable and you don;t want that in the finished product or you will be cooking it off for a long time. After they had dripped all day we took tea towels and squeezed all of the juice that was left out into a container and then put the zucchini in a pot. We did that for all four and filled the pot. It was amazing how 6 giant giant zuccini became 4 huge bowls of shredded zucchini which had then shrunk down to one pot, by taking the juice out. It was a big pot, though.
At the end of the day, here is what we got:
20 pounds of shredded zucchini, divided into 20 1 pound bags
8 pounds of seeds and stringy bits and some harder pieces of skin that didn't want to shred
2 1/2 gallons of zucchini juice
The juice was kind of good, but needed some sugar to make it really good. We drank some of it and pressure canned most of it in half pint jars, without sugar. I always can my half-pints with reusable lids because that would be a lot of one time use lids to go through. I'm not really sure what we will do with it. Maybe just add sugar and drink it. Maybe add some to vegetable broth if it isn't too sweet. Maybe use it as the liquid in the corn stach slurry when making Chinese food. I'll figure it out.
Also, last week we canned 12 jars of tomato sauce. Most of them were quart jars, 3 of them were 3 cup jars. We jut ran out of quart jars. I am shocked becaue I have never had that happen before. So I will have to send DH to pick some up today so we can can some more. I did save some Roma tomato seeds, but I also have a lot seeds for next year, so I don't know if I will plant these or just keep them for the future. The produce a nice tomato, but I have no idea if they are determinate or indeterminate.
Meanwhile, I need to get busy going through the bag of peppers I saved from the garden. We have shishitos, jalapeños, cayennes, poblanos, and 5 sweet peppers. My sweet peppers did not do well this year. The deer really liked them and kept topping the plants. Next year all the peppers will be grown behind a fence or under netting. They left the hot peppers alone. I am going to cut open and deseed everything, one pepper at a time, with gloves on, and then I will chop them up seperately and dehydrate the shishitos and cayennes. We will eat as many jalapeños and poblanos as we can and the sweet peppers. The cayennes and shoshitos will be dehydrated and made into powder. The rest will be frozen to put into chili.
I am, of course, saving seeds from the best of the hot peppers, some while green and some while red. I am not saving seed from any of the sweet peppers as they were pretty much stunted. I still have seeds for all of those so I will plant them next year with protection and hopefully it will make a difference.
I did save bean seeds to from the purple green beans I planted this year. They were prolific and they grew so well. I didn't save enough to plant as much as I needed to plant for next year, but I have a ton of them still. I intend to plant every seed I did save, though. Those beans went through our growing conditions here and will be hardier than the ones I bought from another state. And then ther offspring will be even more aclimatized. Each generation will be stronger and stronger based on living in my exact microclimate and eventually I won't be planting seeds from anyone else at all. Honestly, I'd like to do that with everything I grow, but I am not there yet. But I digress.
After that I will go the restaurant supply store depending on what their produce sales are. I'd like to get more tomatoes under my belt but that depends on the price. And potatoes. We go through so many potaotes in a year and while we use fresh for baked potatoes and mashed potatoes, I like using canned for fried potatoes, stews, and soups. It just lowers the amount of time it takes to put these things together. Oh, and I'd like to get onions, so I can chop and freeze them. I almost forgot I bought 10 pounds I need to do up. I didn't want to buy 25 or 50 because I was afraid I wouldn't get them done. I know myself so well.
With bell peppers being a bust, I can't chop up a bunch and freeze them. The cost in the stores didn't really go down too much. Even TJ's frozen bags are expensive, including the non fire roasted ones. I will have to take a special trip to Winco to buy them. They are the only store that consitently keeps their bell pepper prices under $1. Right now the are $2/7 and $2/8 and those are their sale prices at Safeway and Fred Meyer, now owned by Kroger. I knew Kroger coming in and buying all the grocery stores was going to be bad, I just didn't know how bad. When they are consistenly higher than Whole Foods by about 20% it is just wrong. At least we still have Winco. And I won't go to Walmart because it is too dangerous to go there anymore. I don't want to get hit by flying bullets.
So anyway, trying to get ahead with my garden stuff and cheaper prices now, because heaven knows what they will be next year.