I’m super excited this morning because today’s featured guest is the most downloaded guest of all time. Here to share with us more of her amazing knowledge from the Creative Vegetable Gardener is Megan Cain!
Welcome back Megan! I spoke with Megan in episode 44 & then again on episode 70 (Make Your Garden Harvest Last All Year Long, episode 115, and in Feb we did a bonus episode about her Smart Start Planning Guide in Feb!)
I reached out to her because Mike has been so busy down with the mini farm! He has already canned:
and when he was making the grape jelly he was going thru Megan’s book and kept coming up to me saying did you see this? Did you know this? Haven’t you been asking me about this?
And so I asked Megan if she wanted to come back and talk with us again about her amazing book Super Easy Food Preserving Quick Techniques for Fresh, Fridge and Freezer Storage. Some of my favorite features in the book is she has a great worksheet right off the bat where you start strategically thinking about your garden needs. I always love worksheets and checklists! And it’s full of questions I wouldn’t think of necessarily like
Sounds like Mike’s been busy!
Yes, but we’ve been having so many challenges this year!
I do a lot of food preserving. I lived on a farm and we did a lot of preserving. And mostly we did canning. We moved to Wisconsin. Then we moved here I had a garden, I thought that’s how I preserve food, I did a lot of canning, but I didn’t really like it!
I did research and so I talked to people and started to piece together quicker and easier ways to preserve food then canning!
I started to tell friends and neighbors I saw that was a common belief. When people think about canning! That’s what my book explores.
If you like canning you should continue to do it!
We do have one or two days to can salsa because I haven’t found a good substitute. We do a little bit of canning, it’s hard to fit it in and we kind of dread it but we do it because we love having salsa
So the first thing I ask is “Can I store the vegetable fresh?”
I dry it in my garage. Once it’s dry I put it in boxes in my basement. Then we eat our own garlic all year round! I don’t have to can it or freeze it or antyhing!
That’s a good example of something you can store fresh!
The next category is the
So if I can’t store it fresh I say, “Can I store it in the fridge?”
Beets and carrots store for a long time in your fridge!
I usually grow fall beets and carrots!
I leave them in the garden as long as natural in Wisconsin.
Before it gets too cold and the ground:
they last in April, May, and June of the next year!
people like canned picked beets
When you store things in the fridge you can decide later
things you can freeze,
i have a chest freezer
that’s the biggest category
some things you can freeze raw
I just harvested a lot of red and yellow peppers from my garden!
We’ll eat some fresh! I’m just gonna
We use them all winter longs in all kinds of
broccoli would be a good example
Usually what you want to do is
just until it’s bright green!
Don’t want to over cook it, want it kind of al dente just till it’s bright bright green!
take it put it in our fill our sink with water and ice! Dump it in to stop it cooking!
That’s what he told me. Like before the squirrels, I froze a lot of swiss chard and some broccoli. If I had more room I’d freeze more chard, and we want to get a chest freezer. I like to freeze swiss chard because my spinach was gone. He came to show me the pepper tip but I did know that only because you told me!
Peppers are one of my favorite things to freeze!
I don’t like green peppers as much as they are basically unripe peppers
as many of my peppers to turn red or orange or yellow!
We freeze them because they can be expensive!
think about how most of us cook in the winter. We cook a lot of stuff.
I think it’s fine to throw frozen things into food that’s going to go in the oven and get roasted or turned into the soup.
For me it’s easier, I’m always throwing frozen brocolli that’s already cooked ahead of time. It’s something to throw in there.
It saves money in the long run it’s more efficient in the long run! I was saying in a class I taught a couple of weeks ago, I was saying last year I went to the farmer’s market in sept
I bought a huge bag of broccoli for 12$
Then we have we have as much broccoli we need for the whole winter!
The other option is you
We did it all at once!
We never have to buy broccoli it’s ready to go!
we’re cooking in winter and all we are doing is reaching in a bag
The other tip you taught me was putting things on the cookie tray and Mike said do you know this and I said yes because Megan taught me!
I learned that the first time I had frozen corn
So I learned
peppers are pretty dry so we just throw them in the bag. Anything that has the potential to be wet just spread it on the cookie sheet.
For us it depends on how ripe they are in the beginning of the season as compared to the end where they’re stickier and juicier. Like Huckleberries will get all stuck.
My husband chopped them up and he put them in separate bags. That was the first time we froze hot peppers.
A lot of times when you make a recipe it just asks for a jalapeño or half of a jalapeño
didn’t have jalapeño so I’d just skip it. So having them already chopped I could just throw a handful in! If you don’t grow jalapeños. They are so cheap to buy things I don’t grow
things I don’t have room for
great prices around here at the farmer’s market.
tomatoes for $1 a pound! I was thinking I should preserve some of this food! the prices are so amazing! It hit me like a bolt of lighting! And I was like yeah!
I could just buy food for the farmer’s market for preserving!
I always thought I would preserve food I grew. I only looked through it thorough that frame. I can just come to the farmer’s market and buy broccoli to freeze
Sometimes no matter where you live especially in Wisconsin
Then you could do some preserving
be fun to chop peppers but I don’t have any. Then go to the farmer’s market and see if you can get some bulk deals!
Then just chop up some peppers and freeze them! The next year can plan to grow some if you like it!
It’s just like you, strategically designed
It is kind of a cookbook layout. If you have a bunch of peppers you can turn to the pepper page and see what I recommend for doing for peppers
once you preserve food then
learning how to cook with the food preserve and recipes