Preserving the Summer Squash and Zucchini Harvest

Our summer squash harvest was UNBELIEVABLE this year.  We had an over abundance of the green and yellow squash cluttering our countertop for weeks, and still do. We also received a ton in our CSA.  This seems to be the norm.  Even if you do not have your own garden, I am sure family, friends and neighbors are practically begging you to take some off their hands.

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So, what to do with all this fresh and nutritious produce?  You can simply eat it now; sauté with olive oil and garlic, roast in the oven with other squash, make into pasta and toss with pesto or shred and use in muffins and breads.  Speaking of muffins, here are our favorite! YUM!

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Besides eating all your zucchini and yellow squash right away, you can also preserve it for use later in the year when squash is not in season or available.  We chose to preserve a lot of our harvest by freezing and dehydrating.  You can also can it if you like, we have not tried this method yet.

We make a really great stuffed squash with rice and ground turkey, but it is hot and time consuming to make in the summer.  So we made, blanched and froze the boats to stuff when the weather gets cooler. Also, we sliced and blanched squash coins to freeze.  With these you can just deforest and sauté for a quick side dish. Make sure you blanch your squash before freezing, this will insure it doesn’t get frost bit or go soggy before using.

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Utilize the dehydrator as well for preservation.  This is one of my favorite methods, it doesn’t take up room in your freezer and the dehydrated product last for a very long time.  We shredded and then dehydrated our zucchini.  Find the how-to here.  Later, we can rehydrate the squash with a little water and use in breads, muffins, sauces and sautés.  So many possibilities with this.

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How was your summer squash harvest this year?  How are you eating or preserving it?

[Disclosure: Salty Suburban Homestead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We receive a small commission whenever a product is purchased through these links.  So if you decide to order anything that is recommended on the blog, we would LOVE it if you used the affiliated links. We thank you in advance for your support!]

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Homestead Renovation Update Electrical and Attic Space

How about a Renovation update?

Stopped by the Homestead last night and took a few shots of the work going on.  The electrical wiring is complete and we even have the town permit signed off on. In the pictures, you can see the wires, outlet boxes and high hat encasements.  There is also a shot of what used to be the bathroom, even the toilet has been removed, starting fresh with all new everything!

We also decided to finish the attic.  The walls and floors were open, so we figured why not just finish it now before we close everything up.  We made a walkway to an office and two large storage areas.  It will be great to have John working from home more often, and now he has his own private space to do so.   This opens up a free room downstairs, so JW can now have a playroom!  Which makes mommy happy!

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Do you have a home office? Do find it easier or harder to work from home rather than the office?

Super Easy Refrigerator Pickles

Crazy rainy nights and sunny 90 degree days have awarded us with a ton of cucumbers in the garden.  Before I decided to take the plunge and go all out with my first pickle canning adventure, I figured I would get my toes wet with a very easy refrigerator pickle recipe instead.  There are thousands of recipes and how-to’s floating around the internet for refrigerator pickles, but I chose the this one from Kansas City Mamas because I had all the ingredients on hand.

You pretty much just wash the jars, wash and cut the cucumbers, place them in the jars with the spices, mix the brined, pour that over everything and place the jars in the fridge. Thats it! Really!

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These are just a basic garlic, however, you can play around with the flavors all you like. What is your favorite pickle flavor?

[Disclosure: Salty Suburban Homestead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We receive a small commission whenever a product is purchased through these links.  So if you decide to order anything that is recommended on the blog, we would LOVE it if you used the affiliated links. We thank you in advance for your support!]

 

Garlic Scrape Pesto with Fresh from the Garden Basil

Garlic Scrapes, if you have not tried them your missing out!  Think of them like the scallion of the garlic world.  Click the pic to visit Green City Market Blog and find out more about them.

Fresh Garlic Scrapes

We received a half dozen garlic scrapes in our CSA share this week. I decided to use basil from our own garden to make a beautiful pesto. Here is how I did it:

Garlic Scrape Pesto

Rough chop about 6 garlic scrapes and throw them in the food processor
Add about 2-3 handfuls of basil and about 1/2 cup of pine nuts
Process until smooth, pulsing and scraping as needed
Slowly add about 1/3 cup of olive oil in a steady stream while the processor is running
When it reaches your desired consistency mix in a a squeeze of lemon juice and salt to taste

You can add this right to your cooked pasta with some cooking water to thin out or can save in the fridge for a week and freezer for months!  I can not do dairy so we left the parmesan cheese out but feel free to add it if you wish. Enjoy!

 

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Do you enjoy garlic scrapes? What do you make besides pesto with your bounty?

[Disclosure: Salty Suburban Homestead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We receive a small commission whenever a product is purchased through these links.  So if you decide to order anything that is recommended on the blog, we would LOVE it if you used the affiliated links. We thank you in advance for your support!]

Homestead Renovation Update Completed Demolition

Update on the Homestead Renovation!  Demolition on the first floor is pretty much complete, some of the walls have been reconstructed with studs and the electrical work is being done.  It is really starting to come together!  If you have ever done any sort of renovation you can relate to what you find when you open the walls.  Our new project list is almost 3 times what it was in the beginning, very overwhelming.  But in the end it will be like living in a brand new home!  Now I need to start picking paint and tile colors.  So many choices!

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The kitchen^

 

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Pantry that was shortened to give a wider doorway ^

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JWs room with the new (rebuilt) wall ^

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Kitchen, once was a pantry, now will give us more counter space ^

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Wider entranceway ^

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JWs reconstructed closet ^

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The bathroom down to bare bones ^

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The master bedroom now has two closets ^

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New entrance to the kitchen^

Do you have experience with home renovations? Find anything when you opened up the walls?

Summertime Strawberry Crisp (with Dairy Free option)

Strawberry season is finally here in the Northeast and we have been taking full advantage!  We are lucky enough to have multiple pick your own berry farms within driving distance and have so far visited 2.  Our bounty of berries, all 23 pound worth, have made their way into pineapple freezer jam, classic strawberry freezer jam, strawberry sorbet, frozen berries for smoothies, strawberry puree and my favorite of all a sweet summertime strawberry crisp!

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Here is the recipe for the Crisp:

Summertime Strawberry Crisp (with Dairy Free option)

Wash, hull and chop strawberries if they are large, about 5-6 cups worth.
Toss with 1/2 cup sugar in a large mixing bowl.
Mix 2-3 T of cornstarch with 2-3 T of lemon juice, stir that into the berries.
Pour into greased 8 by 8 pan.
Mix equal parts, brown sugar, oats and flour in a gallon ziplock bag (about 1 cup each)
Add 1/4 cup of honey and 1/4 cup of butter or solid coconut oil and knead in bag until crumbly.
Pour evenly over berries in pan.
Bake at 350F for 30-45 min. Enjoy!

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Do you prefer crisp or cobbler? or maybe neither?