The garden is in full swing. I've been canning green beans as they get ready. So far, I have canned 37 quarts. Today I canned 16 quarts. The beans seemed to get off to a slow start, then they had a growth spurt. This last picking we had to pick all of them so that more would come. These were a bit mature but still work for canning. There will be more to come in the next days and weeks, as long as we keep them picked. They like the heat, and we had a good strong rain today, so they'll take off again in no time!

I love the way canned goods look on a pantry shelf. It's a lot of work to can, but we are used to the taste and really prefer them to store bought vegetables.

For dinner tonight we had a simple garden vegetable curry. I used veggies from our garden: corn, onions, zucchini, green beans, potatoes, and tomatoes. When I went to add the curry powder, I discovered that I was out, so I used paprika, cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger instead. It was 'curry-like' and tasted delicious with the brown rice and a slice of zucchini bread on the side.

I'm hoping to purchase some basil at the farmer's market tomorrow or Saturday so that I can make a big batch of pesto. I also want to freeze some basil cubes. I pulse the basil in the food processor with a little water and then freeze it in an ice cube tray. After they freeze I keep them in freezer bags and use them until the next season comes on. I use the cubes in marinara sauce, soups, and all kinds of dishes. It's so easy to make and really does freeze well, and tastes like fresh basil when added to a dish!


  1. I wish I had the pantry space and equipment to can my own vegetables. They must taste amazing, especially over the winter when store-bought vegetables aren't very flavourful. :)

  2. Last year, I decided that we would not buy tomatoes out of season. I dried as many as I could and froze them to use on salads. We eat salads almost every day, so the idea of a salad without tomato was unbearable. BUT, the idea of salad, with one of those tasteless tomatoes that you purchase all winter was even more unbearable. We actually made it! I didn't think we would. But, the dried ones lasted well. I plan to do more this year though since we liked them so much! The taste is concentrated through drying so it doesn't take many to make a real punch! You can can most anything using a water bath canner...which is just a big pot...and doesn't cost much. As for the space that is an issue I can't resolve. But, last year I got a lot of canning supplies and jars through craigslist, either cheap or free!!! So...the actual cost to get started isn't much if you are resourceful.

  3. I'll keep that in mind. Very interesting.

    Is canning with a water bath canner safe? I've heard that some forms of canning run the risk of botulism or other food poisoning because of how the cans of food sit out in the open for a little bit before the lids are put on?!?

  4. So sorry I haven't responded, Lydia! Water bath canning is perfectly safe. The only problem with botulism(I believe) comes from not cooking items long enough or properly. When water bath canning, the jars must be covered with boiling water. Rarely, a jar will lose it's seal and a layer of mold may form on the top of the jar, but like I said, rarely. I almost never have a jar seal break or pop, and it's easy to notice when you get the jar from the pantry. I use my pressure canner to shorten the cooking time. For instance, green beans canned with a water bath canner requires boiling the bean jars for 3 hours versus 25 minutes in a pressure canner. Either way will provide a safely canned jar of green beans.
    The really interesting thing about canning is that all the years that my mom canned she didn't follow some of these 'rules' that are currently recommended and we never had a problem with botulism or getting sick from what she canned. I'm not saying that you shouldn't follow canning directions to the 'T'...because you should. It's just that it's very easy to can safely with just a little care and attention to detail!