Thursday, October 13, 2011

New Canning Experiments

We are at the tail-end of canning this year (phew!) and with a bumper crop of pumpkins, we wanted to try new ways to use and eat them, besides just carving faces.

First experiment was with drying them.

Simple enough to clean out...

We cut them into rings, and took the rind off some of them.

Into the drier them went.

Another fun new idea (for us) was canning dry beans. We have lots of them but don't use them in cooking that often because of the extra prep time they take.

So... with lots of jars, we canned a bunch and now they are ready right out of the bottle!

Here's how the first batch of pumpkin drying turned out.

Amazing how much they reduced without all that water.

That is how I feel after a few days in the Wyoming sun!

Next we plan to cube them and try different ideas.

We bottled black, pinto, and several other types of dry beans.

They turned out fantastic!

This is one of those simple ideas we keep telling ourselves "why didn't we try this sooner!"

Besides drying, we also have been BAKING a bunch of pumpkins. This is by far the best way to use them... and put them into pies!

Face up in the oven worked ok.

Just like canning our own tuna, homemade pumpkin pie built from real pumpkins is much more delicious than store-bought filling. BY FAR!

Baking the punkin's face down seemed to be a much better way to do it.

The meat is moister and more flavorful - almost steamed.

The rind peels off easily, too.

This was a funny year for all the garden and fruit.

We did our last picking of sweetcorn in the middle of October!

All of these ears are now drying by the fire and will eventually be cobbed and then ground up for cornmeal.


Harvest time is wonderful anywhere you live, but seems especially sweet here in the great NorthWest.