It was a fairly low-key and humdrum gardening year. As is our custom, we exerted minimal energy and scraped by with just the necessities. Good-enough gardening, I call it.
Strawberries: 51½ quarts sliced with sugar and frozen; 16 quarts whole, frozen; 20 pints of assorted recipes of freezer jam; 4 quarts crushed, with lemon and sugar
Sour cherries, frozen: 4 quarts; 5½ pints
Rhubarb, frozen: about 2 gallons
Basil: 16 half pints assorted pesto recipes, frozen
Zucchini: 13½ pints of relish, canned; 3 9×9 pans sausage and zucchini parm, frozen; 8 one-cup bags grated, frozen
Blueberries, frozen: 22 pints
Green beans, Roma, frozen: 25 (very large) quarts
Tomatoes: 86 quarts and 5½ pints, chopped and canned; 32½ pints roasted tomato and garlic pizza sauce, canned; 60 pints and 5 half pints roasted tomato sauce, canned
Cucumbers: 24 quarts and 3½ pints sweet pickles, canned
Nectarines: 2 quarts sugared, frozen; 2 gallons of chunks, frozen; 7 pints dried, frozen
Peaches: 9 quarts canned; 2 quarts frozen; lots of peach leather
Corn, frozen: 23 quarts
Red raspberries, frozen: roughly 16 quarts
Grapes: 16 quarts of puree, frozen; 22 quarts juice
Peppers: 3 pints cooked and frozen; several quarts fresh chopped and frozen
Apples: 36 quarts applesauce, canned
*Much to my children’s consternation, I decided to forgo salsa since we still had some leftover from previous years. However, we are quickly running out, oops. Next year, make bunches.
*I wasn’t going to make applesauce, either — again, we had some leftover, and my family doesn’t eat tons of it anymore — but now we’re nearly out and I’m reconsidering. It is awfully nice to have applesauce on hand, and I’ve yet to find a good store sauce… (Update: we made applesauce over Thanksgiving weekend!)
*What a bumper crop of strawberries! We filled an entire small chest freezer, which makes me feel crazy rich. Here’s a good dessert: thawed lightly-sugared strawberries over vanilla ice cream (Costco’s is best) with fat, crunchy pretzels from Pennsylvania.
*Also from the garden for fresh eating: asparagus, Swiss chard, beets, jalapenos, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, radishes.
*Gazpacho was a new, fantastic discovery.
*I almost didn’t bother picking the red raspberries. We hadn’t taken care of the bushes and they looked pretty scraggly. But then I decided I should pick at least a few and, like so — picking every other day — look how many I got!
*Zucchini parm freezes and reheats beautifully. Too bad most of the progeny aren’t fans.
*We really could use more blueberries.
*We are cruising through the canned nectarines (leftover from previous years) — my younger daughter loves them in green smoothies — so next year I need to can a bunch more.
*We had so many grapes! A month after I stopped picking (and after a couple light frosts), there were still bunches of (super sweet) grapes on the vine.
*I didn’t make any pesto torte and I miss it.