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LIMIT611 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 413
6/4/12 8:20 A

I normally just take what I will be needing for a meal that day. My garden isn't very big and it's just my husband and I. If I get too many tomatoes, I'll start handing them off to the neighbors.

KARENSSTUDIO SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 15
6/4/12 7:09 A

Thanks for the recipe links! Great idea for adding it to a chocolate cake. Would never have though of that!

KARENSSTUDIO SparkPoints: (0)
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6/4/12 7:07 A

Thanks, I just put up 16 jars of pickles using both cucumbers (bread and butter pickles) and yellow squash (calico pickles with onion and red pepper - to be used in pasta salad). May do some research on dehydrating. Thanks

6/4/12 12:42 A

I do alot of freezing from my garden, as I don't pressure can, and haven't wrapped my head around how to use dehydrated veggies.

I can't for the life of me get fruits to grow, so I have to buy those. I do can alot of fruit, in the form of jams, fruit in light/extra light syrup, dessert/pancake sauces, nectar and applesauce. Just canned some out-of-season applesauce today because my kids have already eaten the 6 dozen jars I made for them back in the fall. This time around for flavored applesauce I melted some Cinnamon Hearts and added it to the sauce but didn't add enough, next time need maybe 1 cup instead of 1/4 cup.

6/4/12 12:31 A

I shred my zucchini and add it to pasta sauce, make muffins (when defrosted don't drain before hand, just cut back on the amount of oil you use), make up some zucchini cakes too and freeze those, no one but you has to know that it is a zucchini cake, make it a chocolate zucchini if you really want to hide it. I even add shredded zucchini to chili.

And casseroles, love to make casseroles in the summer to use up zucchini. I freeze mine in 9x5 inch foil pans with lids, so I can come home and throw something into the oven from the freezer and relax.

We also absolutely love deep-fried zucchini sticks, yeah not diet friendly, but so good.

I will post some links to some recipes I have hidden zucchini in. I don't can the spaghetti sauce, I just freeze it in lasangas or with everything added for a sauce I can pull out and heat up. All the recipes come from

JUSTBIRDY SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 9,840
6/3/12 11:19 P

You might enjoy making your own pickles. You don't have to have the pickling kind to make the fresh style. Even if they are pickled for a few days and then just kept in the fridge, they are wonderful. I dehydrate most of my extra zucchini and then use it in a variety of ways.

KARENSSTUDIO SparkPoints: (0)
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6/3/12 9:39 P

Thanks Love4Kitties. A friend of mine mentioned this too. She said she mixes it in with all kinds of food during the winter, like spaghetti sauce, muffins, mac and cheese. It may be an easy way to preserve when I start getting way too much, I also think that I will give some away to the local food pantry.

LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
6/3/12 4:15 A

I've never done this, but I have a friend who grates her extra summer squash and then freezes it (in freezer bags) for making zucchini bread later. You could also make zucchini "chips" in a dehydrator.

KARENSSTUDIO SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 15
6/2/12 11:02 P

Thanks Kapelakin for replying. Great ideas that I will try. I thought up recipe for flat enchiladas stuffed with a mushroom, onion, and squash saute that I am gong to try tomorrow. My husband is vegetarian, so if this turns out well, I will be freezing some casserole dishes of this to use later in the year.

KAPELAKIN Posts: 1,984
6/2/12 10:20 A

I agree that pickling is about it for the cukes.

If you have a food dehydrator, you can probably cut up the summer squash, dry it out, and freeze it for use in soups later. I have not done this, but have read about dehydrating several ingredients and combining them to use as a soup packet in the winter (summer squash, green beans, carrots, etc)

For using that squash up when it's fresh, one of my favorite recipes is simply to grate the squash and mix in beaten egg, bread crumbs, scallions and Old Bay seasoning, and fry up little fritters and serve with a little bit of plain yogurt or lowfat sour cream that's spiked with lemon juice and chile powder.

Another one you can do if you get super-sized zuchinni is to slice them in half the long way, scoop out the seedy part, and fill them up with anything you might stuff a pepper with, such as a rice and ground beef mixture, sprinkle on a little cheese if you want, and bake it up. You can also hide a lot of the stuff in meatloaf, spaghetti sauce or ratatouille, or slice it into "planks" baste with olive oil and grill with some onions and peppers to either eat on their own or as a sandwich filling.

Good luck with your garden, it sounds wonderful!

KARENSSTUDIO SparkPoints: (0)
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6/2/12 9:53 A

Thanks Anari,

I think I tried to pick it to late in the season, as I am in zone 7, and yes I cut off the leaves. Next year I will pick early in April and will probably get better results. I have found that gardening and preserving food is one big experiment. Some times you get great results, and other times you learn a valuable lesson :-)

Yesterday I whipped up home made squash and mushroom quiches, sweet squash bread, and Mac and Cheese with squash and onions. I bought some freezer bags and froze all but the Mac and Cheese to use later. The mac and cheese with the squash and onions turned out awesome; I used herbed goat cheese, mozzarella, and sharp cheddar melted in a Bearnaise sauce seasoned with ground mustard and thyme and sauteed the squash and onion in a little olive oil until caramelized before I mixed it all together with the macaroni. Definitely going to make more to freeze.

Today I am making bread and butter pickles out of the cucumbers. Should can about 6 - 8 pints - some for my family and some to sell or give away as gifts.

ANARIE Posts: 13,192
6/1/12 7:28 P

Summer squash and cucumbers are probably the hardest crops to preserve (except for lettuce.) They´re too high in water to freeze well and too low in acid to can safely. Pickling is pretty much it. The only way I´ve ever preserved zucchini is by making baked goods or soups and freezing them, or things like zucchini jam (but that´s really more a novelty than anything else.)

As for the rhubarb, you´re not trying to use the leaves, right? They´re not edible. It´s just the red stalks. It also HAS to be sweetened or it´s intolerably tart. I´ve never known anyone who could eat it without sugar, and that includes cousins who eat whole lemons.

And it could be that you´re just too far south to grow it well. It really, really prefers cold weather and starts turning bitter and bolting around 70 to 75 degrees. I think it´s supposed to be best in zones 5 and 6, and unless you´re pretty high in the hills, you´re probably 7 or 7b. I don´t know if that would make it taste more astringent and oxalic, but it wouldn´t help.

KARENSSTUDIO SparkPoints: (0)
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6/1/12 2:20 P

Hi, this is Karen from East Tennessee. I have an organic vegetable garden in my backyard and want to keep track of what I am harvesting and how I am preserving the food that I grow. I use the French intensive gardening method and inter-plant with flowers and shrubs to make the garden look good. This is all an experiment for me to see how my husband and I can eat fresh, organic food; save money; and be better stewards by helping the local food pantry with our excess.

I am harvesting squash and cucumbers right now with a few grape tomatoes, Also got a nice small bouquet of lavender with the first 2 purple coneflower blooms. Just finished up the lettuce harvest last week and had so much at the end that I gave several bags to the local food pantry. Thought I would be able to get the last two heads yesterday, but it got too hot, so had to pull everything up and am letting it compost back into the soil so I can replant the area later.

Today I am baking three loaves of squash bread (will freeze 2.5 for later use), baking a couple of squash, spinach, and mushroom quiches (will freeze 1), making some macaroni and cheese with grated squash and grape tomatoes added (again will freeze some for later use), and will make some pickles and put up for later use.

If you have any good squash or cucumber recipes or preservation ideas, please let me know. Would also be interested in hearing from people familiar with rhubarb, Tried to harvest some last weekend ( I planted from seed last year) from these big plants, but it tasted awful when I tried to cook it down (seemed like it was too full of oxalic acid and was not ripe). Ended up throwing the whole pot away as I new something was not right and I did not want to poison anyone, LOL. emoticon

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