Now that it’s winter, it’s time to start breaking into the preserved foods. So far the largest hit have been the pears. We polish off a quart as soon a they are opened. The spiced pears were not liked nor the spiced peaches. I love spiced peaches and even I wasn’t as impressed with them as I have with others I’ve tried. Too bad because I was super excited about having warm spiced peaches with cream. They are still delicious, but not as over the top fantastic as my hopes had been so just a wee bit of a let down. We’ve also put a large dent in the canned tomatoes. The tomatoes will be the first thing we run out of, because according to my calculations we use about 100 quarts of tomatoes a year. I only put up maybe 30 jars (I lost count along the way).
But…it was my first year canning, everything is just a trial, see what we like, see what we actually eat, and hopefully I’ll have a better idea for next year. I am keeping a spread sheet tally of the food we eat, give away and/or just don’t like. And, if I can find away to pull roughly $1,750 dollar out of thin air we can get some trees removed and have a garden. Go-go gigantic oak trees! We had one tree that was dying taken out last year. The drought and gypsy months and carpenter ants have done a number on our oaks. Most of them are not in good condition. They are skinny, tall trees that have horrible leans. The one infested with carpenter ants is huge, and leans right over my neighbor’s house. We’ve wanted it removed for years but he price is astronomical. The first year I had it quotes was $2,000. Simply put, we don’t have the cash on hand to take out a tree. Last year, with a few different companies I got a quote for 1/2 the original but opted to take out the tree that was dying as opposed no-as-much-dying-just-in-bad-shape tree.
But, I am digressing about my tree problems.
We cracked open our first jar of dill pickles. They tasted delicious…but…they were mushy. Mushy as pickles go anyway. They had a great dilly bite with a hint of garlic but not one that was over powering like some pickles can be. They work great on sandwiches but because of the mushy-ness of the pickles they are not ones I’m going to be eating as a snack. I made a few rounds of pickles both slices and spears. I wonder if these were my late season pickles that I had to buy from a grocery store instead of the farmers market. I’m want to try my other jars but have to wait until this jar is eaten through. I’m also fairly certain that I made way too many pickles. I have size jars of dill spears, and seven dill chips along with eight or nine bread and butter pickles. I don’t even like the bread and butter pickles. The bread and butter pickles do have a nice snap to them. So I hope its just this dill batch that ended up less snappy than I prefer.