Yes you heard me right….stop looking for fast food and start looking for “Long Food” foods with long-term storage potential. We always think immediately of how we are going to store foods. Are we going to can it? If we do are we going to water bath can it or are we going to pressure can it? Are we going to freeze it? Are we going to dry it? What about the easiest foods of all; the foods that have long-term storage potential even in warmer climates. That does not mean that you won’t have to do something with it eventually but while you are in the middle of being exhausted from everything you have harvested there are quite a few crops that will just sit tight.
Case in point our candy roaster pumpkin……It was beautiful so I left it on the front porch all fall and then Winter came and I still left it I joked to my husband its kind of in cool storage plus we get hardly any sun where it was positioned on the porch so it just kind of waited. So Sunday late afternoon when I announced to my husband that the pumpkin could wait no more I think he was wondering why now? The answer is simple you see as I am planting my new Colonial gardens out back its time to finish any last-minute harvest type activities from last year before any new harvests begin.
I was scared to cut into the pumpkin our weather had been mostly mild not too hot and not too cold but I know every night the pumpkin stayed cold so we cut into it and it was perfect inside. We are actually saving all of the seeds to sell because let me tell you this Candy Roaster Pumpkin tastes amazing! It is a beautiful turquoise and orange and we plan on growing just a couple for ourselves next year too.
So we set up a neat system out back on the deck and my husband used actually a large piece of tile and I used a cutting board we got very efficient at this. This pumpkin was bright orange and tasted very sweet and mild of course I tasted it they say you should never can an inferior product. So we canned about 5 quart jars and we decided to freeze and cook with the rest.
Here are some foods with long-term storage potential:
Just to name a few………….
I tended for most of my life to favor the potato even over the sweet potato but now that has changed but I work in an elementary school and I can guarantee you if our Cafeteria Staff put down a big pan of roasted root vegetables you know the yummy delicious drizzled with olive oil type dish….leeks, onions, turnips, potatoes, kohlrabi, sweet potatoes etc….many of these students would not eat it. As I got older and through gardening I realized that these foods were superior and better for me and the satisfaction of growing our own food helped me to have the courage to try new food items such as Jerusalem Artichokes. We have to get our students educated about gardening and growing their own food and getting involved in controlling the quality of that food. Ask your local school to grow a garden or see if you can donate seeds, dirt or funding to help them get it started! Okay off my educational soap box 😉
The amazing cool thing about “Long Food” is that you don’t have to use energy to store it…..you just store it in a cool place in our garage we store some root vegetables in buckets filled with sand in the coolest dry spot we can find and that is no easy task in Coastal North Carolina. If we get to the point where it’s just not going to last we do have a second fridge we can stick some items in until we have to do something with them. As I said earlier we did finally can and freeze some of the pumpkin but we didn’t have to do it right away….pumpkin is very low maintenance although I am sure it helped that it was such a high quality pumpkin.
Here is a picture of how we dried the seeds in a storage bin.
Here are some pictures of us canning the pumpkin: (We pressure canned this according to the Ball Book directions)
Here are some pictures of the pumpkin we put up in the freezer: (These were frozen in 2 cup portions with the food saver)
I have pumpkin in the refrigerator to use up this week too! We are in a pumpkin abundant state all from only one pumpkin…..does this inspire you to start saving seeds? That’s a lot of food. Not only that that is a lot of wholesome nutritious food loaded with fiber and Vitamin A….fast food can never and will never supply you with such health and well being.
Lastly here are some links for some great recipes that all use root vegetables. I definitely think root vegetables are completely in vogue right now!
Have a great Monday everyone!