Stop Looking For Fast Food and Start Looking For Long Food

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The Pumpkin In This Picture Is The Candy Roaster Pumpkin

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:

apples

pears

pumpkins

squash

turnips

cabbages

carrots

beets

radishes

Jerusalem artichokes

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!

One Pan Roast Chicken With Root Vegetables

Oven Roasted Root Vegetables

Cooking Up Jerusalem Artichokes

Potato, Ham & Leek Soup

Have a great Monday everyone!

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32 thoughts on “Stop Looking For Fast Food and Start Looking For Long Food

  1. I have been thinking about growing a pumpkin or two. Seeing your haul from ONE, makes me think I need to get on it. Gotta figure out where to plant it first, though. They take up a lot of real estate.

  2. We dehydrate our apples but the pumpkin, a little one, lasted in our house- in the kitchen, from last season until about 2 weeks ago when it started getting warm. I threw it out back so it can start some new volunteers. That’s how we got this one. We let a few rot in the garden and the next year there’s a few pumpkins for the kids!

  3. OMGosh those sound amazing. Wonder where you get them? I am in FL and have tons of sandy soil. What fun that would be.

  4. Hi Karen Lynn! I enjoyed reading this post at one of the blog hops, and didn’t save it. I just now found you again and wanted to know if you could sell me some of those seeds. I’m planting my garden now, so the sooner, the better! Email me and let me know. Blessings from Bama!

  5. Hi Karen, I’m browsing a few of my favorite blogs tonight and came across your post from earlier this spring. The candy roaster pumpkin sounds fabulous, & what a haul from one pumpkin! It will be fun to plant that in my garden in the coming spring… wish I’d seen this post sooner. Happy Autumn, time to clean up the gardens! ~Blessings to you and yours, ~Karen in Ohio

  6. We go through so much pumpkin in our household every year! I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to plant some. To see how much you got from one makes me want to head to the seed store tomorrow. I love your blog by the way. We’re just starting down this road and hope to eventually live on one income. You have some amazing experience and advice.

    1. Tracy pumpkins are so much fun! I so appreciate your comment about my blog! It has been a labor of love and balancing it with work and family can be a challenge at times but I look at it like this is my journey and I am connecting with others on it! Please feel free to share your experiences back here and what worked for you, what didn’t…we are all in this together 🙂

  7. I have some mashed cooked pumpkin in the freezer. Might thaw it out and heat it up as a veggie some night. Might even be able to snooker hubby into eating some. It’s an uphill battle most days to get that boy to eat his veggies!!

    1. Christine we have some pumpkin we have to eat up too…I am thinking of making my Pleasant Pumpkin Soup I have that recipe around here somewhere or if not I am going to make them pumpkin cake and make them eat it all LOL!

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