Thrifty Tip #13: Preserve Your Excess

Oranges soaking for marmalade

Just about everyone who has ever grown their own fruit or vegetables will have experienced a glut at one time or another. 

In days gone by, gluts were seen as an opportunity as they provided excess food that could be preserved for the winter or for any time when the fruit or vegetable in question was not in season.  Tomatoes were dried or turned into tomato sauce, citrus fruit became marmalade, and apples were bottled and dried for future apple pies or crumbles.  Indeed, nothing gives a greater feeling of abundance than rows of preserves on a kitchen or cellar shelf.

Knowing how to preserve season produce can also be of benefit when seasonal fruit and vegetables are cheap at the greengrocer or supermarket.

My own attempts at preserving include the following:
Recently I made and bottled spiced quinces from an abandoned tree and produced an enormous amount of grape jelly from a friend's vines. At various times I have also blanched and frozen various beans from the garden but freezing is not my preferred method of preservation because I don't have much freezer space.

I don't have any special jars or equipment for preserving.  Instead, I save jars that have held other things and reuse them.

One of the best places for finding recipes for preserves is vintage or country cookbooks.  However, the internet is also a wonderful resource; just google the ingredient you would like to preserve.

Have you ever bottled, dried, turned into jam or chutney, or otherwise preserved, season produce?

This post is part of my series, Thirty Days of Thrifty Tips.

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