You reep what you sow. But when do you get to eat + enjoy what you’ve reeped? In Autumn + Winter! (Anyone else besides me feel like the seasons deserve to be capitalized?)

Well, we’re super ready to eat all the things we reeped + sowed! Here’s a little photo montage of the things we’ll be noshing on during the coming winter months

Canned goodness… Time in a bottle. This year we canned pizza sauce, salsa, pears, pearsauce/applesauce, trout, chicken, beef, green tomato enchilada sauce, zucchini relish, cider, and dilly beans/green beans. In total, probably over 300 jars of food, canned a little bit at a time.
Already dipped into this stuff–it’s fantastic! We didn’t actually grow any of the veggies in this dried veggie mix… We just sliced it in the food processor and dehydrated it.
How did I eat pancakes before there was Apple Mosto Cotto?? It sounds so pretentious, but it’s nothing more than fresh pressed apple cider that’s been boiled down into a thick syrup. The flavor intensity of this stuff is out of this world. Apple Mosto Cotto is illegal in Canada.
Hazelnuts. Gleaned after a commercial harvest, hand shelled (which took for-freakin’-ever), roasted in the microwave and consumed daily. They are added to everything from smoothies to granola to ice cream.
These teeny sun dried tomatoes are adorable!! We’ll most likely rehydrate them and throw them onto pizzas, into pastas, and into soups. Ooooh, Mommy!!
My creepy vinegar collection. It’s creepy because there are gelatinous blobs floating in each jar that you never see in commercial vinegar. That blob is the “mother of vinegar”. It made the vinegar. I have pear, blackberry, apple cider, white + Concord grape, and plum vinegars. Some smell perfectly pungent and sour– utter vinegarous perfection. Others smell weak and kinda funky. I’ll perfect my vinegar making skills so that I can have more consistent results.
Hello, top shelf raisins! I’m not normally a raisin fan, but when my neighbor offered the the entire bounty from her 20’x6′ row of grapes, I couldn’t say no. Josh and I (and then a few days later, Alden + Grant + I) picked that vine so clean that even the local scrub jays were high-fiving me on the way home (wut??). We got about 6 quarts of raisins from that vine plus we pressed a little white grape juice, made some mosto cotto and white grape vinegar.

What a harvest! What a summer! Fueled at first by the fear of food shortages because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but truthfully it just propelled us forward on our desired path a little faster. We’ve always been on the road to self sufficiency. It feels great to know that we’re able to produce some of our own food–and make heaps of mistakes along the way–and learn a ton in the process. Eventually our goal is to reduce our grocery budget. Currently we spend about $150 (or less) per week for a family with three adults, and two teenagers (age 12 + 16). We have no “dainty eaters” in our home. No one goes hungry. We love food. But if we could eat more of our own home grown food, we could probably get our grocery expenses down under $75/week or $300/month. Yes, it would save money, but I think it’s the principle of producing our own food (to the extent we can) that is the most appealing.

I’m excited to eat this preserved food over the winter months, then begin the process all over again as we move forward into spring and summer of 2021!

Wait!! Don’t forget the delicata! We harvested about 20 squash from one plant!!! If you don’t know why delicata squash is so wonderful, lemme tell you. It has the shelf-stable power of a winter squash with the delicate, edible skin of a summer squash. The seeds are sweet and crispy when roasted in the microwave. The texture of the delicata is firm, the flavor is rich and the color is vibrant. Simply cut it up, (save the seeds for later) and toss with olive oil or butter + kosher salt (cuz we keep it classy, foo), then roast in oven until done. Delicata isn’t just some lame winter squash like hubbard. It’s so much more.