One day we had an area bare of any vegetation and the next it was a forest of vines. It was amazing how quickly the plants grew and then how much produce we were able to pick every few days. Zucchini and cucumber were the winners and we had so many of each that we could not eat them fast enough before they would spoil. What do you do with an excess of cucumbers? Why you make pickles of course, check out my post on fermenting pickles here. I also made some bread and butter pickles from a recipe I found on Pinterest, which you can find here. I am storing all of the pickles in the fridge so that it will help them to remain crisp.
Now, about all of the zucchinis... R.J. loves Zoodles (noodles made from zucchini), Lily not so much, but I had a Zoodle factory in my kitchen one night and managed to freeze six bags of Zoodles for use later in the year. I know that zucchini does not thaw well, but I read that if you add water to the bag of Zoodles they will freeze better and not end up as mush once they thaw. I will let you know how they turn out when I thaw them, my fingers are crossed as are R.J.'s, but Lily is hoping that they all end up in the trash bin.
Making Zoodles is a fairly easy process, but doing it in mass quantity takes some time and is a bit tedious. I took up the entire kitchen table with my Zoodle set up and managed to not make too much of a mess. From there I portioned them off into gallon sized freezer bags, added enough water that the Zoodles were covered, and then stacked them neatly in the freezer. If you are interested in making your own Zoodles there is a link below for the Spiralizer I use and I cannot complain. It is easy to clean and stores neatly.
I also canned more of our green beans, they are one of the easiest vegetables to can and are a good place to start if you have never canned before; you really cannot mess up green beans.
- Prepare your canner by filling it with water (about four inches deep) and placing it over hear. Heat your jars, lids, and bands in the hot water until ready for use (all should have been washed in the dishwasher or warm soapy water before placing them in the canner).
- Boil water in a kettle so that it is ready once you have all of the green beans packed into jars.
- Wash and rinse beans, remove the string, trim ends and break or cut them into pieces that will fit into your jars.
- Pack the beans into your hot jars leaving 1 inch head-space. Add 1 tsp salt to each quart jar, 1/2 tsp to each pint jar (if you want), I do not add salt.
- Pour boiling water over beans leaving 1 inch head-space. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim with a clean, damp towel. Place lid and band on top of the jar and adjust until it is fingertip tight.
- Process quarts for 25 minutes at 10 pounds pressure (pint jars will process for 20 minutes). Make sure to let the canner cool on its own. Do not remove the lid right away. Remove the jars of green beans and place in an area that is not drafty so that the can continue to cool on their own.
- Check the lids to make sure they have sealed and then store in a cool, dark place.
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