Preserving your Harvest

Strawberry Vinegar:

Don't toss those strawberry tops! 🍓
Making strawberry vinegar with the tops (stems and leaves) is a great way to utilize the entire fruit and minimize waste. Here’s a simple recipe to make strawberry vinegar:
- Fresh strawberries with tops (stems and leaves)
- White wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- Sugar (optional, for a sweeter vinegar)
- Sterilized glass jar with lid
1. **Prepare the Strawberries:**
- Wash the strawberries thoroughly to remove any dirt or pesticides. Remove any damaged parts but keep the tops (stems and leaves) intact.
2. **Sterilize the Jar:**
- Wash a glass jar and its lid with hot, soapy water. Rinse well and sterilize by boiling them in water for 10 minutes or running them through the dishwasher.
3. **Combine Strawberries and Vinegar:**
- Place the strawberries (with tops) in the sterilized jar.
- Pour enough vinegar over the strawberries to completely cover them. Use either white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar based on your preference.
4. **Infusion Period:**
- Seal the jar tightly with the lid. Store it in a cool, dark place (like a pantry or cupboard) for about 1 to 2 weeks. Shake the jar gently every day to agitate the contents.
5. **Strain the Vinegar:**
- After 1 to 2 weeks, strain the vinegar through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a clean bowl or another sterilized jar. Press the strawberries to extract all the liquid.
6. **Optional: Sweeten (if desired):**
- If you prefer a sweeter vinegar, you can add sugar to taste to the strained vinegar. Stir until the sugar dissolves completely.
7. **Bottle and Store:**
- Pour the strained vinegar into clean, sterilized bottles or jars. Seal tightly with lids.
8. **Storage:**
- Store your strawberry vinegar in a cool, dark place like a pantry. It should keep well for several months to a year.
- Use ripe strawberries for the best flavor.
- Experiment with different types of vinegar to find your favorite combination.
- Adjust sweetness by adding sugar or honey to suit your taste.
By following these steps, you can create a delicious strawberry vinegar using the entire fruit, including the tops, which adds a unique flavor and reduces food waste. Enjoy using it in salad dressings, marinades, or even as a flavorful addition to drinks!


Preserving Peppers: 🫑

I grow a lot of peppers, which means I harvest a lot at one time. One way I preserve them is by dehydrating them. I can then revive them in water, throw them directly into soups and stews, or grind them up to make spice blends.