The time to harvest is here. The leaves are changing and winter, I fear, is beginning to rear is unpleasant head. It's not all that bad--fresh pressed cider, local pumpkin beers, and time to celebrate with family is all a plus. But for many students, or maybe for just myself, the lack of sun after a full day of studying can get wearing... and as much as I love squash, the idea of eating it everyday in an effort to eat locally is not as desirable either.
That's where a little planning ahead can make a world of difference. While I'm a fan of canning, jamming, and the like, I find they're a bit more time consuming that I'd like during the school year. But here's a few student-friendly options for savoring the best of summer all winter long:
1. Frozen 'Pesto' (fresh basil blended in a food processor or blender with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper): just thaw and add garlic and chopped nuts.
2. Frozen Tomatoes (we just put them in a bag here and they're great for making deliciously flavored soups and sauces; avoids the dull flavor of the GMO January tomato)
3. Frozen Bell Peppers (fresh from our garden, just slice these guys into strips and ready for a quick fajita night on a snowy day)
4. Frozen Thai Hot Peppers (or any kind you like. I love bringing simple heat to a dish in the middle of winter, a great source of warmth)
5. Frozen Fruit Muffins (yes, basically the freezer is your best friend here. I chose a classic, blueberry muffins. Just wrap a freezer sealed bag, defrost overnight, gently reheat, and enjoy on the way to work).
6. Dehydrated Summer Fruits (a real favorite of mine, this is so easy to do and with such an amazing pay off. Dried fruit can be expensive and so doing it on your own; only catch is you'll need a dehydrate first, though some can be quite affordable and makes for great kale chips. I'm a fan of dehydrated cherries and even strawberries)
And, of course, I'll be sad to see all my fellow garden critters go when the snow hits (okay, maybe not these pests), but at least I'll have the owls outside my window to purr me to sleep.