05 January 2011

Winter Decadence

I'll just get right to it...I'm pretty proud of my pantry this year.  I know I need even more tomatoes because we're already getting dangerously close to the end of the crushed tomatoes and it's just barely January.  Around this time last year, I vowed that "next year I'll can two bushels of tomatoes instead of just one."  Well guess what, I only did one again.  Oh well.  Next year, right?  I didn't do nearly as much jam this year, mostly because of the lack of a gigantic raspberry patch in my backyard.  Though we still have more than enough to get us through the year and provide gifts for friends and family.  The two additions to the pantry this year were peaches and dilly green beans, both of which have already been in heavy rotation.  I should note, too, that I took this photo back in November, and the pantry already looks drastically different (especially in the peach and tomato departments).  

In addition to the pantry, I also have a full freezer.  This year I froze:  rhubarb, strawberries, apricots, cherries, peaches, zucchini, corn, green beans.  I'm hoping to freeze even more next years since we just inherited a deep freezer from Jared's parents and I can't wait to fill it up next summer!  Though, to be honest, I'm a bit worried about coming up with enough stuff to freeze (you know, since we don't eat meat and that seems to be what most people around here fill their freezers with), any ideas?  What do you all freeze?   

In past years, I've been so stingy with using all the preserved food because I didn't want to run out before summer, only to find myself frantically using up the previous years' bounty while harvesting fresh produce in the summer.  Not this year!  Like I said, we've been dipping pretty heavily into the peaches and it's been such a treat.  I am so happy that I frantically canned a half-bushel of these Michigan beauties in the days before leaving for our big road trip this summer (even though my mom said to me "do you really think that's what you should be doing right now?").  One of our favorite recipes lately has been this one, from VeganYumYum (I've made them with spelt and whole wheat pastry flour and they're equally delicious both ways).  

Another recipe that's been eating up our peaches is my new favorite...Peach Ginger Crisp.  I was trying to get all festive when Jared's brothers and their families were over for dinner in early December.  I've mentioned before that our three little nephews are gluten-free and anyone who knows me knows that I'm always up for a challenge, so there we were.  I started off with this recipe, resulting from a quick google search and then the modifications began...

Vegan, Gluten-Free Peach Ginger Crisp
{Note: if you're not feeling the vegan/gluten free thing, you can replace the corn flour with whole wheat pastry flour and the margarine with butter. }

2 quarts canned peach slices, drained
1 tbl fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 cup plus 2 tbl corn flour (this is different than cornmeal, it's finer)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats (if you're going for gluten-free, make sure that the oats are gluten-free, they aren't always)
3 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine

Preheat your oven to 375.  In a 9"x13" baking dish, toss peaches, ginger, and the 2 tbl corn flour together.  In a medium bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients for the topping until it's crumbly and pour it over the top of the fruit mixture.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the topping is slightly browned.  Top with something delicious (I would suggest tempt hempmilk ice cream, or vanilla almond dream ice cream) and enjoy!

This recipe (as with most of the recipes I post here) is a total experiment and I'd really love to hear what you think if you try it out! I'm working on perfecting some of my recipes more this year and I'd be happy to hear any feedback from you all.  Thanks!


  1. We just got a deep freezer this year, and I couldn't be more excited. We don't have any meat in it; it's full of berries (blueberries, cranberries, strawberries) and apples (peeled and sliced), along with chicken broth, whole tomatoes (stemmed and washed) and a lasagna. And some other things I"m forgetting. Yum.

  2. I freeze everything I need to store because I am kind of scared of canning. I freeze herbs and then use them in cooking all winter. Veggies that I have blanched first- sugar snap peas are great from freezer to stir fry, beans, corn on the cob, tomato slices (un-blanched). I freeze a lot of raspberries and use them in cooking or put them on my cereal still frozen. I freeze soup and baked goods. I buy butter on sale and store it in the freezer. I make pesto in the fall and freeze it in a muffin tin. Once frozen I pop it into a storage bag or container and I have portions ready for meals. I am in MN too and I try to stretch that garden flavor all through the winter. Enjoy all your canned goodness!

  3. We do eat meat, but my freezer is mostly full of veggies and fruit. I freeze fruit when in season including strawberries, blueberries, rhubarb and apples. I also freeze bulk tomatoes (when I am sick of canning), blanched greens (kale, chard, etc.), butter (when on sale), veggie stock, soups, enchilladas (in single serving sizes for lunch), frozen cookie dough and even some pizza dough.

  4. Oh what a blessing to have a full pantry. We are add a bit more each year as we strive to grow as much of our own food as we can.
    Warm wishes,

  5. again, i'm in awe. and a little envy! talk about delicious.