Friday, September 23, 2011

farmer's market bounty

Monday will be two weeks ago that we made a little family trip to the farmer's market in Forest Park.
We went there only once last year, as I was just getting started with the whole canning business.  The prices were undoubtedly better than the grocery story, but I was mildly overwhelmed by the whole experience.  

Here's what I know now:
     *The prices are almost always better than the grocery store.
     *Even when they aren't, the selection is better.  This way I feel like I'm getting more for my money.    
     *Chris should always go with me because I do not want to discuss anything with the vendors. :)

Anyway, we bought all you see in the bowls for something like $12!  The hitch with buying so much fresh produce at once is that I had to get busy canning, and fast!
Last year my plum vanilla preserves were the favorite- no question.  This year, the peach and strawberry are going like hot cakes.  
As previously stated I had a really nasty time of it with trying to make pickles last summer...I really wanted to make Nennie's pickles, but got squishy ones instead.
I have read SO many food/canning blogs in search of new recipes and really just information of any kind that might improve my preserving.  I found some pretty amazing stuff!  I just had to have another go with the whole pickle situation since now I know so much more.

All the preserves turned out great...
The pickles are not squishy, but that's really the only improvement that I made. Even though I was using other tips and tricks that I found online I still used my grandmother's brine.  All I can taste is vinegar!  
Chris loves them.  Not only does he eat the pickles (and in case you don't know, pickles are one of the three items on the list of things Chris doesn't eat), but he also drinks the juice!  Yuck.
I'd like to make another trip to the farmer's market next week, but I'm not sure I'm up for another round of pickles yet.

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