Winding Down the Season

Techniques that rely on freezing, dry storing, and dehydrating let you quickly save the garden’s last fruit and vegetables. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
This September, we’ve been lucky to have fairly warm days and nights in Montana, with just a couple of hints at a killing frost that we were able to protect against temporarily. But the garden is still winding down. In the main garden, I’m finding fewer cucumbers and snap beans, with vines starting to dry and lose leaves. In the greenhouse, tomatoes and tomatillos are putting all of their energy into ripening existing fruit. It’s time to grab the last of the garden’s treats and stash it all away for winter.

This week, in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon, I share some of my favorite storage techniques for a range of vegetables. The article focuses on easy ways to save individual vegetables without needing to can or ferment them or changing their base flavor into a pickle or sauce. The techniques rely on freezing, dry storing, and dehydrating and can be done quickly with minimal prep.
Learn about winding down the season

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Kitchen Favorites: Immersion Blender

Since 2014, my Breville immersion blender has played many roles in my kitchen. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
The tools I use in my tiny kitchen have to be more than functional: they have to earn their storage space by being small, powerful, multipurpose—or better yet, all three. In my latest piece for The Spruce Eats, I explain my love of one of my well-used kitchen gadgets, a Breville Control Grip immersion blender.

Since I became hooked on this immersion blender, I’ve retired my upright blender and rehomed my KitchenAid, both of which took up too much space. For a while, I didn’t even own a food processor, instead pushing my immersion blender to—and frankly beyond—its limits. It’s the tool I reach for when making fruit butter for canning, sorbet for freezing, fruit leather for dehydrating, or just simply soup for dinner.
Learn about choosing and using an immersion blender

Gearing Up to Preserve

 My top tip for stress-free preserving is to gear up before you dig in. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
My fridge is currently full of macerating rhubarb and recently picked homegrown strawberries, ready to be turned today into jams and shrubs. I’m not the only one gearing up to preserve, as I share this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon. A local farmer told me last week that her crew has made 50 pounds of Rhubarb Kimchi, building on my recipe in The Complete Guide to Pickling. Tangy Radish Rounds and Spring Asparagus Pickles are also currently popular recipes from the book.

I’ll eventually be turning rhubarb into kimchi and fermented pickles, but today’s projects are on the sweeter side. Our strawberry crop has hit its peak, so I’ll be developing some jam recipes to share down the road, featuring the sweet fruit and pairing it with rhubarb. I’ll also be canning up one of my seasonal favorites: Rhubarb–Earl Grey Jam.
Learn how to gear up for preserving

Drying Fresh Herbs

Drying fresh herbs yourself is easy, saves money, and gives the best flavor. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Almost everything I cook has a fresh or dried herb in it—and even if you barely cook, I’d bet you have at least a couple of jars of dried herbs in your kitchen. But as I explain this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon, drying fresh herbs yourself, whether homegrown or store-bought, is an easy DIY project that will result in far better flavor and cost far less than commercially packed jars of dried leaves.

The column focuses on tips that will help you successfully dry a range of fresh herbs, but the first step may be to grow your own. Many herbs grow well in pots on a windowsill or deck. If you have more space, you can plant many types of perennial herbs now and see them pop up on their own year after year. Some can even grow until they produce seeds that you can save to cook with or to replant, such as fresh cilantro and its seed, coriander. And like sourdough starter, herbs love to be used: the more you cut them to use fresh or to dry, the more they grow and produce.
Learn about drying and using herbs