Friday, October 16, 2009

Info, request for info, and links

Well, sometimes you find out what you wanted to know in your own backyard. Or, in my case, in your driveway.

I mentioned the question I had about the uniformity of pumpkin color to one of my friends, and was informed that the way they get pumpkins to ripen is to separate them from the vine. Once the pumpkins are no longer attached to the vine, they will turn orange. Not the exact words of my friend, of course, but that's what I got from it.

Ah, mystery solved.

Now, on my previous post, I also received a comment asking about preserving pumpkin, other than freezing it. I don't know of any other methods, so I'm putting the question to the people who have helped me in numerous ways in the past--the readers. If you have any alternate methods to preserving pumpkins, could you leave it/them in a comment? It would be greatly appreciated.

And, since I am not going at the pace I would like to be in adding information/recipes/tips to my emergency notebook, I am going to go against what I usually do (try something out and then blog about it) and simply give you the links to the blogs/posts where I plan to go next in my food storage adventures, because I think getting the information out there is much more important than having a "surprise" in my blog posts. There is a gold mine of information out on the internet on how to use food storage, but it won't do me/you/us any good if we don't have a copy of it somewhere, and ideally, to have tried it out before an actual emergency. I'm planning on putting the recipes/info in my own notebook within the next couple of days, and probably won't actually try them out until after that. So again, why wait?

---Check out Today While the Sun Shines if you prefer to have a plan laid out week by week for gathering storage. There are also a lot of recipes and helpful information--- a lot of which still needs to find its way into my emergency notebook.....

---Check out this post on the Harried Homemaker. I know which mixes I'm going to try first, but there are 13, so maybe your favorites will differ from mine. I think I actually used the words "gold mine" in a comment I left on this post--hey, if the shoe fits... :)

---And if you are looking for really basic and easy (two of my favorite words when it comes to food storage) you might want to look through the archives of Safely Gathered In. I now need to try out cooking my frozen chicken for other recipes like this, among other recipes and tips. Sometimes you may already have your own methods for doing something, but hey, it never hurts to have a plan B, C, D, etc. Especially if they turn out to be easier/more energy efficient/name the advantage here....

And, from sad experience, I know that what is on the internet today might not be there tomorrow or next week, so it really is necessary to have a copy in good old pen/pencil/computer ink for your own use. You never know when a blog might close down or the electricity might go out, among other things.

Oh, and when I actually make the recipes I find at these sites, you can still act surprised--and not just at how long it has taken me to get to them... :)


Kristen said...

There is a lot of controversy about canning pumpkin. Officially, it isn't good to can because it is so dense that bacteria can survive the pressure canning process. That being said, there are still plenty of people out there that can it. I freeze mine in quart sized bags equal to one of the bigger cans of pumpkin you can buy. I imagine there may be a way to dehydrate it, too. You may want to join this Yahoo group
It has some amazing members who post great recipes and answer all kinds of questions.

Anonymous said...

Re- preserving pumpkin... First, cold storage. The best way is a root cellar, or something close to it. Next, steam or bake in two inch cubes, peel, mash and freeze in 1 or 2 cup packages. (zip lock bags work just fine.) Last, 1 inch cubes and home can. Mashed pumpkin doesn't can well, but you can mash it before you use it. Pumpkin doesn't dehydrate all that great, but you can do it.

Stephanie in AR said...

The current recommendation is to cut the pumpkin up into chunks, put in the jar with water & pressure can. It isn't considered safe to can it as a filling or as a puree. Once the jar is opened & drained then mash & use in your recipe.

I am a big fan of pumpkin butter & will have to do more research into the whys & wherefores. Maybe jar size or improper packing - not boiling pumpkin into hot jars and straight into the canner caused the problems? (But the official word is no.)

Stephanie in AR said...

Oh I should have metioned that pumpkins will store quite well in a cool dry location though some store longer than others. The huge ones for halloween - our 4H club paints them every year & we have had them last to Christmas sitting in the living room. They were warmer than recommended & rolled around a lot but still good. Warning: once they reach the 'are they going bad?" stage the 'definately bad' comes pretty quickly.

For our 4H pumpking growing competition - heat units are important to good growth & color. The more heat units the quicker & better the color. If your area was as unseasonally cool as ours then the green is not a surprise. Also, if you want them mature by a certain date you must pick off all the blossoms & little fruit so the plant puts all its energy into ripeining the ones on the vine. Between this practice & named varieties the professional grower gets his crop on time. BUT in the news, due to the cool conditions even the pros are having a hard time & might not have a ripe crop before halloween.

In the growing: the kids are encouraged to grow theirs on hills (drainage & soil warmth), to pick off blossoms & extra pumpkins (ripeness & size). Variety is important for size, eatability (huge ones are less edible/tasty), and uniform ripening.

Marie said...

Kristen, Anonymous, and Stephanie--Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge! I learned a lot that I didn't know about the whole process, growing to preserving. This isn't the first time I've found that I end up with a better post in the comments than in the actual post--hopefully the original questioner will return and learn, but in any case, I gained a lot. Thanks again--I really appreciate it!