Freezing eggs and preserving….my busy time of the year.

And so it starts – all those tiny seeds planted in spring by an very exuberant husband pays off in a barage of “stuff to do something with” now. There is 2- 3 months ahead of me in food processing and most days I love it, some days I wonder why on earth we do all this. Once it’s all finished though and we get to step back and see the years food all sitting there, it’s a satisfying thing.The garden is flourishing and gaps have been newly planted for autumn, the last chance to grow for winter food – bar the raised garden of greens out in the front yard and “yay” the glasshouse this year.

Freezing eggs: We normally give surplus eggs away but have started freezing them for use over winter when laying is minimal. It makes no sense to give them away and buy over winter. Whole eggs can just be stirred (not whisked as it gives too much air) and frozen in ice cube trays or zip lock packages with the amounts on. Our eggs are quite large so two cubes equals one egg (for baking)Image

My provident journey did this post on freezing eggs which people might be interested in if wanting to freeze yolks and whites separately http://myprovidentjourney.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/provident-uses-for-your-freezer-eggs-other-things-i-havent-tried/

Beetroot/Beets: 

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Beetroot is one of our favourite vegetables to grow – I think so far we have planted over 200 or so with more to come. It’s easy, virtually disease and pest free, has a good leeway when it can be harvested so can be preserved when I have the time, both the bulbs and leaves can be eaten and it’s super healthy. We use it nearly every day either grated in salads, roasted, juiced (except I blew up my juicer forcing beetroot into it!) and we bottle heaps of it. It’s a good food to have in sandwiches through winter when tomatoes aren’t available. https://quarteracrelifestyle.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/spiced-beetroot-preserving-recipe/

Spiced Beetroot is a delicious recipe for bottling and we make it every year

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Beetroot Chutney

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The recipe for this I found at http://hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com/2009/10/30/beetroot-chutney/ I had never tried it before so made just one quantity to try it. This has alot of ginger in and is spicy/gingery. I like it but I don’t think hubby will. Note my labels 🙂 🙂 This is so the lady of the house who wears reading glasses but doesn’t bother when getting food from the pantry, doesn’t serve up feijoa jam to go with cold meat when we have guests….again! I needed something BIG. I found these labels and was rapt, they peel off so next season I don’t need to soak anything off. A bonus, and worth every cent.

My husband refuses to eat the leaves cooked (though he will eat small ones in a salad) but I saw this recipe earlier in the week and really want to try it, it looks utterly delicious http://backyardfarmer.co.nz/2014/01/28/ricotta-and-beetroot-tops-pasta-one-of-the-best-pastas-i-have-ever-eaten-and-i-have-eaten-a-lot-of-pasta/

Zucchini:

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:):) Yep, we have a glut, especially as Roger planted 6 plants this year because he really likes the chutney I make and this vegetable is so versatile. We are giving it away left, right and centre lol. But I am freezing some, making heaps of the chutney because it gets ladled onto to everything all year long and we are eating it every night. I tried zucchini chips but they didn’t work out – I will try it again at some stage.

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Yesterdays harvest minus the four marrow I gave away.

Raspberry Liqueur: A friend of ours who makes his own spirits kindly made us a batch of vodka. I would never buy vodka but wanted to try making my own fruit liqueurs and this is affordable and can be used with many different fruits. 1 lb of fruit, 3 cups of vodka and 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Leave to steep for a month, shake or stir regularly. Strain, sit a month then filter and rebottle, leave at least 3 months before drinking. Yep, I know….3 whole months!! I wonder if the same thing will happen that happened with our wine, drunk too soon but it was very good!

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I have slowly been adding dried vegetables to a large jar of dried soup mix. We bought a metre and a half of aluminium fly screen netting to place on top of our oven racks and vegetables can be tried overnight at 50 – 60 degrees. I have done carrots, beans, onions, pumpkin to add too lentils, barley, herbs etc. This is slow going but given I used to buy a packet of stockpot mix as a base to each pot I made I figure at least I know what is in my homemade.

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19 thoughts on “Freezing eggs and preserving….my busy time of the year.

  1. Wow…that is an amazing production line! I totally understand how some days you don’t mind, and others you wonder why…I feel that way during the days I am growing the food + harvesting etc…your stuff looks so amazing! Beet Chutney-YUM!..well, I have too many recipes to check out + just add to the others I gather at your site:-)You are so resourceful + who would of thunk that you could freeze eggs-great idea!

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  2. RT says:

    I want to try to grow beets this year – thanks for the ideas for using them (well, except the greens – you know how I feel about greens, gag). The other thing I recently found online that I want to try is to grate and dehydrate zucchini for zucchini bread (rather than freezing it). Not that I have anything against freezing it for making zucchini bread in the winter, I just want to try with dehydrated. Experiments are such great fun, after all. It would also be handy for tossing into soups and such for extra nutrition. Let us know how the frozen eggs works for you … silly me still hasn’t tried it. Hang in there. Like you said, it’s a lot of work now but oh-so-worth-it come winter!

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    • Honestly, they are the easiest vegetable to grow. Dehydrated zucchini sounds worth giving a go, frozen is better than nothing but you do lose alot of the juices when you go to use them.

      Oh yeah, I will 🙂 I just need to learn to say “Not today, it’s a me day” !!

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  3. I LOVE this post! Fecund with harvest and now what to do? I get eggs all winter with my lot being feral and an American breed they probably think that they are in Hawaii over our mild winters. I have been finding some really gorgeous looking zucchini and chocolate cakes. If you can’t give them away whole, try baking them into cakes ;). I just looked at the zucchini plants today and they are covered in zeppelin sized fruit… what to do? I eat a lot of veggies but even I am going to be struggling to get that lot down!

    I adore beetroot but unlike Roger I think the leaves are even better than the roots. I love roasted beetroot and the tops get steamed and served like silverbeet. I could eat a whole steamer full all by myself :). 200 beetroot? How much land did you say you have?!!!

    What a great idea with the dried veggies for soup! We use lentils in our soup and occasionally barley (although Steve isn’t a fan) but I tend not to use anything but fresh veggies with it but in the middle of winter this would be a wonderful save. I LOVE this blog! I always come away buzzing with possibilities and thoughts racing around in my head :). You are officially never allowed to stop blogging ma’am…what on EARTH would I do then?!!! (sides…Sidmouth isn’t ready for a bored narf7. You wouldn’t want THAT on your conscience would you?;) )

    I would love to get in your kitchen. In a past life I was a cook and I love messing about with food (almost as much as I love eating it)…just imagine the fun that we could have making all sorts of whacked out things with your admirable harvest. Tell Roger that I am officially his number 1 fan in his newly formed Sidmouth Chapter of the “We love Roger” confraternity 😉

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    • I make chocolate zucchini cakes over summer, use it in heaps of things, freeze lots…they just keep coming lol

      During winter alot of my soup veges come out of the freezer with fresh added. I don’t know why I just feel I should dry some to use as a base. With the earthquakes last winter I realised I didn’t want to be solely reliant on frozen veg and should dry more, plus it doesn’t take up much space. However, dehydrated stuff is not my idea of food so I will see how it goes this year.

      Well…:) 🙂 I am pleased you enjoy my blog Fran. I don’t know that I could ever do enough around here to keep my blog going forever though, sooner or later I’m going to be really stuck for writing material!!

      You and I in my kitchen, sounds great but it would be a squeeze – I have a really pathetically small kitchen. One day (when I’ve cleaned it :)) I will show you. However, if you ever want to come over and visit you would be most welcome and I will be very happy to let you do all the cooking you like.

      And I will tell Roger, who is presently asleep on the couch, that he has fans as far and wide as Sidmouth 🙂 🙂

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      • Dehydrated veggies for making soup are a really good idea. I am just about to follow suit because you aren’t losing nutrients in the drying process, they take up a whole lot less room. They use very little energy to dehydrate and none to store and they are quickly and easily rehydrated and made into soup or stew. A really great idea and a very sustainable one as well :). It also deals with a glut that you have NO idea how you are going to use it all up as well thus minimising spoilage and the fruit/vegetable losing nutrients through over ripening. Let me know when you run out of ideas and I will send you a list 😉 Seriously though, I do love your blog. It is like a little oasis of reality that shines through a sea of bampf. No whistles, no bells, no photographs that belong in a bloody coffee table book and that took the blogger a week to stage and for what?!!!

        Don’t worry about cleaning…Methinks you and I have the very same thoughts about it. My house isn’t pristine. I have dust, my windows tend to be on the smeary side most times (cheers dogs and your question noses 😉 ), you can usually find at least some breadcrumbs, a few tea and coffee cup rings, the odd strange “blob” of something and my floor needs to be swept constantly or it takes on a semi-fuzzy hue of dog hair and the silty dust that makes up our topsoil. I learned when we moved here, that being house-proud would result in me ending up in a mental asylum. I had to learn to relax my ideals and take a load off. I am much happier now and it’s only when my clutter alarm bell goes off (has to be a MAJOR clutter though 😉 ) that I start to go into tidying action. If my friends don’t like a bit of dog hair and dust then they don’t have to visit do they? 😉

        You can tell Roger that Steve is a kindred spirit (long lost brother) and that he spends a good proportion of the evening doing the self-same thing. He stays up later than me to “watch movies” but pretty much falls asleep the moment I go to bed and ends up waking up at about 11 with a crick in his neck ;). I reckon Roger and Steve would have a great deal to talk about. They are both amazing problem solvers and it would be great fun to see what they could both come up with in the garden (might also be slightly terrifying! 😉 ). If I ever make it over there (highly unlikely as the “penniless” thing seems to be the norm rather than a mere trifle 😉 ) I would be most honoured to cook for you. New Zealand has some of the best fresh ingredients around.

        I just made another batch of that granola and it is even better than the first. I added cocoa and I had about 2 cups of squeezed out sesame seed pulp. The dry mix (that you mix the pulp into ) tasted really good…I could have dried that alone and the granola would have been a nice mild vanilla flavoured cereal. Might even try that next time but I am looking forwards to a bowl of this new cereal today. I am a bit pissed off because I added another cup of buckwheat to the mix and it made 2 trays but even though I was checking the bbq at regular intervals I burned the last tray and had to throw it out. I hope the possums enjoyed it 😉

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      • What you will always get on this blog is the REAL, ordinary, every day, decidedly average us. And it’s the same in your blog Fran. When I first started this blog I had no idea I would get followers, I thought I could blog away then put it “out there” one day when I was ready. From day 1 I got followers and honestly, it scared the bejeebies out of me. My first thoughts were delete it because people would have all those expectations of great photography, great cuisine blah blah blah. That’s not who we are. I COULD do it but I can’t be bothered because it would be a pretend world. I love nice food but sitting down to a homegrown, home cooked meal you get the best flavours imaginable, nothing needs to be dressed up or over created. I have had times when I’ve thought if I am blogging I should make more of an effort but who would it be for? Not us, we’re happy doing what we do, eating what we eat and doing ordinary 🙂 🙂 There are no airs and graces here so I’m not going to create any trying to impress, if it bores some then they don’t have to follow 🙂

        Ditto with the house thing lol. There are more important things to do and honestly, my darling man is one of the messiest people I have ever met and if I tried to maintain perfect I would go crazy. There’s usually too much going on here to look immaculate, it gets done when it gets done. It’s not messy but certainly not pristine! I do have a problem with cupboards, I must take responsibility for that lol. Generally they are opened, stuffed fired in wherever it fits and doors firmly closed against stuff threatening to fall back out. What’s behind closed doors is behind closed doors lol

        Steve and Roger sound very much alike 🙂 Roger usually falls asleep around 8 on the couch and wanders in to bed when he’s woken by a stiff neck, shoulder or the cold. He gets up around 4.30 am
        so he is exhausted by 8 pm. He did dairy farming for years and got used to waking early for milking and that just the pattern now.

        Dried food is a good standby and yep, a great way to use up that glut but it doesn’t look inspiring to cook with in any big way. But the thought of emergencies happening where we don’t have power and lose our frozen stuff, well….I’d rather look at all ways of preserving now. Last year I did alot of dried fruit but we ate that as fast as I dried it!

        Next week I will get some buckwheat and give this a go. That’s a shame about your second tray, to make all that yummyness then lose it.

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  4. I’ll just ditto just about everything narf said. Really incredible what you do, I am so full of admiration. And I bet that throughout the winter you just love going and pulling out a jar or a freezer bag of some yummy thing that you grew and tended and put up for just this precise moment!

    I used to do all that freezing and preserving and stuff back when Adam was a lad – I can still remember the feeling of immense satisfaction I had when I stood in the laundry of our old villa and saw the shelves that lined the walls heaving with jars of stuff that I had bottled!! I was so proud 🙂

    I also remember the hot summer nights when I would be in the kitchen over a boiling vat of something, sterilising jars in the hot oven and bottling up at midnight with the sweat pouring down my face in rivulets….

    I’m so glad I don’t do it any more – but so proud of you 🙂

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    • Yes, we do love to just grab jars of yummy things throughout winter and it gives a good sense of security to know a major portion of our food is taken care of for the year…and pride that we did it for ourselves 🙂

      Wouldn’t change it for anything…most of the time 🙂 🙂

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  5. Urban Overalls says:

    Love how you freeze your eggs. I really must do that this summer. Our ‘girls’ had a long molt and so I resorted to getting store-bought eggs for3 1/2 months. (They just aren’t the same.) I love beets and it has been ages since I have canned some… may have to try your recipe. Love your veggies pictures… I am watching snow fall today.

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    • This is the first year I have done it and eggs are not expensive to buy in the off months but you are right, they aren’t the same. And it doesn’t make sense not to preserve the excess like we do everything else 🙂

      Ugh, snow, the very word makes me shiver! We are fortunate to experience that very rarely, even in winter we can still get out and do things in the garden even if we can’t grow much.

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  6. It’s too late for a proper comment here, but I was wondering if you have heard of ‘water-glass’? Here’s a link to a bunch of links: https://www.google.ca/search?as_q=isinglas&as_epq=preserving+eggs&as_oq=&as_eq=&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&lr=&cr=&as_qdr=all&as_sitesearch=&as_occt=any&safe=images&tbs=&as_filetype=&as_rights=

    When my Mum and Aunty were young, they preserved the summer eggs like this for the winter. So far as I know, the eggs were just like fresh and lasted for months. Their Mum used a large crock and put the water-glass in, then lowered the eggs in carefully. That’s it. If you can get the stuff, it might be worth looking into. I’d say maybe put some Styrofoam or something around the crock in case of another quake, too.

    I wish we all lived close together; I have a large food dryer in my storage in Vernon, BC that I would happily be loaning to you or you could come over (to my so-far mythical country cottage) and we could dry food together. Or we could all build and use our own . . . I think I’ll post about that soon; they are amazingly easy to construct and use just a lightbulb or a fish-smoking element (what mine has) to furnish the heat. When I first used mine, we didn’t have power, but I put the thinly sliced veggies or apples on the racks and the dryer sat out in the yard where it got sun all day and that worked, too. It was faster when we moved into town and had power, though.

    Great posts, Wendy. Hang in there; it’s all worth it. Think of my Mum, with my help, of course, putting up dozens of jars of fruit and tomatoes for 11 people! We had an awesome storage room in the basement and it was full every year, along with damp-sand-filled wooden sided boxes that preserved the carrots, turnips, etc. Apples and pears were wrapped in newspaper and stored in wooden boxes. It was a lot of work, but so worth it. I know you already know this, but I’m just reminding you for those times when you don’t care if you see another canning jar . . . especially on the long hot days . . . ~ Linne

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    • Hi Linne. I have never heard of that, very interesting. I had a quick look and will go back to it and read up. Thanks for that.
      Yes, what a shame you don’t live closer, what fun that would be 🙂
      I often think of our Victorian ladies, in our hot summers in their long dresses doing all this over a fire and for their large families….honestly I don’t know how they did it! They were certainly made of harder stuff! Me, I enjoy the process most days, on others, especially if really hot, I wonder why we don’t just go to a supermarket for these things and if there isn’t something I could be doing that was more fun lol. Spoilt child doing chores behaviour in most cases I think 🙂
      In two weeks though we have a weekend off, going to Wellington for a Hollies concert. I am verrry excited, I have never been to a concert and every other time they have come we haven’t had the money.

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