There is something so lovely about homemade things - big and small. Recently I have been doing more homemade food basics.
I made jam - 2 different types of strawberry - one with boil pectin and one with no-boil pectin. They both turned out fabulously. I dried bell peppers, we got more than we could eat from our CSA share. Then I dried some red peppers and jalopenos too (also from CSA). Last week I made pumpkin muffins and froze them to take to work.
Tomorrow I am planning on canning tomatoes (for the first time ever). And starting some vanilla extract (also a first).
I am genuinely surprised by how easy food prep actually is. Plus so far, the pay off is well worth the effort.
I have also been surprised by how little food is necessary to actually bother with preserving. The peppers are a perfect example. I only had 6 bell peppers, but I knew that was more than we would eat before they would go bad, so I washed and cut them and put them on a cookie sheet in the oven with the light on to warm it up a little. One week later, I have a jar (very small) of dried bell peppers perfect for soups, etc.