Yes, You Can this Summer and Beyond (podcast)

Jul 1st, 2017 | By | Category: Featured Articles, podcast, the show
Yes, You Can! And Freeze and Dry, Too.

Yes, You Can! And Freeze and Dry, Too.

Editor’s Note: We just learned that Mr. Gasteiger passed away June 1, 2017 from pancreatic cancer. We extend our condolences to his wife of 30 years, his three children and all who knew and loved him.

Jams and jellies. Pickles and preserves. Sauces, and even kale chips!  We’re able to enjoy the season’s freshest picks year round thanks to the art of food preservation.

Interest in preserving food is on the rise; credit the Locavore movement or the fear of Armageddon — whatever it is, sales of canning supplies is beginning to rival the days when our grannies wrestled multiple jars of fruit pulp into hot water baths.

Plenty of books have come out in the last few years that deal with preserving seasonal produce. One of them is Yes, You Can! And Freeze and Dry It, Too, by Daniel Gasteiger of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

I spoke with Daniel by phone.  He told me that for him, food preservation begins in his kitchen garden.

“I fondly refer to it as a ‘small’ kitchen garden, because I believe that if you gardened it in a typical vegetable garden style, it really would only supply supplemental vegetables through the growing season. I tend to plant intensively. So, in a row that might typically have four or five tomato plants — I’ll have thirteen or fourteen.”

Daniel preserves whatever his family cannot eat fresh. And by the sound of it — that’s most of the season’s harvest.

With the quantity and diversity of preserved products lining grocery store shelves and freezer cases, why would anyone go through the trouble, mess, and expense of canning, freezing or drying their own food? For Daniel the answer is simple: “I know where my food comes from and how fresh it is. My home canned goods don’t have ingredients listed on labels,  but if they did, the lists would be short and I’d be able to  pronounce everything on them.”

Yes, You Can! And Freeze and Dry It, Too, by Daniel Gasteiger, is a great resource filled with color photographs and illustrated step-by-step instructions for the beginner and the seasoned home cook. It’s accessible and offers useful tips, tricks and recipes to take the reader through a year of preserving and eating the freshest food available. He says if you can follow instructions, you can be successful.

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  1. I currently garden at Sunshine Gardens, an organic, cooperative garden in Austin, Texas. I want to enjoy my vegetables and fruits all through the year. This would be a great start to learning how to preserve my produce!