Market on the Move Weekend

Market on the Move produce

Don found out about this non-profit organization that “rescues” produce that is destined to be thrown out.  They take culls from the produce warehouses in Nogales, AZ and truck them to the Phoenix metro area where they distribute them.  For a $10 donation you get to pick up anywhere up to 60 pounds of produce. 

We decided to see what it was all about so we went this Saturday morning.  We wound up buying a yearly membership.  A yearly membership is $100 which allows you to go 11 times a year with no further donation required.
We wound up with 40 pounds of vegetable this time.  Next time I will be a little less shy and we will get closer to 60 pounds.
Chopped bell pepper

We got bell peppers, banana peppers, corn, tomatoes, and those little packets of cherry tomatoes.  I spent the rest of the weekend processing the produce so it wouldn’t go bad.

First I chopped the bell peppers to freeze.  This is a great way to save bell peppers.  When a recipe calls for them I just pull out the bags, give them a whack on the counter and measure the amount.  I use about 3/4 of a cup for a whole pepper.  They taste just as good as fresh.  I also cut them in strips and freeze them for uses like polish sausage and peppers.  Yummy.
Corn on the coblet

Then I shucked the corn and got it ready to freeze.  Freezing corn is so easy and it’s not nearly as nerve wracking as canning it.  I’ve heard so many horror stories about canned corn.  I suspect that it’s because the people canning it were using a water bath instead of a pressure canner.

By the way, canning is not hard.  And pressure canners are not the carnival shoot of safety that they use to be.  Try it, you’ll be amazed.
Anyway, I just blanched the little coblets and vacuum sealed them.  Now they’re sitting in the freezer waiting for some hot water, butter, and salt.  Oh my.
Four pints of pickled peppers.

Next I started on some pickled banana peppers.  These little bastards, I mean gems almost did me in.  Every banana pepper I’ve ever eaten was sweet.  Not these.  These are some kind of Hungarian banana pepper and about 3/4 of the way through chopping and seeding they started letting me know that they’re the badass of banana peppers.  Oh em gee they burn your skin when you don’t wear gloves.  I’ve tried every internet antidote available and my fingers are still burning 24 hours later.  Take some advice – unless you absolutely know that the peppers you are working with are harmless use gloves.

The two jars with the whitish liquid prove just how el cheapo I am.  I had too much brine and didn’t want to throw it away so I canned it.  hahaha  I have no idea what I will do with it but it’s saved by God.
Seven quarts of tomatoes

The peppers were a two step process.  They had to soak in salt water overnight.  I finished canning them this (Sunday) morning.

Then I started on the tomatoes.
The tomatoes we got are really for slicing and so weren’t very juicy.  Where necessary I added some boiling water to the jar to cover the tomatoes.  I don’t think it will hurt anything but I’ll watch them just the same.  I don’t hold out much hope for them being all that tasty.  Really good tomatoes have to ripen on the vine and these were after all supermarket tomatoes.  But hey, they’ll be good filler in a soup or something.
I had planned on canning some orange juice this weekend too but I’m pooped.  Maybe I can squeeze in some more activity in the evenings this week.
The roof is progressing nicely and should be done by tomorrow or Tuesday, thank goodness.  It feels like getting that job done has remotivated us to work on the house some more.
And that my friends was my Market on the Move weekend.  Hope you had a good one too.

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