Updated: Dec 13, 2018
The beauty of summer fades too quickly every year; and just as we wish we could capture sunlight to carry with us into the dark winter days, we also wish to preserve the flavor of cherry tomatoes off the vine and the crunch of a fresh cucumber. Of course these are also a great way of making food last when harvest bears us more than we are prepared to eat. Here are nine ways to store summer in your pantry.
Before you get started with any of these nine methods, make sure you get the right supplies for storage. Mason jars are a staple for canning and for storing dried or preserved foods; but don't over pay for them. We recommend:
Wide mouth pint Ball jars can be used for canning and fermenting, or even storing dried goods in. (We also like to use them for drinking glasses: durable, decorative, inexpensive, and easy to find if you need to replace them. No more hunting for discontinued glassware or buying an entire set of glasses because one broke. No joke, I even use them for wine!)
Vaccum Sealer: You might also think about picking up a vacuum sealer so you can toss whole foods into the freezer to preserve them in their raw state with the most nutritional value. This Weston 11-inch Professional Advantage is the most highly recommended by America's Test Kitchen. You can purchase pre-cut bags, or buy a roll of bags to cut at whatever length you choose.
Mesh bags are also handy for cured food, and look beautiful in your pantry.