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Moldy Tomatoes and Stinky Sauerkraut

imageWe promised the kids we would go to the aquarium in SLC today, on condition that they helped in the yard first.  By mid-day we were all smeared with green stains from the tomato plants we pulled out, and dirty.  I looked like I’d been living in the garden for a few weeks without a shower.  My mother and father in law stopped by to visit as we were finishing.  I was hurrying around so I could get cleaned up before we left, and my father in law asked if I didn’t want to take life a little slower sometime. I said I did, but not today! I know that’s a choice, but in the fall my yard doesn’t really give me a choice. Because I garden year round, when I clean a bed out, I replant it with something new. I do get a little reprieve around February when I spend my time reading books about gardening instead. I think I have a problem!

Food preservation
I am teaching a class this weekend about food preservation.  That is what my entire fall has been consumed with, storing away food for the winter.  Last year I was so excited to finally have a root cellar – I had been begging for one for years.  We filled it full of squash, pumpkins, apples, beets, potatoes and onions. I had a bumper crop of tomatoes and hated to let all of the green ones freeze, so I picked a bunch and put them in the root cellar to ripen.  We left for a week for Thanksgiving, and when we got back I noticed some of the tomatoes had gone bad in the bottom of the bins.  I knew I needed to get them out, but didn’t have time for a week or so.  By the time I got them out they were very moldy.

Mold, oh no!
What I didn’t realize is that the damp, cool conditions in a root cellar are prime breeding grounds for mold.  The mold spread, and spread quickly.  Within a month I had lost all of the squash and pumpkins, and soon after, the apples.  We ended up taking almost everything out of the cellar and waiting for the next year to use it again.  It was a very sad day.

I’m always sad when I lose food because of my mistakes, but am so grateful my family won’t starve because of it.  I learn every time, and will do better next year.   In fact, today I spent some time spraying the insides of my cellar with a natural mold killer.  I won’t make that mistake again!

Don’t be afraid
When I talk to people about storing food, this issue comes up a lot – they are afraid to even start for fear they will mess up.  Well, as my experience shows, if you don’t mess up now and then, you don’t learn the valuable lessons you need.  So here’s a primer on food storage, the old fashioned way, and simple ways to implement in these ideas.  

You never know when things may change in your life, and you will be so grateful to have 50 pounds of potatoes in the garage if you need them.  By the way, you don’t need a root cellar to do this – I’ll share ways everyone can “lay up stores” for the winter.

Food Preservation Tips:

Techniques for storing food:

What you can store and where to get it:
Because it’s late in the season, I will concentrate on things you can still acquire and easily preserve.  

Tomato Puree
Wash tomatoes well, then remove stem and cut in half. Put into a crock pot tightly and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  When done, use a ladle or measuring cup to scoop off all extra juice/water in the crock.  Use an immersion blender or a regular blender and blend up until smooth.  Put in cans and process for 40 min in steam/water bath canner.

Sauerkraut
adapted from Sandor Katz
Equipment:

Ingredients (for 1 gallon):

Process:

There are so many more foods and preservation methods, but these are great to start with!  Check these sources, follow your gut – you will know what your family needs.  Don’t be caught wishing you had prepared.  Have fun and do it as a family – they may grumble, but they will be proud when they are eating food they helped preserve.  Happy preserving!

Love,
Dr. Michelle Jorgensen

This information is not meant as medical advice. It is provided solely for education. Our practice would be pleased to discuss your unique circumstances and needs as they relate to these topics.



Your Top Rated Dentist in American Fork, Utah . . .

  • “They take such good care of everyone in the office! Michelle is definitely the best dentist in the valley and her assistants are the most entertaining you will find. ” - Amanda
  • “I get compliments on my smile on a regular basis and, without exception, I always give credit to the folks at Total Care Dental. Michelle is a great dentist and Jilene always makes me feel like a dental supermodel!” - Cheryl
  • “I live about 40 miles from Total Care Dental and the drive is worth it. I have been a patient for 4 years now and have been treated with the best customer service any patient could hope for! ” - Archer
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Your Top Rated Dentist in American Fork, Utah…
  • “They take such good care of everyone in the office! Michelle is definitely the best dentist in the valley and her assistants are the most entertaining you will find. ” - Amanda
  • “I get compliments on my smile on a regular basis and, without exception, I always give credit to the folks at Total Care Dental. Michelle is a great dentist and Jilene always makes me feel like a dental supermodel!” - Cheryl
  • “I live about 40 miles from Total Care Dental and the drive is worth it. I have been a patient for 4 years now and have been treated with the best customer service any patient could hope for! ” - Archer
best dentist in american fork ut
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Come experience Total Care Dental and you will see that our American Fork, Utah (UT) dentists and staff offer state-of-the-art, quality dental care services with a smile to patients in our local community, including: Provo, Pleasant Grove, Lehi, Orem, Lindon, Alpine Highland, Springville, Spanish Fork and surrounding areas. Whether you are seeking an American Fork general dentist, sedation dentist, or a completely different approach to dental care, we are here to provide results and the most enjoyable dental visit you will ever have! Call us at (801) 756-3737 and experience the difference with Total Care Dental.
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