Canned vegetables and a sourdough bread surprise

I just got home from a free workshop about canning vegetables. I found out about it on Meetup.com, and it’s through a group called the Tarrant County Urban Homesteading Community.

Loved it.

I’ve canned fruit before, and I had a successful attempt at canning pickled okra earlier this summer. But I haven’t really canned anything else. The information I learned — we got a demo of how to can tomatoes as well as info about canning other vegetables — was mostly basic canning stuff. Although I’m sure I could have found out information online, it’s nice to see the process in action and be able to ask questions face-to-face. It’s also reassuring to know that the way I’ve done it before is the way other people have successfully canned stuff, too.

I can’t wait to get my hands on some vegetables to can. I’ll certainly keep my eye out for good sales at the grocery store until my garden gets underway and I have excess vegetables. I might not have that much this fall, but hopefully next spring and summer will be productive. At least I’m hoping that by then I’ve amended the soil well enough and gotten used to the local weather, pest problems, etc.

Sourdough starter party favor -- yum!

Another awesome thing about the workshop I attended was the party favor. I wasn’t expecting to leave with anything, but I got quite a wonderful gift to take home. The woman who opened up her house for the workshop makes her own organic sourdough bread, and she gave out 1/2 cup portions of sourdough starter, which is what makes the dough rise. I’m supposed to feed it water and flour every day or so, which increases the amount of starter I have. Once I get enough, I can use it to make bread. It’s basically a culture of yeast that I can keep alive and continue to grow/use for how ever long I want.

I tasted some of the bread she made with it and was amazed. I’m hoping I can make something comparable, even though I don’t have any fancy bread-making equipment. I’ll definitely keep everyone posted on how my first loaf turns out, because soon enough I’ll have plenty of sourdough starter to share with anyone in the Fort Worth area who would like some.

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