I have done zero food preservation this summer. In summers past, I've made apricot and cherry jam, and put bags and bags of berries in the freezer. In summer's past, apricots and cherries have fallen from our neighbor's trees and into our laps, but not so this summer. Free fruit has been harder to come by. In summers past, my kids have begged to go berry picking, but we only made it out once or twice this summer, and the berries didn't make it past our bellies.
The other day when our neighbor offered some not so pretty apples, I remembered the advice from a lady at the farmer's market about letting apples get not so pretty before baking, and I decided to make some applesauce.
I made a small batch in the crock pot, just peeled and chopped apples, a little bit of brown sugar and cinnamon, cooked on low for the afternoon. Boy did the house smell good. I let the sauce cool a bit, then spooned it into an ice cube tray to freeze small portions of applesauce, just the right size for adding to a bowl of oatmeal. Oatmeal sweetened with applesauce is one of my favorite breakfasts.
Maybe September and October will offer more opportunities to preserve food. Pickled green beans, pumpkin butter, more applesauce, definitely some dried herbs. And maybe next summer our neighbor's will experience a bumper crop of fruit and we'll restock our pantry with jam.