Getting Organized

20110717-122122.jpg While I'm waiting for the tomatoes and peppers to ripen, I am also thinking about how to preserve them come harvest time. But before I can preserve, I need to get organized. Where are my canning jars? How many lids do I need to purchase? Do I have pickling spices?

Here's a before picture of my canning cabinet:


And here's the after picture: 20110717-011925.jpg

The Urban Pantry, by Amy Pennington, has been an invaluable reference guide in my quest to know what lurks in my cupboards. The book outlined pantry staples, canning techniques, organization tips, great recipes, and details on her own pantry garden. The Urban Pantry is a great motivator and got me thinking about how to make the most of what I'm growing. And that goes beyond pickles and marinara sauce. I'm thinking lavender and verbena salt scrubs, vanilla sugar, and my own chili powder.

As the summer progresses, I've gone back to review her harvesting techniques for herbs, (cut mint as close to the soil as possible,) and I'm excited to try her Indian Pickled Carrots recipe!

I picked up my copy through iBooks, but you can also find it at book stores and on Amazon.