Fall Fest: Save ’Em While You Can

By: Michelle Buffardi

We're teaming up with other food and garden bloggers to host Summer Fest 2010, a season-long garden party. Each week we'll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you're harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. To join in, check out awaytogarden.com.

It's almost over, kids. Garden season, that is. At least in many parts of the country. The big spike in hard squashes, the return of spinach, and the appearance of apples and pears in farmer's markets means the end is near. But don't despair, this week of fall fest is all about the ways you can make your produce last a teeny bit longer.

Quick, save the apples!

Whip up some apple sauce. It's not as intimidating as it sounds, and you can freeze it in freezer bags, too.

Make and freeze apple bread. You'll thank yourself when you defrost a loaf one chilly winter morning.

Save the squash!

Roast or steam, puree, freeze. This goes for most varieties of squash and pumpkins. When you're ready, take out the frozen pulp and use in soups and baked goods.

Try your hand at pumpkin butter. Don't be intimidated, Deb at Smitten Kitchen has an easy-to-follow how-to.

Save the cabbage!

You could get all exotic, and make some kim chi. Curious? It's a classic Korean dish of fermented cabbage and hot pepper. Check out Kim's Kimchi on Food(ography) for some know-how and a fiercely hot recipe.

Or go the more traditional route and make sauerkraut to enjoy now on a reuben (like Emeril's Open-Faced Reuben), or save for the colder months to use in Mario Batali's Sauerkraut and Bean Soup.

Save the onions!
How does onion marmalade sound? Amazing, right?

You could pickle them, too, super-simple and refrigerator-style.

What are you putting up during these last few weeks of the harvest season?
More mad stashes from our friends and family:
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Fall Fest: Pumpkin Risotto

Yes, pumpkins make great jack-o-lanterns, but did you also know they make a great dinner? Small and plump pie or sugar pumpkins are great in pumpkin recipes.

Fall Fest: Kabocha Squash Pasta

I've never met a squash I didn't like but I think I might be in love with kabocha squash. It doesn't have a stringy texture that some squash varieties are prone to.

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