Food
Life in Alaska

We've Grown, We've Harvested...Now What?

Story and Media by
Wendy Wesser
Media by
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Written by
Wendy Wesser

Is your freezer filled with rhubarb, zucchini, blueberries, etc…? This is a good thing, but you may be needing to make room for other items or even considering a second freezer. Many of your fruits, vegetables, and berries can be processed and canned to free up space, but that can be tedious and time-consuming. I may have a partial solution to make your life a little easier.

This past spring I had the opportunity to explore Germany and meet my mom’s penpal (they’ve been writing to each other for over 60 years!). The Gladys family made us feel very welcome and it was wonderful learning about their ways of life in Hamburg and the Harz Mountains. Despite the language barrier, communication was fun, and our memorable time together was packed with treasured experiences…as well as great German food and drink.

One of the drinks served was apple juice they had made and canned themselves. I thoroughly enjoyed it, thinking about my own crab apples at home, and I appreciated how much work was involved in turning apples into a clear juice. As I was helping to put away some items in their kitchen I noticed a large multi-piece stainless steel pot with a tube hanging out—unlike anything that I was familiar with. When I asked about it, they showed us how it worked and confirmed that this is how they made their juices. It works by simply filling the bottom section with water, setting the juice catcher on, and then putting the fruit or vegetable you are steaming in the basket on top. I was sold. As soon as I arrived home I ordered a juicer/steamer of my own.

Many kitchen gadgets don’t last. They are kind of cool for a short time and then end up just taking up space. Not my juicer/steamer! I’ve been using it all summer and it has a place of honor next to our canner in my kitchen/dining room...when it is not on the stove top that is. I’ve used it to process countless batches of rhubarb, raspberries, currants, mint, and blueberries. I will be using it to process vegetables and crab apples this fall. The cooked fruit or vegetables left in the basket after steaming are usually great to keep and use in other recipes.

The juicer/steamer I bought included a booklet filled with useful how-to instructions and recipes for juices, jellies, jams, syrups, puddings, tomato paste, wines, and even meats. After reading reviews, I spent a little extra to get my juicer/steamer with a glass lid so I can keep an eye on the process. Trust me, this is one kitchen tool you will be using for many years…and it may just save you from having to invest in that second freezer.

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We've Grown, We've Harvested...Now What?

Food
Life in Alaska

Author

Wendy Wesser

Writing, history, gardening, and traveling are a few of Wendy Wesser’s interests. She grew up in Alaska, living as far south as Metlakatla and as far north as Fairbanks. Her family’s history of six generations in Alaska reaches back to the Gold Rush years. She loves reading, hearing, and sharing Alaskan stories of newcomers and oldtimers alike—Last Frontier Magazine has provided her the opportunity to work in this very venue.Alternate bio for articles: Wendy currently resides in Wasilla, Alaska, but has also lived in Metlakatla, Ketchikan, Juneau, Anchorage, and Fairbanks. She enjoys sharing her life experiences of hiking, skiing, gardening, winter camping, etc…, as well as helping other Alaskans (old, new, current, or past) to share their own tales. Since she always says, “Yes!” to the next adventure, her backlog of stories is varied and almost endless. 


Is your freezer filled with rhubarb, zucchini, blueberries, etc…? This is a good thing, but you may be needing to make room for other items or even considering a second freezer. Many of your fruits, vegetables, and berries can be processed and canned to free up space, but that can be tedious and time-consuming. I may have a partial solution to make your life a little easier.

This past spring I had the opportunity to explore Germany and meet my mom’s penpal (they’ve been writing to each other for over 60 years!). The Gladys family made us feel very welcome and it was wonderful learning about their ways of life in Hamburg and the Harz Mountains. Despite the language barrier, communication was fun, and our memorable time together was packed with treasured experiences…as well as great German food and drink.

One of the drinks served was apple juice they had made and canned themselves. I thoroughly enjoyed it, thinking about my own crab apples at home, and I appreciated how much work was involved in turning apples into a clear juice. As I was helping to put away some items in their kitchen I noticed a large multi-piece stainless steel pot with a tube hanging out—unlike anything that I was familiar with. When I asked about it, they showed us how it worked and confirmed that this is how they made their juices. It works by simply filling the bottom section with water, setting the juice catcher on, and then putting the fruit or vegetable you are steaming in the basket on top. I was sold. As soon as I arrived home I ordered a juicer/steamer of my own.

Many kitchen gadgets don’t last. They are kind of cool for a short time and then end up just taking up space. Not my juicer/steamer! I’ve been using it all summer and it has a place of honor next to our canner in my kitchen/dining room...when it is not on the stove top that is. I’ve used it to process countless batches of rhubarb, raspberries, currants, mint, and blueberries. I will be using it to process vegetables and crab apples this fall. The cooked fruit or vegetables left in the basket after steaming are usually great to keep and use in other recipes.

The juicer/steamer I bought included a booklet filled with useful how-to instructions and recipes for juices, jellies, jams, syrups, puddings, tomato paste, wines, and even meats. After reading reviews, I spent a little extra to get my juicer/steamer with a glass lid so I can keep an eye on the process. Trust me, this is one kitchen tool you will be using for many years…and it may just save you from having to invest in that second freezer.

No items found.

Author

Wendy Wesser

Author & Media

Wendy Wesser

No items found.

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