Elder Care: With fall just around the corner, the summer’s gardening season is ending for many in cooler northern states.
It’s time to help your dad harvest his crops and figure out what to do with all the excess vegetables and fruits he’s grown all summer. What do you do with everything he’s raised? Between you and his elder care provider you can use the following tips to help him.
Explore Blanching and Freezing Vegetables
All of the extra carrots, corn, green beans, zucchini, etc., are easily frozen by blanching them first, drying them, and placing them in freezer containers or bags. Throughout the winter, your dad can get a pack of vegetables from his freezer for meals and snacks.
Blanching is an easy process that involves quickly dipping vegetables in boiling water. Once they’ve sat in the boiling water for the designated time, remove them to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. It keeps vegetables from becoming mushy when frozen.
Make Batches of Sauces and Soups
If you want to can sauces, it’s possible. There are many online guides to steam canning. It’s easier, however, to make batches of your dad’s favorite sauce and move it to freezer bags for storage. You can also make his favorite soups from the vegetable he’s grown.
Your dad loves pasta. You can make a large batch of marinara sauce and freeze it in single-serving portions. He’ll have plenty of sauce to last the winter. You can do the same with batches of vegetable soup, minestrone, etc.
Oven Dry His Tomatoes
Use the oven to dry vegetables. One of the best to do this with is your dad’s tomato crop. You’re going to use low heat to sun dry tomatoes for salads and pasta dishes. Wash enough tomatoes and toss with salt. Bake them at 250 F for three hours. Once dried, you can store the tomatoes in jars of olive oil or air-tight bags.
The Benefit of Storing Excess Produce Each Fall
Can’t your dad donate or compost the vegetables he doesn’t need? While he could, storing his produce for the winter provides him with fresh produce throughout the winter. Until next year’s planting season begins, your dad benefits by having a freezer full of the vegetables he’s grown.
Saving money on groceries is one of the many ways families make elder care services affordable. If your dad needs someone helping him with daily activities of living, don’t put it off.
Find a way to pay for caregivers and ensure he’s supported as he ages at home. Call elder care services to find out caregiver prices and schedule services that match your dad’s budget.