If you thought last winter was brutal, just wait until what's in store for this year. According to the Old Farmer's Almanac the 2016–2017 winter will be especially bad, including places like the Pacific Northwest that don't normally see the wrath of snow.
But before you start thinking about your escape plan, consider taking advantage of all of the delicious produce available to you right now. Those tomatoes, cucumbers, and berries you're enjoying right now can also help warm your heart when you're snowed in. Think of these 13 preserving recipes — pickles, jams, and sauces — as a little gift to yourself and your family when you just can't with winter anymore.
You only need three ingredients to make these oven tomatoes: olive oil, salt, and, of course, tomatoes. These are nothing like the sun-dried version — they're more tender and luscious. Will last two months in the fridge.
Do you still have berries at your local farmers market? Lucky you! Grab 'em while you can and make a quick jam. Will last for six months in the freezer.
Take your seasonal string beans and turn them into dilly pickles! Enjoy them all winter next to stewed meats and chilies. If canned, will last for at least a year unopened. If not canned, will last two months in fridge.
To me, pesto represents the very best stuff of summer. This spicy spread can go on basically everything. Don't you want that little summery reminder in November? If you freeze it now, it will last up to three months.
The easiest way to preserve tomatoes is probably a purée. You can turn it into a traditional tomato sauce, the base of BBQ sauce, or a great tomato soup. Will last up to six months in freezer.
Put those cucumbers to good use and make dill pickles. When the Snowpocalypse comes in January, at least you'll have something delicious to crunch on. Canned pickles will last for at least a year on shelf, and three weeks in fridge when opened.
Yes, fizzy salsa is a real thing. This awesome recipe uses a little bit of whey to get that fermented feel. Your tortilla chips will thank you in December. Store for three to six months in fridge.
Chia jam isn't like regular jam: For one, it's way easier to make, and two, it's a little runnier and sauce-like then the traditional stuff. Throw it on your morning oatmeal when you're freezing in the morning. Will last for up to three months in freezer.
Ah, yes, tomato sauce — the homemade stuff will make your heart sing. Don't miss out on taking advantage of August's bounty. Canned tomato sauce can be left in pantry for at least a year.
10. Wild Plum Jam
You only need five ingredients to make this seasonal plum jam. Just imagine how happy it will make you to smother your morning toast with this stuff in February. Will last up to six months in freezer.
Turn summer fruit into delicious fruit vodkas. When there's a snowstorm outside, and the sun sets before you get off work, a sip of this will help. Will keep indefinitely.
January is chili season, which means you're going to need tomato paste. This homemade version is so much better than anything you'll find at the grocery store. Will keep for up to nine months in freezer.