I have taken a bit of a break from blogging. This fall I had fruit and produce coming at me from all directions. It seemed that I no sooner was done with one batch when another would appear.
I canned ten crates of peaches and eight of pears. There were two batches of tomatoes, 150 lbs in each batch. Then there was 200 lbs of potatoes and 30 lbs of carrots, not to mention a big box of cranberries and some huge cabbages and a dozen big green peppers. Oh, and don't forget the apples.....at least 40 lbs of them. God bless Duane who made a couple of extra trips with the fruit for me and both Duane and Becky for the trips to the Farmer's Market. And most of all for huffing all of it up the stairs for me. To say nothing of the cases of canning jars. I never would have been able to do all of this had they not helped me so much.
I lost track after a while of how many jars of fruit and produce I got out of all of that. But I made peach and pear sauce and a little peach jam, about a dozen jars of canned cabbage, many quarts of potatoes and carrots combined, and many more jars of cubed potatoes. There are jars of pasta sauce, pizza sauce and tomatoes with green peppers and onions and more of tomato juice. And jars of homemade vegetable soup.
I had wanted to try making cranberry juice, so I did that this year and it turned out great. I think I had over 50 jars of juice. Before I drank some of it! There was lots of pulp left after making the juice, so I ran that through my food mill and added an equal amount of cooked apples and some sugar to sweeten it a little. Made really good cranberry applesauce.
I dehydrated about two quarts of chopped cranberries to use in cranberry bread and muffins, and dried more apples. I also dried some of the cabbage as it works really well in soup. And dried cranberries and apple peels, ground into a powder, make a good, soothing tea.
I still have lots of tomatoes that have been peeled and diced, in my freezer. Some of that will be made into chili to can and the rest used for pasta sauce and tomato juice.
So now I just need to concentrate on canning meat. I have been hearing rumors that prices may go down some, so I hope to get some good sale buys. I don't cook big meals the way I did when my family was home. Now that I live alone, I really like being able to open a jar or two and have a good meal.
I realize that some in my family think that I go way overboard on the canning and dehydrating. But then I watched news stories last week about the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and saw the pictures of people standing in line for food and heard the stories of grocery stores either stripped bare or cash registers not working due to the lack of electricity. And the pictures of people digging in dumpsters looking for food. Now, here in the upper Midwest we don't get hurricanes. What we get are straight line wind storms, rain storms with lots of thunder and lightning, tornadoes and blizzards, all of which can knock out electric service.
If a tornado takes the building I live in, then I am out of luck. But if not, I am ready. Nobody in my family will have to stand in line and beg for food or go dumpster diving in order to eat. That is a comfort to me, gives me peace of mind and is well worth all of the work that goes into preparing and canning food.
And then I took a week and pretty much did nothing. Life is good.
Mom of four and Grandma of six, who writes about family events both past and present as well as anything else that happens to come to mind, shares new photos as well as old and who enjoys life in general.