This is the type of post that will make my sister roll her eyes - so just don't read sis. My grandma had a food storage room in her basement. It was lined with shelves of canned food. It wasn't my favorite food to taste, but I loved looking at it. Did everyone's grandma have a room like that?
Last week, Tom decided that we were done gardening. Thank goodness, I got a little tired of it about a month ago. He picked everything that was left in the garden. The same week, I bought a 40 pound box of apples that I had plans for. I got bowls and bowls of fresh produce that I didn't want to go to waste, so I rolled my sleeves up and spent the entire week in the kitchen. In the end, we made this:
12 pints applesauce - I flavor with a little vanilla - not cinnamon
9 quarts apple pie filling
6 pints salsa
6 pints tomato sauce
4 gallons frozen tomato sauce
1 batch cilantro sauce
4 dozen chocolate zucchini muffins
5 dozen ultimate zucchini cookies
2 quarts blanched carrots in freezer
2 quarts grated carrots in freezer
2 quarts grated zucchini in freezer
6 pints pickled beets
4 pints refrigerator pickles
Some things I've learned:
- I'm not a huge canner, but if I do it in small batches, in pint size jars, it seems more manageable.
- The kids are more likely to help if we pretend we are in Little House on the Prairie.
- The floor needs to be mopped every day.
- Jars of food that you grew yourself and then canned yourself are WAY prettier than a grocery store can.
- I don't know what I'm doing, but there are A LOT of people online that do know what they are doing - thank goodness!
- It really does help to have the right tools. I started out just winging it with what we had, but after splashing boiling water on my neck, I bought some basic supplies! So worth it!
- I don't know why I didn't like it as a kid - we think it is delicious now!
- With my daughter's allergies getting worse and worse, it makes me nervous to see food that might or might not have been processed in a plant with her possible allergies. The comfort this gives me to know where this food has come from and that it is safe, is worth it.
- Don't worry - my husband kept a running tally of the money this was costing, just to see if it was cheaper. I was curious too. In the end, it was a little bit cheaper than buying store bought, but I did have to get a lot of supplies this year. Now, I already have the jars.