Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Canned

not MY pantry

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:
  1. I'm not a huge canner, but if I do it in small batches, in pint size jars, it seems more manageable.
  2. The kids are more likely to help if we pretend we are in Little House on the Prairie.
  3. The floor needs to be mopped every day.
  4. Jars of food that you grew yourself and then canned yourself are WAY prettier than a grocery store can.
  5. 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!
  6. 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!
  7. I don't know why I didn't like it as a kid - we think it is delicious now!
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
So that is what I did all last week. Any questions?  I probably don't have the answers, but I can guide you a bit!


Dee said...

What a great blog. I love when things are stacked all neat and in order. My grandmother didn't do any gardening since she never developed a green thumb but I do remember the awesome meals she prepared. I'm glad I found your blog. Have a great day.

1 Funky Woman said...

Zombies are coming, awesome! Love it! Your pantry looks amazing and how rewarding to know that everything you are feeding your family is fresh and free!

My inlaws can a ton. I love the idea just not the work. This though has been inspiring! Great job!

Can I have some salsa and some apple pie filling? Ha oh and maybe some of your ultimate zucchini cookies to boot! Yum!

Megan ~

Julie said...

That looks terrific. I've never canned in my life, but am slowly coming around to an interest in it. Love the two "vintage" posters.

Simply LKJ said...

Wow...good for you! We didn't grow too many veggies this year, but am hoping to next. I have never tried my hand at canning. My mil used to can everything, since she is living by herself at the ripe old age of 93, she doesn't any longer.

Kristen said...

I've just stuck to canning salsa so far - but it tastes so much better regular store salsa I don't know if we can ever go back! I wanted to do more but my garden wasn't that hot this year. We only got ONE zucchini! ONE!!! People give that stuff away and I couldn't even grow 2 of them!

Soilsqueezer said...

Good for you sis! We have canned peaches and grape juice this year and are gearing up for a run of applesauce soon. Our goal is 52 quarts to restock our depleted supply. No. 5&6 go through the applesauce very quickly. I love the last poster on your blog.

ellen said...

CAN I come over for lunch?!?

Leigh said...

Impressive! I had the same burnt out feeling after stocking the freezer. I've never canned it seems overwhelming and too easy to mess up. I don't know why, as you said there are lots great resources. At some point could you share the chocolate zucchini muffins recipe?

Renewed Upon a Dream said...

Oh wow! Are those all your cans in the picture? That's a whole lot of canning!!! I have never done it before, I've never had a garden. But I'm considering a garden next year & will certainly think about canning then! Nice job... looks like a lot of work!

Emily Kern said...

I love canning! I have been a slacker this year, though, and have only done jams and jellies. Tell me...is that your food storage room?!? It is beautiful!

Mrs. D said...

How did the zucchini work out? I did grated zucchini and it was so watery when I got it out I ended up throwing it all away.

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