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Make Hay While the Sun Shines and Preserve Produce When the Fruit is Ripe

September 13, 2012

Traditionally, we do not open these until the first flakes of snow fall.

Oh, my! Things have been busy here. Aside from all the doctor and therapy appointments that have been forced upon us, I have been trying to get my canning done.

the begining of applesauce

When we returned from Gary and Joslyne’s wedding, we picked the apples that were left on the tree. There were not many this year. Probably due to the dry conditions and the hungry squirrels. I canned some applesauce but no where close to the record 26 quarts from 2 years ago.

Carl helped me by pushing the apples through the Kitchenaide mill.

The next weekend, I canned peaches and pears and made a batch of pear butter too. I with there was a candle that could make my house waft the aroma of pear butter cooking down.  Oh, and I couldn’t resist buying a few pounds of plums to make into jam also.

the pears are warming in the syrup

My cucumbers had gone wild while we were away for the wedding and so I made two batches of relish.

relish and plum jam cooling

Then the monumental task of turning 50# of tomatoes into soup (recipe here) was all that was left to do. I just finished that on Monday! That made 21 quarts of soup.

soup!

Now all of my biggest canning projects are done for the year. …. well, unless elk camp yields more than three elk.  If it does I will probably can some of the meat, since it makes it so tender for soup and stew.

There are still tomatoes ripening in the garden and I suppose I will have a few pints of whole tomatoes to preserve, but the beans are dying and the cucumbers are not blooming anymore. The carrots are ready and we are enjoying fresh spinach and Swiss chard and (of course) zucchini and yellow squash.

I love to can fruits and vegetables. It makes me feel like I am contributing to the family in some small way.

Now I need to focus on getting ready for the family elk hunt: checking to make sure everyone had their winter clothes and boots, planning and freezing the meals ahead of time, and defrosting the freezer so there is room for any meat we may bring home.

But first, we need to get back into our school routine and I probably should balance my checkbook and sort through all those medical bills……..  but, I would rather be sewing!

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