Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Home Canning

Happy {belated} Labor Day!

I hope everyone had a great, relaxing weekend. I love 3 day weekends {that probably goes without saying}, but this weekend was especially great. The weather was amazing..it already feels like fall. There is something about that change in weather that makes me immediately calm and happy. Fall is definitely my season. Husker football started off right with a huge win, and we spent the entire weekend with family.

Which brings me to the point of my post today...home canning. Saturday & Sunday, we spent many, many hours canning all sorts of fruits and vegetables. I can't remember if I've posted about this or not, but one of my longer-term goals is to be as self-sufficient with food products as possible {within reason for the lifestyle we lead}. To me, this means we will butcher our own meat when possible, grow and preserve our own fruits and vegetables, and buy locally whenever possible. We already do all of these things on a smallish scale, but I think as I get more comfortable with living this kind of lifestyle, it will blossom. And, cultivating these kinds of resources do take time...something I have to remind myself often!

 Jalapeno salsa, cooking away on the stove. Yum!

When Mike & I first were dating, I had only canned a little...some jams and jellies here and there. I've taught myself the basics and feel pretty comfortable trying new things here and there, and most importantly, have many ideas for making sure fresh produce doesn't go to waste and can be enjoyed throughout the year.

So, this weekend, Mike & I and his sister & brother-in-law spent many hours standing over a steaming hot stove or wielding a knife to chop all sorts of fruits and veggies to go into our mixtures.

Pickled hot peppers & carrots - wow, are they hot!

By the end of the weekend, we had canned {approximately} 36 pints of peaches in light syrup, 20 pints of pickled hot pepper & carrots, 6 pints of peach salsa, 6 pints of peach BBQ sauce, 5+ pints of the jalapeno salsa pictured above {we ate a bunch of this fresh, so I think it would have been closer to 10 pints if we'd canned it all}, and 12 small jelly jars of jalapeno pepper jelly.

Just a few of the jars we managed to process this weekend

I love that we'll be able to access all of those things all year long. My favorite part of summer {one of the only things I actually like} is all the fresh produce...so dragging that out all year is great for me. It's also really nice to be able to do this with someone other than just Mike & myself. Having more hands makes the process faster and we're able to actually get more done that way.

I think we'll probably still preserve some things {tomato based things, apples for sure, and hopefully we'll get some sweet corn frozen soon}, but we have a good handle after this weekend and things we've done over the course of the summer - strawberry rhubarb jelly, carrot cake jelly, danish cherry sauce for cheesecakes, dill pickle spears, and pickled carrots & zucchini.

Alrighty, enough talk about this...my stomach is growling now! I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend, and a great week getting back to work!!

No comments:

Post a Comment