Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I love harvest time!

Emily and I have both been canning up a storm the past few weeks, and she asked me yesterday how many bottles I had canned.  I honestly had no idea, so I decided while the latest batch of applesauce was in the steam canner that I would take inventory.  There were 193 bottles!  Here's what I have canned this year so far:

  • Pears - 7 quarts
  • Pear Jam - 13 pints, 5 half pints
  • Pear Mincemeat - 3 quarts, 1 pint
  • Peaches - 39 quarts
  • Peach Jam - 6 pints, 5 half pints
  • Peach butter - 7 half pints
  • Peach chutney - 4 pints, 4 half pints
  • Tomato Salsa - 26 pints, 4 half pints
  • Tomatillo Salsa (salsa verde) - 9 pints
  • Tomatoes - 7 quarts, 16 pints
  • Elderberry Syrup - 4 pints
  • Elderberry Jelly - 5 half pints
  • Chokecherry Syrup - 4 pints, 1 half pint
  • Blackberry Jam - 8 pints, 5 half pints
  • Apples - 5 quarts
  • Applesauce - 5 quarts
Phew!  And there will probably be some grape jelly and maybe some plums to come.  Call me a geek, call me Betty Crocker, but I think bottled fruits and veggies are beautiful!  They just look so much prettier sitting on my shelves than ugly aluminum cans.  They make fabulous Christmas gifts too!  That said, canning is hard work and in the process of doing all this I learned a few things.  First of all, personally, unless you are growing it yourself or have been given the produce for free I don't think it's worth it.  Unless you really love canning, it's cheaper to go to the grocery store.  Second, ask your friends and neighbors if they have bottles they aren't using and would be willing to give you.  The jars are expensive, and although you can use them over and over again, it's great if you can get them for free!  Third, recruit a friend or member of your family.  It goes way faster and is a lot more fun when you have someone working alongside you.

Just for laughs, here is my Top 10 ways that you know you've been doing too much canning (and I'm not admitting anything!) and they are in no particular order:
  1. If your two year old has watched every DVD in your collection
  2. If said two year old refuses to eat at the kitchen table anymore because he has eaten so many meals on the couch in front of the TV
  3. If your 8 year old sends you an email saying that she hopes that I, "have good canning days," and when I'm done could we please do some crafts together?"
  4. If your house hasn't been properly cleaned in weeks
  5. If the weatherman says that there's going to be frost, and instead of covering up your beloved heirloom tomato plants you just let them succumb to nature
  6. If you tell your neighbors that they are welcome to anything in your garden they want, if they will just come and help you do the canning!
  7. If every horizontal surface in your kitchen is covered in a layer of sugar syrup
  8. If your husband has been able to sample 4 different varieties of salsa
  9. If your fingers are burning for days after chopping the peppers used to make the salsa (I know, I know, I'll use gloves next time)
  10. If your family would never know that you love to cook because you have been feeding them frozen pizza and every other frozen leftover you've been able to find.
Update:  Make that an even 200.  I did 7 bottles of plums, and I think if I can anymore I'm going to have a nervous breakdown, so that's enough for this year!  ;-)

1 comment:

Emily said...

Hahaha! So true. THat is a TON of canning. I can add "when your 5 year old says she wishes she didn't have a canning mom" No one in my family seems to appreciate it... well, fine, no salsa for them!

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