While I haven’t had the year I was hoping for, maybe for the best I have only been able to do a little of canning and freezing. But it was such a great summer and I still just enjoy doing it so much! And honestly, even for a bad year, I felt like i was in the kitchen a lot working on one thing or another. Here is what I was able to get done this year:
Corn – The Boenders didn’t have a good year of sweet corn and Kristin was still so nice to give me two dozen, I didn’t want to ask for more and we still had some corn in the freezer, but it was good practice doing it by myself! I only froze 3 bags but it took two seconds and went really smooth and I trust myself to take on a big project of it in the coming years!
Beans – For about a month we just ate all the beans that came into the garden but finally the middle of August I had enough and was able to can 7 quarts of green beans which made me excited. Again it went so much smoother and I felt so much more confident this year than last. Hoping to maybe get a 7 more quarts but that could be a pipe dream
Salsa – My tomatoes were a large flop this year which was a bummer when I remember how many I had last year. However I had tons of peppers and onions, and found some really good looking roma’s at Walmart for only 75 cents a lb. So I went for it and made some in a water bath canning method. it was my first time ever and I feel like I learned a lot and did REALLY enjoy it. I had a few fall over and I don’t think that they sealed so we are gunna eat those right away . I was only able to make 5 with what we had, but I was happy with it! It was a lot more chopping than I expected, and it will be SO nice to do it when I have a second kitchen and don’t have it take over my whole kitchen. Ended up doing 21 pints total and it was so nice to use the romas from my own garden because they were SO thick and Kyle loved them in the salsa.
Zucchini – I have given a lot away since I still have some in the freezer, but we ate two on the grill which we are still trying to refine but I was SO surprised at how amazing it was! I used another one to make zucchini muffins and they were SO good! I will probably try the grilling zucchini again and then freeze the rest for breads and muffins!
Peppers: SO many peppers which would have been awesome if I had tons of tomatoes. Gave a lot away to coworkers and chopped up and froze the extras.
Apples: One of my mom’s wonderful friends let me have apples on her tree this year! that night she taught me how to make the applesauce and I got over 10 bags made. I then took another laundry basket of them and me and Carol spent a Saturday morning making more Grandma Dorothy style applesauce, Apple butter, and apple crisp. Secret to the thick applesauce was to only put 1/4 cup of water to a huge pot of quartered apples. Ran them through the apple strainer, and just put a tiny bit of sugar and cinnamon in them. The apple crisp we used the apple peeler and it worked like a charm and even Wyatt could run it and that was helpful. We then just put some fruit preserver on them and threw them in bags. For the apple butter we kinda made our own recipe out of a few that we found using the applesauce we had made and putting the Sure-Jel and a few spices in it and cooked it in the oven for a few hours, and then Carol canned it. Such a successful and fun morning and I just can’t wait for all of our trees to grow so we can do this for years to come!
Grapes: Deann put on Facebook that she had tons of extra grapes and when I am in canning/freezing mode… I can’t help myself! Let them sit for awhile and my husband mentioned something about them so I decided to get to work! Made 14 quarts of grape juice one night when Kyle was working. took a bit of time cleaning and throwing out the bad, but otherwise super easy. hopefully it tastes good and the boys love it! Made 7 more quarts another night Kyle was working
Tomato Sauce: John at work gave me some better boy tomatoes and we used one for BLT’s but I didn’t want the rest to go to waste so I quick blanched those and put them in the slow cooker and let them cook, I then took the immersion blender and blended them up and put them into bags and will use them as a base to chili this winter.