Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Canning time!

It is that time of year again. Time to start canning and preserving fruits and veggies. I just picked the last of the green peas that I planted in February and will be pulling up the vines today to get ready to plant green beans. Also this morning I took a gallon of strawberries out of the dehydrator (I have a packed quart of dried sliced berries now) and made 6 pints of jam. I still have about 1/2 a gallon of berries to decide what to do with. I may make some more jam. Not sure yet.

Today will also be the day I do a lot of yard work. We finally have a nice warm day after almost a solid month of rain. My daughter will be mowing while I am working in the garden (since she is graduated now and doesn't have to go to school), then I will have her help me move the compost I made over the winter and put it in the garden. I will get my husband to till it all in this evening and plant my green beans tomorrow. We will still have to figure out a trellis system for the garden since the green beans we have seed for will grow about 8 feet tall. Maybe some sort of hoop system that I can use as a hot house this fall and winter. We will see.

I am getting excited about the new canning season. Since I put up a bunch of food last year for the first time, I will know better this year what we will actually eat and what size jars to use to each item. I know that I don't need to put beans in quarts this year. We just don't eat that much of them. And I know that I will need to can a lot more tomatoes. We used all of them in about a month. We also used all of the corn I put in the freezer in about 5 months so I will need a lot more of that too.

We still have fruit though. For some reason, we just didn't eat that much. Maybe I just need to make more deserts. We ate the dried fruits better than the canned, so maybe I will just dry more instead of canning them.

I have canned quite a bit of meat so far this year. I get it from the grocery when it is on sale. If I can it, we can still have good meat even if the power goes out. We won't have to worry about all of it thawing out and spoiling. I am thinking I will dry some more too. Jerky is just too handy to have on hand, and it makes for a really nice stew in a bind.

Now that I have the dehydrator, a vacuum sealer, and a pressure canner, there shouldn't be any reason why we cannot put up enough food to last us a year or two. Buy it on sale or on clearance and seal it for future use.

Now if I just had a grain mill.....

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