Thursday, August 20, 2009

Kitchen Busy

So our garden isn't ready to be harvested yet but I've been taking advantage of the great produce available around us. Saturday, in Wisconsin, I bought 20 pounds of blueberries! I also bought green peppers-8 for $2.00, huge cantaloupes, fresh garlic, green beans and a gigantic bag of sweet corn. The corn was $2.50 a dozen, which is a great buy considering all the corn at our market here is .50 an ear. But we bought the corn from a Mennonite Farmer in Wisconsin and he seemed to know how much corn should actually cost!! We would have bought more from him, but we didn't get there early enough! At the market on Tuesday I bought tomatoes, onions, hot peppers, acorn squash, rhubarb and apples. I've been busy processing as much of this produce as possible to save for the winter months when these things are hard to come by, at least grown on American soil!

Here's what I've made so far:
8 cups of frozen blueberries (for muffins and pancakes)
3 pints blueberry jam
5 pints blueberry syrup
2 blueberry pies (one we ate, one I'm saving for Thanksgiving-our FAVORITE holiday!)
5 1/2 pints mild salsa
6 pints HOT salsa

We've also eaten raw about a million blueberries and I made muffins that we ate already. We've been eating the corn for dinner, but I may freeze some of it.

I still have in mind to make:
More mild salsa
applesauce
A rhubarb apple pie for Thanksgiving also

On my wish list for the fall is:
a bushel of apples to make a TON of applesauce and dried apples
pumpkins-to can or freeze for bread and rolls
Raspberry's for jam-I think there is a second crop in August, better get looking into that!

This was my first time actually "canning" anything. I've made jam for years, but I never water bath can the jars, I just usually turn the jar upside down for 20 minutes and flip it over, the jars always seal that way. But with syrup and salsa I wasn't so confident, so I water bathed canned them. And really it was pretty easy. The trickiest part being timing, the water always takes a LONG time to really get boiling. I hand chopped all the veggies for the salsa, that was time consuming, but not as bad as I thought it would be. My fingers have a slight onion smell, but it's not too strong. I watched a movie about canning and it showed how to make pickled eggs. Sounds so strange to me, but I'm thinking of trying it. If the power was out, it would be a good source of protein!! The lady suggested using the pickled eggs in potato salad or on your lettuce salad--not a bad idea!

I have to admit it is a little stressful when little people keep coming into the kitchen to see what I'm doing. Everything smells good, but their are so many knives and hot things...ahh! Good thing I have LOTS of helpers! Strawberry has been standing next to me through most of my learning, I want her to have a better grasp of this "kitchen world" when she is running her own household!

Happy Harvest!

Mrs. Taffy

P.S. Since I wrote the original post, I made another, and my last, batch of Salsa. So I took a picture to include here. I had to use my quart jars this time. We had some with lunch today and it's so tasty! Laffy Taffy LOVED it! I figured, based on the smaller jar, it cost me about .75 per jar of salsa. Not too shabby!

3 comments:

  1. MMMM Blueberries! We can't find blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and even strawberries were hard to get here! We are so deprived :)
    We've been canning pickles.. it is so easy! We've used tons of cucumbers from our garden and wanted more so we bought a bushel from a colony....I still have to find a good bread and butter pickle reciepe cause I have lots more cucumbers from the garden.
    Canning is so rewarding!!!
    OH, someone gave us a ton of choke cherries,, don't know what to do with them. I guess syrup or jam.

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  2. That's a lot of canning. Your basement will be full of good stuff.

    Love, Dad

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  3. Beautiful and yummy! I want your recipe for hot salsa! Gravenstein apples are good for applesauce, usually cheaper and in season right now here. Its an old-fashioned apple, one of the earliest to ripen. Lots of people used to have gravenstein apple trees in their yards.

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