Stocking the larder 2011

Last night, I used the very last pint of my home-canned diced tomatoes.  I honestly stood at the counter and wondered if I was really ready to see them go.  It was a sad, sad moment, but they tasted as wonderful as they did the day we put them in the jars.  I love that about canning.  I love that all the fruits, jams, jellies and pickles that I can are there in the dead of winter to cheer me up.  As one friend said recently, opening a jar of home canned peaches is like eating CANDY!!!
In this house, we have a canning cellar like before, but this time it’s almost 3 times as large!  I had Matt move some shelving into the room around the edges and I’m currently storing my party wear, random holiday items and wrapping paper while I’m waiting to see how much food I manage to store up this summer and fall.  I’ve set my canning/freezing goal fairly low so that I know I can make it.  I had had high hopes for last year, but with a toddler, morning sickness and moving, not much really got done.  This year, I have a toddler still and a little one who needs a lot of attention.  I’m figuring that I’ll be canning mostly while the kids sleep or on the weekends while Matt is home.  2 weeks ago, I canned 14 jars of strawberry jam.  My Sister-in-Law picked them for me from her garden patch, Matt helped me clean and crush them and I did all the filling and timing for the jar processing.  In past years, I wouldn’t have done it like that as I would have seen the whole project through picking to jar cooling, but times have changed and I have adaptations to make.  With that being said, here’s my list for food preservation goals!
  • 1 dozen pints fruit jam/jelly (this goal is already met, but I plan to do more once the raspberries and blackberries are in season)
  • 1/2 pk of peaches
  • 2 dozen pints Applesauce (minimum)
  • 1 dozen pints Apple Cider Jelly
  • 6 pints Hot Pepper Jelly
  • 1 dozen pints Carmel Pear Butter
  • 2-3 dozen pints diced tomatoes
  • 1 dozen pints Salsa
  • 1 dozen pints Pizza sauce
  • 10-12 pint bags of blanched peppers and onions
  • Berries
  • Broccoli
  • Pumpkin puree 
  • Squash puree

I’m also planning that once the canning and freezing is done, I’m going to make a trip to the Planktown Market and stock up on bulk pastas,oats, flour, sugar, etc.  I don’t foresee wanting to make trips to Shiloh with 2 littles right before Christmas because I ran out of flour.  I still need to figure out a storage solution to keep the extra bulk items airtight.  Matt and I have also been talking about doing some of the Once a Month Cooking so that as the school year picks up and I have more students and less time in the evenings things still remain as relaxed and fun as they do in the summer!

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