Sunday, November 27, 2011

Harvesting the Bounty

The drought has severely affected my ability to raise our own food. I didn't even plant a garden this year, which turned out to be a wise choice. I would have spent more in water than I would have saved. Plus, everything would have been stunted and died off early. Instead, I bought from farmer's markets and roadside stands. Peaches, strawberries, peppers, etc. Then I got out my handy dandy canning supplies and got to work.

The three pot method

One pot of boiling water (back left) to process jars and lids
One pot to cook the jam/jelly in
One extra large canning pot to process the jars. 
This is hot work, just saying.

Freshly washed jars ready for grape jelly.

Most important part? Teamwork! My little helper wasn't allowed to get too close to the stove but he did provide constant commentary during the process.

One batch of grape jelly, processed and cooling. That should last us at least a year or so.

Fresh strawberries, getting prepped for jam. Note: when using a very sharp knife to cut up strawberries, do not talk animatedly with your hands. This will result in injury to fingers. Just saying.

One of my favorites: hot pepper jam. Gloves are important when prepping the many jalapenos that go into this recipe. The end product is sweet with a spicy finish and totally yummy.

Pot of peppers prepared for processing!

Pickling, freezing, canning, making things from scratch. I love it all. My next project I am wanting to tackle? Making our own jerky from some of the deer meat Chris is filling our freezers with. I'll keep you posted on that one.

1 comment:

Reba said...

Very neat. I have never canned and honestly the thought of doing it scares me. However, we buy grape jelly so much, it would probably be practical for me to learn how!