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Canning and Preserving

August 30, 2010

pickling cucumbers

pickling cucumbers

Well the lone pickle plant that survived the hail storms has produced a handful of pickling cucumbers.  No pickles this year but I will get a load or two of sweet relish.  And yes I’ve got loads of zucchini, (of course) so zucchini relish is on the list this week too.

Busy day!

Here is my list from last week.


5 quarts and 5 pints dilly beans

21 half pint jars peach jam (I halved the sugar and added lemon juice and no almond)

8 half pint jars peach butter

4 quarts canned peaches

4 pints zucchini relish

5 pints sweet relish

5 half pints pear butter


Harvested a pint or so of dill seed.  


5 quarts frozen corn

Share with us!

Have you had a busy week preserving?  Did you try something new this week?  Leave a comment and share.  If you’ve blogged about your preserving go ahead and leave a comment with a link to your post.  I enjoy seeing what others are doing too.


Canning Peach Jam, tried low sugar.

August 22, 2010

Last week was a slow week for canning. Peach Jam was it.  We went to  our usual peach orchard and picked 2 boxes of peaches.  She told us they only got probably 1/4 of a crop this year.    I’ve heard many other reports of bad crops.

Peaches for peach jam

These peaches were turned into 19 pints of peach jam.  I did regular peach jam not spiced.  And I experimented with my last load.  I did 8 half pints of the same peach jam recipe except….  I cut the sugar in half.

I then had 2 sons do a taste test.  I asked them to taste and tell me which they liked better.  I let them know that they were different but did not tell them what the difference was.

The more sugar jam won for both boys.  BUT they both agreed that both jams were delicious.   Soooo I may just be looking at lowering the sugar content in more peach jam. The less sugar variety was thicker and chunkier.  Not a problem here!

I’ll have to wait until the main man comes home and have him taste test… cause you know he is the one who really counts!

Final tally this week


19 pints peach jam

8 half pints – lower sugar peach jam

Freezing –

15 ears corn on the cob


A large bunch of basil.

And…. drum roll…. we picked our first 2 tomatoes of the season!  Woo Hoo.  (well we actually have had a few cherry tomatoes but they don’t count)

First Fresh Tomatoes from the tomato garden

Honey bees are good for my garden!

August 19, 2010

Our neighbor has honey bees.  I caught pictures of them on my corn.

honey bees

honey bees

honey bees

Weekly Preserving Update and a Misadventure: Drying Sweet Potatoes

August 15, 2010

I tried more dehydrating this week.  This would sort of qualify as one of my preserving mis-adventures. dried sweet potatoes When I tried zucchini chips they turned out great.   I wondered if the same thing would work with sweet potatoes?   I gave it a try.  They dried fine…. but taste terrible as chips.  Kind of chewy and blah.   I’ll just rehydrate them and use them as a veggie for a meal sometime.  :0)

Certainly not a total waste but not exactly what was planned for either.  And so I declare it a semi-mis-adventure.  ( I think I just made that word up)

We are having a fantastic green bean harvest this year.  Last year our green bean harvest was kind of pitiful.  I mentioned finding a cheap source for green beans at (of all places) the peach orchard.  This year? No extra is needed for sure.  The garden is exploding with green beans.  I am about green beaned out!

Weekly Totals


Green beans – 19 lbs – 14 quarts

Green beans -18 lbs. -16 quarts and 1 pint

Zucchini Relish – six- 1/2 pints and one- 1/4 pint

Beets – 20 lbs  – 10 quarts

Pickled Peppers – 8 pints


Sweet potatoes – 2 quart jars after dehydrating.

Green beans – almost 1 quart jar after dehydrating.


Didn’t freeze a thing!

Share with us!

Have you had a busy week preserving?  Did you try something new this week?  Leave a comment and share.  If you’ve blogged about your preserving go ahead and leave a comment with a link to your post.  I enjoy seeing what others are doing too.

My weekly preserving update

August 8, 2010

My week in canning, dehydrating, or freezing.

I plan on posting weekly my preserving adventures…. and misadventures!  Join me and comment about what you have accomplished this week.

canning green beans

Canning Green Beans

This past week the beans came in!  Big time.  I had not really been paying attention to them other than to notice when the weeds were needing to be pulled.  My sons do most of the weeding so I’d just make  note and send them on out.

One day my husband says to me…. we need to get those beans picked.  I sent the boys out 2 days later and they came back with 16 pounds of beans!  I was so glad my husband was paying attention.  It would have been a real drag to let all those beans get overripe. Three days later we got another picking in and they are needing it again!

I also got out and picked most of my beets in my upper garden.  I ended up with 3 big bucket fulls.  42 pounds!   Then the day got busy I got distracted and did not start canning until late in the afternoon.  I was up VERY late! Mostly just waiting for one load to be done so I could get the next load in the pressure canner.

Here are the totals for this week.


Green Beans – 23 pounds – 25 quarts and 3 pints.
Beets – 42 pounds – 20 quarts

How to dry peppers

dehydrating peppers


Mild Chili Peppers – 6  pounds (pre-dry weight) Hung some and used my dehydrator for some.
Zucchini – I forgot to weigh these.  Did both zucchini chips and chopped for soups.

Share with us!

Have you had a busy week preserving?  Did you try something new this week?  Leave a comment and share.  If you’ve blogged about your preserving go ahead and leave a comment with a link to your post!

I enjoy seeing what others are doing too.

How to dry zucchini chips.

August 4, 2010

Last winter my husband surprised me with a new commercial dehydrator.  While traveling he stopped at a Cabelas and they had one marked down.  After a false start when the heating element went out.  (gotta love Cabelas customer service, they returned the machine with no problems) I am enjoying trying out new things.

Zucchini and summer squash chips turned out great.

First find some extra zucchini….  if you have planted a zucchini plant or two this should not be a problem.  Or you may have a friend willing to share.  My friends shared thier extra yellow summer squash with me. I dehydrated both zucchini and yellow squash.  dehydrating zucchini

Next slice the squash into very thin slices.  The thinner the better. About 1/8 inch.  I used my mandolin slicer and it made the job very quick and easy.  The more evenly you can make your slices the more evenly they will dehydrate.

Lay the slices in a single layer on your dehydrator trays.  Sprinkle with seasoning of your choice.  I used season salt.  You’ll have to experiment with how much to use.  I used too much and my chips are a little too salty so next time (there will be a next time) I’ll go a little lighter.

Dry at 125 degrees until dry and crispy.  It took about 5 hours for this batch. Check every so often and remove slices that have finished drying earlier than the others.

Store in an airtight container.

Great for a quick veggie snack.

Works for me.

Summer conversation with my 7 yo

July 19, 2010

Brett  is sitting at the counter in the kitchen when he says…

“what’s that smell?   sniff sniff….. ooooohh   “it’s me.”   Then he give me a knowing smile and nodding states.  “Pond”