Preserving the Harvest - Page 15 - Mothering Forums

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#421 of 688 Old 08-25-2008, 10:40 PM
 
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Also, we got about a bushel of apples from the orchard that is on our property (we don't maintain the orchard, we're renting here, but our landlords are very kind and generous). I think we'll make some juice and maybe some more applesauce. I think this kind is called Gravenhurst apples. I already made about 7 litres of applesauce from the first harvest apples (transparents).

It's so satisfying to have all these jars full of food for winter!
Probably gravenstein. Those are my fave. I can't wait to make apple sauce. Gotta go look and see when honey crisp start producing. Off to search.

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#422 of 688 Old 08-26-2008, 12:31 AM
 
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So far here we've only frozen sweet corn and peaches. Will hopefully do tomatoes and various tomato sauces too. Maybe some beets and pickles, thanks to my parents wonderful garden!:

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#423 of 688 Old 08-26-2008, 12:38 AM
 
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I've made plum sauce, rhubarb chutney, raspberry jam, strawberry jam and saskatoon berry jam in the last week or so. Plus I've frozen lots of boccoli, califlower, grated zuccini and squash. I'll be starting on the tomatoes soon. And then apple sauce and apple jelly, rose hip jelly and roes hip marmalade and, and, and.......

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#424 of 688 Old 08-26-2008, 01:31 AM
 
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I am always overestimating what I can do in an evening. DD goes to bed at 8/8:30, and then I have two hours to preserve. Well, tonight I only got the peaches peeled and picked over for peach butter. (Only going to make 4 pints) And I blanched, peeled and froze some tomatoes.

Maybe tomorrow night I'll actually get the peach butter made!

Do any of you have dreams of entering your items in the state fair? I would love to tell my family that I won a ribbon at the state fair - I've always been the undomestic city girl.

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#425 of 688 Old 08-26-2008, 05:49 AM
 
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Do any of you have dreams of entering your items in the state fair? I would love to tell my family that I won a ribbon at the state fair - I've always been the undomestic city girl.
Last year I was all psyched to enter my stuff in the fair this year and win a handful of blue ribbons - especially because of my grandma's secret recipe relish that I have yet to have a complaint about. Ever.
Well, between the garden and canning and new babe, I kinda forgot, and missed the deadline last week. And yesterday was the fair's last day (we have a pretty short 4-day fair). So I'm definitely writing it down on my calender for the next year rather than assuming I'll remember.

And fwiw, things *always* happen in stages around here, whether I want 'em to or not. Like my cream style corn and green bean canning got put on hold because I got pretty sick on Friday/Saturday, so I only got around to finishing that prep work and canning on Sunday (was up until 3am because of a disgruntled 2mo right in between green bean batches).

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#426 of 688 Old 08-26-2008, 01:34 PM
 
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I'm softening up my plums by cooking them, and will squish out the pits later on today. Then I plan to can them as pie filling.

Rose hips: I have a rose bush, and am wondering how I can harvest the rose hips, and how best to preserve them. Anyone?

I'm going to try my new food mill later to process my tomatoes. And then - canning!

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#427 of 688 Old 08-26-2008, 01:47 PM
 
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I harvest my rosehips after the first frost and dry them. They snap off pretty easily so I usually don't even use scissors. Then I use them whole for tea during the winter.
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#428 of 688 Old 08-27-2008, 01:27 AM
 
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I got my peach butter done - 4 pints. It looks just beautiful in the jars. I had a little bit extra so I just put that in the fridge. Maybe I'll have peach butter on my toast tomorrow.

DH said he wanted to do apple butter this fall, so I'm looking forward to that. We'll probably find our way to a u-pick-it place.

I've noticed that DH and I have different interests. So far, I've been really into the tomatoes and fruit products. DH likes to can salsas and pickles. He also put up all the green beans. I really want to make jalepeno jelly, and he is set against it. Well, I've got to find some use for the pectin I've got, right?

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#429 of 688 Old 08-27-2008, 09:38 PM
 
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Here's a couple questions. What is blanching? Also, how do you prepare tomatoes for canning salsa? Does anyone have a tomato sauce recipe? Thanks for any help.

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#430 of 688 Old 08-27-2008, 10:06 PM
 
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Here's a couple questions. What is blanching? Also, how do you prepare tomatoes for canning salsa? Does anyone have a tomato sauce recipe? Thanks for any help.
Blanching is when you boil water and then cook a veggie for 2-3 minutes and then throw them into ice water to stop the cooking. They freeze better this way.

I don't have a sauce recipe for canning. I freeze my sauce.
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#431 of 688 Old 08-27-2008, 11:50 PM
 
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Does anyone know of anything good to do with VERY hard pears? We have two trees that are just FULL Of pears, but they're very, very hard, and my dad says that they never seem to get any softer... So is there anything good I can do with them? I was thinking about canning them, but I really don't want to have to peel them - they're just WAY too hard!!
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#432 of 688 Old 08-28-2008, 11:39 AM
 
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Thanks, I guess I never knew the word for blanching before.

When you chop the tomatoes for salsa do you have to take the skins off first and seed them?

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#433 of 688 Old 08-28-2008, 11:50 AM
 
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Does anyone know of anything good to do with VERY hard pears? We have two trees that are just FULL Of pears, but they're very, very hard, and my dad says that they never seem to get any softer... So is there anything good I can do with them? I was thinking about canning them, but I really don't want to have to peel them - they're just WAY too hard!!
I'd try making pear butter (use any apple butter recipe and sub pears).

I make apple butter by just washing and coring enough fruit to fill my turkey roaster, roasting it in the oven with a little water, juice or cider to start until it is mushy, and pureing it with a food mill or hand-held blender. Then I add sweetener if necessary (and it is with greener apples) bring it to a boil and can it for use in cooking or on pancakes and toast.
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#434 of 688 Old 08-28-2008, 11:59 AM
 
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Do any of you have dreams of entering your items in the state fair? I would love to tell my family that I won a ribbon at the state fair - I've always been the undomestic city girl.
I would SO love to do this. I actually grew up in a rural area and was very active in 4-H. Sometimes I miss making and baking beautiful things for the fair.
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#435 of 688 Old 08-28-2008, 12:04 PM
 
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While I helping my mom and grandma can all the time as a kid, I am pretty new at it as an adult. In the past couple weeks I've canned:

-peach preserve
-cherry-blueberry jam
-watermelon jelly
-blueberries in syrup

I'm having so much fun that I also have plans to make:

-apple butter (once in season)
-green salsa (DH is allergic to tomatoes)
-my mom's bread & butter pickle recipe
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#436 of 688 Old 08-28-2008, 01:47 PM
 
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My neighbor came over Tuesday morning and helped me catch up. She chopped up all my apples that were getting overripe and treated them with lemon juice, while I cooked the grapes and ran them through the sieve for grape juice. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to actually make apple pie filling and grape jelly out of them yet because DH has been working super-late hours this week, and I can't can without someone to watch the kids. The apples and juice are just sitting in my fridge, taunting me every time I open the door. However, DH is taking a half day today, and I emailed him to warn him that I AM canning tonight.

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Do any of you have dreams of entering your items in the state fair? I would love to tell my family that I won a ribbon at the state fair - I've always been the undomestic city girl.
Yes! I was in 4-H for almost 10 years and exhibited at the State Fair almost every year, so it would be kind of like reliving my childhood. I didn't can as a child, though, so that would be new exhibiting territory for me.

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Does anyone know of anything good to do with VERY hard pears? We have two trees that are just FULL Of pears, but they're very, very hard, and my dad says that they never seem to get any softer... So is there anything good I can do with them? I was thinking about canning them, but I really don't want to have to peel them - they're just WAY too hard!!
Pears left to ripen on the tree go from rock-hard to rotting mush almost instantly. The key is to pick them while they're still firm and underripe and then let them ripen off the tree. You pick them when they turn from bright green to yellowish-green, when the lenticils (the spots on the pears) turn from white to brown, and when they come off the branch without a ton of effort.

I have two boxes of pears ripening on my counter right now! (You can see them in my blog, if you want to see the color I picked them at.) Also, my experience is that even if you do pick them too early, they'll still ripen eventually. It just takes longer and they're smaller than if you had left them on the tree to get bigger.

Pears canned in a light syrup are SO good. Really, I think they may be my favorite canned good. I'm also planning to can some in small jars of water, for making baby food. I've made pearsauce in the past, and I'd like to try fruit cocktail. I've never tried it, but I've read that pears don't freeze well.
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#437 of 688 Old 08-28-2008, 04:39 PM
 
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I'm hoping to can pears really soon. I was offered pears the other day, but I already had a flat of raspberries and 2 bushels of peaches in the van, and a bushel of apples and almost a bushel of tomatoes already sitting on the counter to deal with!!! I'd like to make pear jam and canned pears.

Yesterday I made raspberry jam, tomato sauce, apple juice, dehydrated peaches, and froze raspberries and peaches. So far today I've canned peaches and dehydrated peaches. As soon as my little one falls asleep nursing here, I'll go freeze some more peaches and get more peaches ready to can for when the first ones are out of the water bath.

Tomorrow I'm getting a bushel of peaches, and should probably do more salsa. I do skin the tomatoes first. Oh yeah, I also have at least 2 more bushels of apples to work with too.

I LOVE this time of year! It's hard work, but so rewarding. No chance of boredom around here right now!

For my tomato sauce, I just blender tomatoes, onions, garlic, some herbs together, bring it all to a boil, then can it and water bath for 3/4 of an hour. Oh yeah, I added a bit of salt and a tiny bit of lemon juice, too. It's pretty thin, you could cook it for 2 hrs for a thicker sauce. For throwing in recipes I find it works fine like this.

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#438 of 688 Old 08-29-2008, 08:02 PM
 
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A freezer question:

If I freeze tomato sauce how long will it last? What about apple sauce?
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#439 of 688 Old 08-29-2008, 11:10 PM
 
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I harvest my rosehips after the first frost and dry them. They snap off pretty easily so I usually don't even use scissors. Then I use them whole for tea during the winter.
So glad someone mentioned this! Do you need a special kind of rosebush for rose hips? I want to plant a rosebush or two next spring and hips for tea are a priority-- I want to get the right variety! Any suggestions?

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#440 of 688 Old 08-30-2008, 02:21 AM
 
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I always use wild roses for hips.

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#441 of 688 Old 08-30-2008, 11:01 AM
 
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Where do you all get the bushels of veggies and fruit? Do you buy them from a farmer (or market)? I occasionally stumble on a large amount for a discount at the local farmer's markets and farm store that I visit, but rarely.
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#442 of 688 Old 08-30-2008, 11:05 AM
 
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Where do you all get the bushels of veggies and fruit? Do you buy them from a farmer (or market)? I occasionally stumble on a large amount for a discount at the local farmer's markets and farm store that I visit, but rarely.
I ask one of the local farmer market vendors if they have a surplus of a crop and if they are willing to sell it at a discount.
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#443 of 688 Old 08-30-2008, 11:29 AM
 
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I always ask for seconds at the local farms. If I tell them I am going to make the (insert item) into jam/sauce/whatever, they almost always offer me quite a lot for very little cash. The other way I can get large amounts of veggies for little $$ is to go to the farmer's market at the end of the day and haggle. I do not do this often, however, because 80% of the stuff at the market is not local or organic.

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#444 of 688 Old 08-30-2008, 12:14 PM
 
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Where do you all get the bushels of veggies and fruit? Do you buy them from a farmer (or market)? I occasionally stumble on a large amount for a discount at the local farmer's markets and farm store that I visit, but rarely.
We live in a rural/tourist area. It takes time to find places, but there are farms and markets around that sell more bulk. Look for pick-your-own places or orchards. I have found some ads in the classifieds, say for pickling cucumbers. Ask around! Ask other women in your area. Ask farmers that you meet. Driving home by different routes sometimes finds a new treasure of a produce stand.

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#445 of 688 Old 08-30-2008, 01:37 PM
 
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I just sliced and salted 9 eggplants, now i am draining them. My mil says that if you bread and fry them they freeze great for future eggplant parm. I think i will also roast some with zucchini, garlic and cherry tomatoes and some basil, i wonder if that will freeze well. Anyone else preserving eggplant? How? (i dont really even like it! DH is very Italian though and cant get enough)
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#446 of 688 Old 08-30-2008, 05:38 PM
 
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rubeyta- I don't know anything about eggplant but I am interested in what others have to say. I too love eggplant.



Um, I picked up my bushel of tomatoes and basil. I wish someone had warned me how many tomatoes that actually was. :

DH and I are going to be very busy this weekend. With tomatoes that is.
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#447 of 688 Old 08-30-2008, 05:56 PM
 
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Where do you all get the bushels of veggies and fruit? Do you buy them from a farmer (or market)? I occasionally stumble on a large amount for a discount at the local farmer's markets and farm store that I visit, but rarely.
My orchard place at the farmer's market sells seconds by the box (20-25lbs for peaches, 40lbs for apples), but you have to ask for them. Today I was asking about 3rds/4ths for apple cider later on in the season after ordering a box of peach 2nds for next week. Apparently, usually they just feed the "lesser quality" apples to the deer, so I used the reasoning that we squish the apples for our cider, then leave the pomace out for the deer to eat at night. So we're gonna have a deal of some sort later this season I imagine. Because their seconds are even better than what I can find in the store - no bruises or anything.

But no one here sells bushels of tomatoes or anything like that - it's a struggle enough of the time to even get a bunch of tomatoes because of the weather. Heck, today tomatoes were $3.50/lb, and are just barely starting to come on (bad weather year, everything's wonky).

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#448 of 688 Old 08-30-2008, 06:38 PM
 
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I ask for "canning" tomatoes and peaches from one of the bigger produce markets around me. It's not super close (about 45 min), but to get a big box of tomatoes for $7 or a big box of beautiful peaches for $10 is totally worth it. For anyone in central ME, I'm talking about Blackie's, in Auburn. They tend to have amazing prices. And they'll even call me if I ask them to when they get canning peaches in, etc.

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#449 of 688 Old 08-30-2008, 07:51 PM
 
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I ask for "canning" tomatoes and peaches from one of the bigger produce markets around me. It's not super close (about 45 min), but to get a big box of tomatoes for $7 or a big box of beautiful peaches for $10 is totally worth it. For anyone in central ME, I'm talking about Blackie's, in Auburn. They tend to have amazing prices. And they'll even call me if I ask them to when they get canning peaches in, etc.
You live in one of the places I've always dreamed of living. I spent my summers as child there. My aunt lives there. It is very beautiful.

DH and I just ran 3/4 of our bushel of tomatoes through the blender. Tomorrow we will start the sauce first thing in the morning and let it simmer into the evening. I can't wait for that good sauce smell.
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#450 of 688 Old 08-30-2008, 08:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We just -- for free -- picked a bushel of pears off of the tree of a friend's elderly neighbor. She was thrilled that they were going to good use! I will freeze a bulk of them. Some will be dehydrated. The rest will be made into baby food!

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