Preserving the Harvest - Page 23 - Mothering Forums
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#661 of 688 Old 11-03-2008, 12:31 AM
 
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I've been taking it easy this weekend, as far as preserving. I got through the last of the tomatoes. I've got a dehydrator full, and composted some that didn't look like they were going to make it from green to red. The only tomatoes left are the ones that fit on the kitchen windowsill. I have to say I'm glad to see those be finished.

I still have a box of green and other colored peppers. I am trying to decide if I want to can them, freeze them, or dehydrate them. The freezer is full and I'm low on jars. But I don't know if I'd actually use them if I dehydrated them.

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#662 of 688 Old 11-06-2008, 07:20 PM
 
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Well, I decided to freeze my box of peppers. I cut them up last night after making some room in our deep freeze.

Tonight might be drying persimmons and canning apples. We shall see.

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#663 of 688 Old 11-17-2008, 12:28 AM
 
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Have I killed this thread? Is anyone else still preserving the harvest?

Last night I made 5 half-pints of blueberry jam to use up some berries in the freezer, and 5 quarts of sweet potatoes, since the potatoes were damaged while I dug them up. I was up until nearly 2 a.m. OUCH!

While I was putting away the cans I realized that we really need to start USING our canned goods, not just squirreling them away. Time to start having pickled vegetables every day!:

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#664 of 688 Old 11-17-2008, 01:52 PM
 
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I've stopped canning here as our harvest time is over but my family has been eating lots of applesauce. It was my first year canning and I good year for learning, I will be canning a lot more next fall.
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#665 of 688 Old 11-17-2008, 03:01 PM
 
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We've not been preserving for some time, now. In fact, I woke up to nearly a foot of snow and just tried to drive to town and had to turn around as the highway was not even plowed yet (by noon!. Then, I heard a "Lake Effect Snow Warning" for my area on the radio that called for up to 17 in of by tomorrow morning.

Okay, OT, but...I'm still reeling from the snowstorm driving...It's the first intense snow of the season and I have a 2 year old and a new car (which is not AWD, like my old one).

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, I made up some cranberry relish for Thanksgiving (I froze it). I got the recipe off NPR. It was Linda Worthheimer's (sp?) family cranberry relish recipe. It is amazing! I can post it, later if people are interested. Then, I froze the rest of my cranberry harvest.

I made cranberry applesauce about a month or so ago...canned that.

I am riping Serranos as we speak that almost died in the first hard freeze in our green house. I have been pickling those...they are refrigerator pickled peppers, not canned. The recipe says they'll be good for up to a year.

Hmmm...I am just about ready to strain my calendula/plaintain oil that's been infusing for the last month. I will be adding beeswax and making salve for the new baby that I'll have in the spring and for my two pregnant friends!

Hyde, you did not kill the thread! It's just nearing winter...too quickly in my mind:
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#666 of 688 Old 11-17-2008, 04:33 PM
 
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Ok, I want the cranberry relish recipe please!

I'm done preserving for the year. Now I'm onto shopping for equipment and garden planning.

I want to make more tomato stuff next year. So I'm trying to narrow it down on heritage tomato breeds and having a HARD time. I think I've got it down to 16 breeds but that's a few too many.

I want the best tasting sauces and salsas. Any advice?

Jen

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#667 of 688 Old 11-17-2008, 05:53 PM
 
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Oops! It was Susan Stamburg's MIL's recipe...not a recipe from Linda Wertheimer!

Here's the recipe!

Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish Recipe
2 cups raw cranberries
1 small onion
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons horseradish

I am a veg. but since I have been preg. I have been craving turkey sandwiches. It is excellent on a turkey sandwich (with mayo and lettuce!).

Here's the link:
http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/...rg.relish.html
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#668 of 688 Old 11-17-2008, 09:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jennifer3141 View Post
Ok, I want the cranberry relish recipe please!

I'm done preserving for the year. Now I'm onto shopping for equipment and garden planning.

I want to make more tomato stuff next year. So I'm trying to narrow it down on heritage tomato breeds and having a HARD time. I think I've got it down to 16 breeds but that's a few too many.

I want the best tasting sauces and salsas. Any advice?

Jen
You can make sauce or whatever you want from any tomato variety really not just roma's. You just need to cook the juices off longer. If you have a favorite already I would try that, otherwise I would recommend San Marzano or Opalka (which has been highly recommended and am trying this next year).

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#669 of 688 Old 11-18-2008, 12:34 PM
 
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I've never before canned, but I'm thinking of getting ready for next year. I'm curious, I know that you can get the ball jars with the lids that need replaced every time. Are there any other sorts of glass jars that can be used, but do not need a new plate every time? What are some alternative cannign containers... if any? DO they work differently? I'm only on page 13 reading here and just trying to soak up all the information, as well as planning on getting some books out. My mom's DH has canned a plenty, so when the time comes, I might seek his advice, but I'd really love to learn to do this.

TIA!

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#670 of 688 Old 11-18-2008, 12:48 PM
 
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I know that you can get the ype of jar with a clamp. They look very pretty. My understanding is the trouble with them is that you can't tell if they are sealed like you can with the lid jars (that just pop up and down if not sealed).

This was my first year canning so I will be interestd to hear what others have to say.
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#671 of 688 Old 11-19-2008, 12:40 AM
 
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I think if you are following USDA recommendations, they say to use the canning jars with the non-reusable plates for shelf stable canning. I think there are "freezer" type canning jars for freezer jams that are reusable. It's not really my area of expertise. In the past, it was not uncommon for people to reuse the lids/flats/plates, but it is not recommended now, based on current safey standards. If you catch a good sale or buy in bulk, the lids are about 10 to 15 cents a piece. Given the time that goes into canning, I consider those few cents a small investment.

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#672 of 688 Old 11-19-2008, 01:39 AM
 
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I'm pretty much done with canning/preserving for this year. I may do some more jams/jellies (just bought one more case of jars for them), but otherwise, I'm done. I *will* post the blueberry recipe... tommororw! I promise! I'm thinking I might do some more of that, actually. Though, I have to say that the blueberry butter is fantastic, though the sauce/syrup is just OK... at least, it is the way I did it with honey instead of corn syrup
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#673 of 688 Old 11-20-2008, 11:56 PM
 
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If you catch a good sale or buy in bulk, the lids are about 10 to 15 cents a piece. Given the time that goes into canning, I consider those few cents a small investment.
You might want to check the local dollar store during canning season. A neighbour told me that she found her snap lids there, I think they usually come in a pack of 12. That's the best price I've heard of.

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#674 of 688 Old 01-05-2009, 07:17 PM
 
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Hi everyone!

I was wondering what you are all saving for/investing in for 2009's harvests.

I'm going to be freezing stuff so I've been thinking about investing in a Food Saver. Any opinions?
I'm going to be freezing peas and rhubarb and pumpkin at least. I'm hoping that a Food Saver will keep things fresher longer than the freezer tubs do.

I'm looking for a good food dehydrator for herbs and my heirloom tomatoes.

And lastly, I need a a food processor to make sauces easier.

I'm going to spread expenses out and start buying stuff this month. I'm going to splurge because I'm investing a lot of time in the gardens this year and I want to be able to enjoy everything all year long.
I feel called more and more to follow a locavore way of life.

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#675 of 688 Old 01-05-2009, 08:06 PM
 
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I was wondering what you are all saving for/investing in for 2009's harvests.
I would LOVE a great big heavy-duty stock pot! I don't think it will be this year, though. I would be very happy for a food processor too...and a dehydrator! I've been storing my mom-in-law's dehydrator here for almost a year, but I probably should give it back some time In fact, we've got a load of apples drying, sprinkled with cinnamon. They are so delicious that way, and smell heavenly as they dry.

I'll slowly keep investing in canning jars. I used up all the ones I had this year. When I buy more, I'll get the wide-mouth ones, all of mine are narrow and old, but they work! We got them all cheap at an auction.

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#676 of 688 Old 01-05-2009, 08:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jennifer3141 View Post
I was wondering what you are all saving for/investing in for 2009's harvests.

I'm going to be freezing stuff so I've been thinking about investing in a Food Saver. Any opinions?
Heehee, now this is my kind of question.

A friend is mailing me her Food Saver since she went and got herself a new one a few months ago. Works for me! So we'll see how it works - I'm planning to repackage some of my frozen fruits (in ziplocs) from this year using it to try it out. But I can let you know how that goes in a month or two! I am hoping Costco will have another Food Saver bag coupon here quick though - one expired about a month before my friend mentioned sending hers to me. Oops.

Hubby got me a Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator (by American Harvest?) for Christmas.
He knows his wife. He read a bunch of reviews on it, comparing wooden dehydrators and plastic ones and all that jazz. Not to mention he found a screaming deal on mine. Plus I can get more trays than my current 8 if need be (oh, and he also got 8 fruit leather trays and 8 berry/netting-looking trays to boot all included in the package!).
So I'm guessing it's going to rock my world since he's good at picking stuff out - two years ago it was my pressure canner, and that thing's been a dream.
Anyway, I'm going to take that for a test drive here this week with some fresh apples, green peppers, carrots, and then some frozen peach and strawberry slices to see how things work out. (The peppers and carrots I'm thinking I could cut them up and dehydrate them to make quick work of stew and soup prep throughout the year and use my homegrown stuff to boot...).

I saved a fair amount of seeds this year, but still have a long list of seeds I want to buy. I'm calling it a passion now instead of a sickness. Planning to get a few more apple trees and two peach trees (hey, a girl can dream), move a few things around, get more blackberries, grapes and raspberries, and attempt transplanting some huckleberry bushes from the forest down here to see if it's doable.

I have been half-heartedly looking around for a heavy-duty stockpot, but I have two 8-qt heavy-bottomed pots and one 10-qt copper bottom pot (best for broths, not tomato sauce). And really, if I'm realistic, using 2-3 of those at one time is pretty doable.
Although one trick I came up with this year for simmering tomato sauce down was to use the crockpot overnight. Just leave the lid off of put a chopstick under the lid so the excess water can evaporate. Awesomeness. So now I've got a 5qt and 6qt crockpot (that I also use to make dinners and broths and such, it's not a one-trick pony).


ETA: If you want to see my current pantry and the goodies I canned from last year, click on my blog. I'm all about getting more self-sufficient in my little suburban homestead.

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#677 of 688 Old 01-05-2009, 10:10 PM
 
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I'm ordering my first large batch of seeds and starting them inside, (which means shelves and lights). For the fall I'm dreaming of a pressure cooker.

I'm very excited to start planting seeds.
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#678 of 688 Old 01-06-2009, 12:22 AM
 
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On my fall wishlist is a Squeezo!!!!!!!
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#679 of 688 Old 01-06-2009, 02:11 AM
 
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Ok, what's a Sqeezo?

Blooming, I placed a nice big order with Baker Seeds last weekend. I've got a couple more things to get (I forgot beans!) and then I think I'll order some strawberries from somewhere (any ideas besides Gurney's?).

I'm going to spring for a nice seed tray/lighting system next month too. I was this done nicely and efficiently so it will be something I return to annually and smile.

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#680 of 688 Old 01-06-2009, 02:29 AM
 
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Squeezo

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#681 of 688 Old 01-06-2009, 02:51 AM
 
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So, similar to a tomato mill but even nicer... I may have to add that to my list.

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#682 of 688 Old 01-06-2009, 03:20 AM
 
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Ah yes, the Squeezo. Ebay's the less expensive place to buy one. May even get the old school 1979 packaging.

Makes tomato sauce and applesauce and mashed potatoes and such pretty darned easy. With the last of my apples this year, I quartered them, cut off the bloom end (with the little dangly-like strings), nuked 'em in the microwave for about 10 minutes, and squeezed. I didn't have the time to be using giant pots of water with all the kids underfoot. It was cool.

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#683 of 688 Old 01-08-2009, 08:26 PM
 
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They came out with a new Food Saver recently. I couldn't resist. It's really neat. I can't wait to see what blueberries look like 6 months after freezing.

I also got my hard cheese kit the other day but you really do need a press so that's on hold until next month. Oh, the fun this summer is going to be!!

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#684 of 688 Old 06-17-2009, 06:42 PM
 
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Ok, x posting several places 'cause I need an answer rather quickly!


I'm making my super yummy zucchini pickles, and I've got ALOT of brine left. Does anyone know if there's any harm in refrigerating it, and reheating for more pickles in a few days? It's got so much mustard seed, celery seed, and turmeric in it and I just can't stand the thought of wasting....

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#685 of 688 Old 06-17-2009, 09:50 PM
 
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I would certainly save it to use for another batch of canning. I'm not an expert in food safety, but within 3 days would be fine in my opinion. Wow that you are canning zucchini already! Our plants are just a few leaves big so far. Guess we're in different zones

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#686 of 688 Old 06-17-2009, 09:57 PM
 
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The only safety issue I was concerned about was not having enough vinegar left in it to make the next batch preserve long enough, yk? I'm going to just add a half recipe of the vinegar, sugar, and water to the next batch.

We are in Texas, so yeah, def. different zone than Canada!

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#687 of 688 Old 07-16-2009, 03:59 PM
 
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Subbing and bumping!
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#688 of 688 Old 07-16-2009, 04:31 PM
 
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I'm getting a peck of peaches tomorrow. . .thinking about peach marmalade. I'll let you all know!!

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