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#181 of 688 Old 07-16-2008, 08:21 PM
 
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I'm borrowing the complete book from the library.
I thought I just posted a little bit ago. Oh well.
Page 39 of the Blue Book - apricot preserves. Apricots, sugar, lemon juice. That's it. Did it last year. The apricots have enough pectin in there to kinda set all by themselves when you cook it long enough.

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#182 of 688 Old 07-16-2008, 09:12 PM
 
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Is that page 39 in the regular blue book? I can't find it in the complete book.

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#183 of 688 Old 07-16-2008, 09:15 PM
 
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Maybe I will have to go to OSH and invest in the regular book. I can tell my dh its for my late birthday present.

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#184 of 688 Old 07-16-2008, 09:28 PM
 
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Is that page 39 in the regular blue book?

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#185 of 688 Old 07-16-2008, 09:37 PM
 
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Can I use honey instead of sugar, does it matter if you change it like that for this kind of thing?

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#186 of 688 Old 07-16-2008, 09:52 PM
 
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Today we went picking again.


15 lbs of blueberries washed and frozen

20 lbs of sweet cherries. So far half are stoned and frozen.

and cherry crisp for dinner
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#187 of 688 Old 07-17-2008, 04:26 PM
 
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warning : small rant ahead

how the HECK are you supossed to get anything canned with small children in the house? I mean it would be funny is I wasnt so hot and frustrated. Spent the last 3 hours getting tomatos from the garden to the jars and I had to stop at 4 pints because my kids seriously would not HUSH. The 3 year old needed a hug every 5 minutes- of course when theres 2 pots and a kettle full of boiling water next to me and I'm spattered in tomato juice and seeds while frantically trying to measure, chop, and read the book I got from the library without actually touching it. My original plan was diced tomatos with fresh herbs and garlic and by the time all was said and done I made chopped plain tomatos raw packed in their own juice. Screw the herbs and garlic by that point :

Got me thinking no wonder Ma Ingalls let the kids play outside and chase gophers...its the only way she got any work done!
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#188 of 688 Old 07-17-2008, 04:34 PM
 
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warning : small rant ahead

how the HECK are you supossed to get anything canned with small children in the house? I mean it would be funny is I wasnt so hot and frustrated. Spent the last 3 hours getting tomatos from the garden to the jars and I had to stop at 4 pints because my kids seriously would not HUSH. The 3 year old needed a hug every 5 minutes- of course when theres 2 pots and a kettle full of boiling water next to me and I'm spattered in tomato juice and seeds while frantically trying to measure, chop, and read the book I got from the library without actually touching it. My original plan was diced tomatos with fresh herbs and garlic and by the time all was said and done I made chopped plain tomatos raw packed in their own juice. Screw the herbs and garlic by that point :

Got me thinking no wonder Ma Ingalls let the kids play outside and chase gophers...its the only way she got any work done!
I've only canned one batch of jam so far and I did it after the kids were asleep b/c I was so worried about trying to do it right while having all three of them underfoot.

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#189 of 688 Old 07-17-2008, 04:36 PM
 
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Jam question: If you have more jars at once than will fit in your canner, it's okay to do back to back batches, right? Do I wait to put on the lids until right before the second batch goes in?

I have yummy no spray strawberries and organically grown blueberries waiting for me:

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#190 of 688 Old 07-17-2008, 04:52 PM
 
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warning : small rant ahead

how the HECK are you supossed to get anything canned with small children in the house? I mean it would be funny is I wasnt so hot and frustrated. ....
Got me thinking no wonder Ma Ingalls let the kids play outside and chase gophers...its the only way she got any work done!
AMEN! DH cans after DD goes to sleep. I think I'm going to use movies (bad mommy) and outside time in the fenced backyard for canning. It is so time consuming and not really safe for a clingy little kid.

On the other hand, I'm hoping to dehydrate beans tonight, and DD can help with that I think.

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#191 of 688 Old 07-17-2008, 05:03 PM
 
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I often end up finishing things up after the kids are in bed. Yeah, it's tricky!

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#192 of 688 Old 07-17-2008, 05:21 PM
 
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Cindy ~ Um, yeah. There's a reason I've sometimes been up until 3am doing canning or whatever. I bet my grandma sent my dad and brothers off to MIL's (20-30 feet away from their place across the driveway) or to just play in the chicken coop or the "crick" or with the cows or something.

I do have a tendency to prep stuff for 1-3 days in advance.
Like wash, sort, puree berries one day, and stick in fridge. Can/process them the next day or three days later.
Or start chopping and squishing the ingredients for my grandma's relish recipe. Takes me almost two days to do that, 3-4 if I can only do stuff *while* the kids are underfoot. Then I can get around to cooking and canning either when hubby's home and we're doing pb&j for dinner or when my mom's up. Same deal with spaghetti sauce - I prep for almost a week before I start it up on a Saturday. But I make it worth my while and make a decent sized double batch that'll fill up 17-19 pints in the pressure canner.

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#193 of 688 Old 07-17-2008, 07:25 PM
 
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LMAO good know I'm not alone then. I was up till 2 am making plum jam and prepping stuff to can tomatillo salsa- which probably adds to why I wasnt in the mood for clingy crying children today. Of course now that I have collapsed in exaustion at my desk they are quiet little angels in the living room playing with their toy cars and drawing pictures.


I prefer to do jam at night since the kitchen gets so hot I need all the windows open for fresh air, but for the veggies I was trying to aim for "vine to can", and no way am I wandering thru my garden at 2 am with a flashlight. I'd think every garden spider is a black widow and freak out.
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#194 of 688 Old 07-17-2008, 07:47 PM
 
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Is there a best way to prep berries for jam? I don't actually have a potato masher, so for my first batch I chopped super fine w/ my food chopper, but after it was done, the fruit was more towards the top of the jars. I odn't know if pureeing or beating in my KA would prevent that?

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#195 of 688 Old 07-17-2008, 07:56 PM
 
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Is there a best way to prep berries for jam? I don't actually have a potato masher, so for my first batch I chopped super fine w/ my food chopper, but after it was done, the fruit was more towards the top of the jars. I odn't know if pureeing or beating in my KA would prevent that?
Did you stir/whisk in the pectin or whatever really well? Sometimes my stuff does that separation thing just because it wants to in the water bath canner, or with the freezer jam, if I haven't stirred it up long enough to get everything blended just right.

But yeah, I used the KA blender we have until it died last week, or my 3-4cup food processor that was a hand-me-down from my mom. The food processor actually works better IMO - and it has two speeds - on and off.

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#196 of 688 Old 07-17-2008, 08:03 PM
 
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lmonter...I just wanted to let you know (I apologize if this comes across creepy) I'm so glad I figured out who you are!!!

At some point I must have clicked on your blog link eons ago. I've been cyber stalking your blog ever since then, but couldn't ever figure out who you were on mothering.com again.

??? about your neat jam/jelly jars with the purple lids. Are they freezer jam jars? I haven't been able to located any like that.

Congrats on your new baby, too.

Me:
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#197 of 688 Old 07-17-2008, 08:13 PM
 
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lmonter...I just wanted to let you know (I apologize if this comes across creepy) I'm so glad I figured out who you are!!!

At some point I must have clicked on your blog link eons ago. I've been cyber stalking your blog ever since then, but couldn't ever figure out who you were on mothering.com again.

??? about your neat jam/jelly jars with the purple lids. Are they freezer jam jars? I haven't been able to located any like that.

Congrats on your new baby, too.
Good to know I'm not too easily trackable...

Yes, those are the Ball freezer jars, the 8-oz/1 cup size. I have no need to frozen glass shattering on the floor in front of the freezers when my 4yo decides to "help" get something from 'em. Although if you do spill those plastic ones on our linoleum floor just right, it'll shatter, but no worries about glass splinters.

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#198 of 688 Old 07-17-2008, 08:15 PM
 
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warning : small rant ahead


Got me thinking no wonder Ma Ingalls let the kids play outside and chase gophers...its the only way she got any work done!
Well that's the only way I get anything done and I only have ONE!

Your post made me smile though, just thinking... awww there really is comfort in numbers

Erin sharing life with a burly husband and two rad boys 7/06 & 5/09 : : Zone 9-ish
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#199 of 688 Old 07-17-2008, 11:39 PM
 
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Today we went picking again.

15 lbs of blueberries washed and frozen

20 lbs of sweet cherries. So far half are stoned and frozen.

and cherry crisp for dinner
Mmm, sweet cherries. That's something I don't have the luxury of having here. I'm so jealous of how much you can pick at once! I can only pick about 5 lb of blueberries at a time before I have to go home and nurse DS. When it was cooler, I put him in a sling while I picked, but it's way too hot for that now.

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how the HECK are you supossed to get anything canned with small children in the house?
I'm another one who cans after the kids are asleep! Sometimes DH will take them so I can can during the day, but I get interrupted a lot more than I do when I can late at night.

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Is there a best way to prep berries for jam? I don't actually have a potato masher, so for my first batch I chopped super fine w/ my food chopper, but after it was done, the fruit was more towards the top of the jars. I odn't know if pureeing or beating in my KA would prevent that?
Floating can mean that they weren't mashed enough, but it can also mean that the fruit wasn't ripe enough or that you didn't cook it long enough to force all the air out of it. Personally, I love my potato masher and use it all the time, but I bet a food processor would work well, too.
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#200 of 688 Old 07-18-2008, 01:51 PM
 
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I used the recipes from the certo light box for no-cook jam. It specifically says not to use a food processor. Wasn't a worry for me, since I don't have one! I used my pastry cutter for my strawberries, since I also don't have a potato masher. I think a masher would work a bit better, but it turned out okay. My family all say they like jam better with fruit chunks anyway.

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#201 of 688 Old 07-18-2008, 03:02 PM
 
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Last night after ds went to sleep I cut and dehydrated the last pound or so of apricots. The instructions to keep them from going dark was super easy from the Preserving Summer's Bounty. Hot water and honey. Plus, I sprinkled them with cinnamon and they smell so good. Oh and what was super ripe I made into pie filling. I will make pie crust today and put the pies in the freezer.
The other night when I tried to can it was a disaster because I read while they were sitting for the 4-5 hrs that I shouldn't change the recipe. I thought they would be more flexible like the pectin recipes. The apricots were free so no biggee.

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#202 of 688 Old 07-18-2008, 03:19 PM
 
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OMG Cindy you are so not alone. I think last year we all had a talk about how the kids years ago would just be pretty much left on their own during canning season.

I did do most of my canning at night or at nap times when the kids were small. Now I am mean and make them help

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#203 of 688 Old 07-18-2008, 06:46 PM
 
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I did do most of my canning at night or at nap times when the kids were small. Now I am mean and make them help


I daydream about when my kids will be that age. I have lovely images of sitting around the patio table together, shelling peas or pitting cherries. Totally unrealistic, I'm sure.
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#204 of 688 Old 07-18-2008, 07:01 PM
 
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I daydream about when my kids will be that age. I have lovely images of sitting around the patio table together, shelling peas or pitting cherries. Totally unrealistic, I'm sure.
I don't know how unrealistic... Some of my fondest memories from growing up were sitting at the table with Grandma shelling peas for dinner that we'd just picked from the garden (and "stealing" ripe strawberries from her strawberry patch when she wasn't looking and picking blueberries with Grandpa and going slug hunting at dusk with him and so on). At the very table I'm sitting at as a matter of fact. And last year my oldest helped me shell peas and snap green beans at this same 120yo table.

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#205 of 688 Old 07-18-2008, 08:42 PM
 
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I made blueberry jam this morning:. One jar didn't pop like the others, it turns out the screw cap should have been a little tighter. I tightened the band and a bit later when I pushed on the lid, it stayed down. I have it in the fridge as a just in case measure, but would it have been okay?


I think it will be nice when my kids are old enough to help garden and can. THey are already interested, but too young to actually be too close to the action, makes me nervous. My 5 yo dd probably could help, she's pretty careful, but my 3.5 yo ds is NOT and wouldn't take kindly to being left out!

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#206 of 688 Old 07-18-2008, 09:22 PM
 
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Today I made basil balls.


I just pulled about a third of my basil crop. Pulled the leaves, washed and blended with garlic and olive oil. I put them into ice cube trays and are now freezing them. I hope this works. I dream of being to put a basil ball into a jar of sauce, or while sauting chicken and whala... instant yummy.
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#207 of 688 Old 07-18-2008, 10:40 PM
 
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Basil balls sound like a great idea. I was weeding around the herbs today...smelled so good!

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#208 of 688 Old 07-18-2008, 11:01 PM
 
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My pressure canner just arrived...any BTDT tips off the top of your heads for me?

I also WBC and freeze after the children are in bed- tonight I started getting things out to make jam and then thought, um, no, I'm not starting this at 10pm tonight!


I didn't grow nearly enough in the garden this year...already planning for next year...

I read one shouldn't can pureed pumpkin because it doesn't transfer heat properly- how do you preserve pumpkins? Freezing?

(actually I still have a pumpkin from last year on the kitchen counter- it looks fine! )
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#209 of 688 Old 07-18-2008, 11:59 PM
 
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And last year my oldest helped me shell peas and snap green beans at this same 120yo table.
Awww Lanna, that is so sweet!

Liz, I have read that too. I freeze my pumpkin in 2 cup measures after cooking & pureeing. We actually seem to like it better that way, frozen & thawed. It seems to make it creamier or something. We used the last of our pumpkin from the fall on the 4th of July. We made pumpkin pies

BB- those basil balls sound fabulous! How much OO did you use? I may have to give that a try this weekend.

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#210 of 688 Old 07-19-2008, 12:00 AM
 
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I don't know how unrealistic... Some of my fondest memories from growing up were sitting at the table with Grandma shelling peas for dinner that we'd just picked from the garden (and "stealing" ripe strawberries from her strawberry patch when she wasn't looking and picking blueberries with Grandpa and going slug hunting at dusk with him and so on). At the very table I'm sitting at as a matter of fact. And last year my oldest helped me shell peas and snap green beans at this same 120yo table.
Our childhoods sound similar. I remember sitting in lawn chairs in my grandparents' yard, shucking bushels of sweet corn; going to the garden with Grandpa and spending more time looking for foour-leaf clovers in the hay field than weeding; and hunting nightcrawlers after a rain. Ok, I'll try being more optimistic!

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I made blueberry jam this morning:. One jar didn't pop like the others, it turns out the screw cap should have been a little tighter. I tightened the band and a bit later when I pushed on the lid, it stayed down. I have it in the fridge as a just in case measure, but would it have been okay?
Probably, but I wouldn't risk it. If the lid didn't seal quickly enough after the vacuum formed, some outside air could have seeped and contaminated the sterilized jar.

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Today I made basil balls.

I just pulled about a third of my basil crop. Pulled the leaves, washed and blended with garlic and olive oil. I put them into ice cube trays and are now freezing them. I hope this works. I dream of being to put a basil ball into a jar of sauce, or while sauting chicken and whala... instant yummy.
How much oil did you use to how much basil? I've wanted to do this, but I wasn't sure what ratio to use.

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My pressure canner just arrived...any BTDT tips off the top of your heads for me?
For me, the easiest way to learn was to have someone who had been pressure canning for years show me how to do it. After that one session, I felt comfortable on my own.

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I read one shouldn't can pureed pumpkin because it doesn't transfer heat properly- how do you preserve pumpkins? Freezing?
Supposedly, you can can chunks of pumpkins, but not puree. I've never tried it, though. I've just frozen the pumpkin puree.
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