Does anyone can and freeze their winter supply of fruit and veges? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-31-2002, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There are so many Moms here on MDC that use cloth diaper, homeschool, homebirth and all sorts of non-mainstream types of things.

Are there some of you that can and freeze their winter supply of fruits and vegtables?

We have a big garden and try to can 60 to 80 qts of green beans.
Freeze 40 or more pkgs of sweet corn.
Make homemade salsa and spegetti sauce out of our own garden stuff.
Grow garlic, onions, dill, basil etc... to use for my own seasoning.
We freeze and can fruit when it is in season from the local orchards etc....

I have done this for the past 6 years and my Mother did it when I grew up. Of coarse for a family of 10 (6 brothers & 4 sisters) it made a big dent in the grocery bill.

Not many people around me do it or even think of it as trifty or part of natural family living. Are you out there and more people doing this than I know?
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Old 07-31-2002, 06:47 PM
 
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I want to!! we've got a share in a veggie farm this year and I'm ashamed to say we've wasted some stuff.

can you recommend a good book to get started? I'd like one that talks about storing all kinds of things, you know, how long onions keep, how to freeze greens...well, everything.

I was thinking about buying a vacuum sealer (don't have space for jars or a large freezer right now) Do you use one of these?

TIA
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Old 07-31-2002, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The book that is my stand-by is called:
Stocking Up III , America's Classic Preserving Guide. By Carol Hupping and Rodale Food Center

They have many recipes made with honey as the sweetener and the only thing I have found wrong with it is that many of the recipes are not sweet enough for me, but then my sweet tooth is to big. I just adjust for it and go on.

I like to do some dehydrating. My kids love dried peaches, apples and fruit leather and would prefer it over candy any day.

I have even dried tomatoes and they are great in winter salads and stews. We dry mint and basil too.

I have not used a vacume packer myself but I have heard they are great for decreasing freezer burn.
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Old 07-31-2002, 08:08 PM
 
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We we had our big garden I did can and freeze. Now that we just have a few plants (no room here) I still can my own jams, and tomatoes. Don't freeze much anymore though.
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Old 07-31-2002, 09:50 PM
 
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Wow Gardenrn, that's GREAT!!! That is my dream. I used to have a big garden and put up 20+ qts of tomatoes and various other stuff per year, but we have moved several times since then and I haven't had the chance to get a garden established. I hope to here.
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Old 08-06-2002, 04:59 PM
 
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I Have in the past but found it to be a hassle when my daughter was a toddler. This year, I am back to freezing excess veggies. I still can't get myself in the mood to can, but freezing is easier and not too hard with the availability and durability of the freezer bags out there.
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Old 08-06-2002, 05:27 PM
 
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ME, ME, ME!!!!!

I just bought my first two cases of jars/lids/rings this year.

Sadly, we only moved into a house (were apartment dwellers) this summer, so we had no chance to attempt a garden. But, we always do pick-your-own crops. I actually found a family who does pick-your-own organic blueberries...and they're only $3 a QUART!!!! Can you guess what we lived on for the majority of June?!

I didn't get a chance to can many blueberries b/c we ate most of them...I did freeze some and ate them right out of the freezer. My two year old is a blueberry addict. But, we did pick blackberries the first day they were ripe at a nearby farm....YUUUM...I canned about a dozen pints. They are the perfect size for blackberry muffins.
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Old 08-06-2002, 05:30 PM
 
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Hey! I just noticed that we're in the same state!

If you ever want to swap some of your crops or dehydrated fruits, please let me know!!!!! That would be fun!
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Old 08-07-2002, 06:51 AM
 
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It's almost 2 am and I'm still up. Can you tell what my answer is?

I'm canning peaches, on my second batch. We did u-pick peaches, blueberries, and marionberries today.

I've got a freezer full of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and marionberries. Also homemade tomato sauce.

We have sooo many blueberries and have enough jam. Is there any good reason to can blueberries rather than freeze them?

I like to freeze pesto sauce from the basil in my garden, too.

I also can applesauce and jam. Mostly berry jam but others too. Once I canned the cherries from our Royal Anne. Yuck.

I use a steam canner and have had great success with it!
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Old 08-07-2002, 06:16 PM
 
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I grew up this way too. Last year I canned large quantities of tomato juice, sauce, and stewed tomatoes. I froze peppers, also from my garden. I also canned apricots from my parent's trees. Some of what I do depends on the success of my parent's garden. Last year, for example, I froze enough green beans for the whole winter. This year, I was able to freeze a lot of peas. I also freeze applesauce. And I hope to freeze a lot of corn this year. It is certainly nice to know that others do this too. It is a lot of work and it is well worth it, bit I feel as though I am a part of a slim subculture, making all these efforts when some of my friends just have no idea.
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Old 08-07-2002, 06:23 PM
 
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this is also my dream for the future when kids are older and when we have a house and can have a garden, etc (and when we have a kitchen that is bigger than a closet). This year I am going to wet my feet to canning by canning homeade salsa. I am excited!!! We don't live in an area that has u-pick farms and stuff. I do want to buy a bunch of fruits at the end of the season when they are cheap and freeze them, maybe make freezer jam too.

Heidi : Married for 15 years, expecting our 8th baby in July!

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Old 08-07-2002, 11:07 PM
 
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mmm...freezer jam!
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Old 08-08-2002, 12:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I love hearing your replies. I am up late canning beans tonight. It makes the work a little lighter knowing thier is other Moms out their working their nuckles into a pulp storing food away for their family.

lavender, I have never used a steam canner. Do you like it? I have always used hot water bath and presure canners. Does it hold 7 qt jars?

The only reason I can think of to can Blueberries instead of freeze is sweeten them like needed for pie. That way you just pull it off the shelf, add some thickener and dump into a pie crust.

But I guess frozen berries can be dumped into a pie crust too. You just have to bake the pie a little longer.

Beans and tomatoes are the only vegtables we like canned. We usually freeze everything else. I actually like the fresh taste of frozen fruit better than canned too. Everyone is different though. We like to take the frozen fruit out, sweeten it a little and eat it like that when it thoughs. More vitamins in it too!

I do like to do a few jars of canned peaches just because they are so convient and good.

Better check on my canner!
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Old 08-08-2002, 01:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Lavender, now you got me thinking,( not a good thing at 10:30PM) Do you use the Steam Canner for low acid and high acid foods? That would be convient if you could. I haul out my old pressure canner (garage sale special, just like my Mother's) to do beans.

Oh, I said we only can beans and tomatoes but we are also pickle faces around here, and zuccine relish, and pickle relish, and spegetti sauce and salsa. Oh my, that sounds like too much work! Will it really all get done this year?! It is nice to look at on the shelf though.

Now I am rambling so.... back to take the canner off.
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Old 09-18-2002, 01:50 AM
 
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With a question. I have a freezer full of blueberries and my mind set on lots more.

My question is about dehydrating.

My directions mention additives for fruits and veggies. Do you have to use them?

I really like to keep things natural but not if its going to be worse for us in the long run (rotten fruit)...

What's your experience gardenrn --we have all sorts of goodies from our CSA.

I might try drying some edamame and well as freezing --I have about 4 pound waiting for my decision...

me 71, dh 68, dd 00, dd 04
blissfully figuring out how to coexist while homeschooling and living in the woods of northern michigan
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Old 09-18-2002, 10:49 AM
 
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I am so envious! If I had enough time to maintain a larger garden I'd surely be canning. As it is right now, I only do pickles. Everything else gets eaten right away. I've made salsa with extra tomatoes, but it gets eaten fast enough that I don't need to preserve it either.

We're the only family I personally know that grows ANY of our own produce, much less does any canning.
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Old 09-18-2002, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello namama,

With blueberries they dehydrate very well with nothing added, you just have to sit with a pin or knife and pierce the skin of every one of them or they will not dry very well.

I usually do not use anything on my fruit when I dry it except that I have tried dipping apples in Orange Juice or lemon juice to keep them from turning dark. They are really good that way too!

With fruit leathers you can add a little lemon juice to keep from turning dark, depending what it is. I have found that mixing peaches with seedy berries makes a really good leather and you don't notice so many seeds. With fruit leathers I have tried different sweeteners and the corn syrup works the best because it make the fruit leathery where other sweeteners make it brittle.

I have started storing my dried fruit in the freezer because after one year on the shelf it looses some of it's quality and sometimes color.

namama are your edamame still green? I have found that they work pretty good to blanch and feeze in the shell, then drop in boiling water when we want to eat them for just a few min.
I guess dry they would just be like a dry soybean. Although dry soybeans are good. We like to roast them a bit with butter and salt. They taste like popcorn curnels.

I sure like having people to swap ideas with
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Old 09-18-2002, 06:56 PM
 
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I am restarting the tradition of canning with my ds. Made my first 12 pints of applesauce. I used my grandmothers steam canner and sieve. Next year I hope to make jam out of berries from the local farm. I would like to do speghetti sauce but I do not have a presure canner.
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Old 09-18-2002, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Greenfrogs, Tomatoes are very acid and I would think you could do sauce in a steam canner. I do them in hot water bath canner. The old timers even did tomatoe sauce with the "Open Kettle Method". If you are supper careful to have everything sterile and boiling hot it can be done. Just a thought.
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Old 09-18-2002, 08:20 PM
 
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gardenrn,

I will give it a try. Can you use sauce that has been cooked with onions, herbs, etc. for long periods of time. The acidity seems to go down.

Karen
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Old 09-19-2002, 12:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Greenfrogs, I add herbs and onions to my sauce when cooking it down. Just don't add any meat or meat juices. I have found I can buy one jar of my favorite store bought sauce and add it to my batch of homemade sauce and it really enhances the flavor.

I just can't seem to get my sauce to taste as good as store bought and that trick gets me the closest yet.

Oh I need to get some apples and make sauce too. My little ones just love home-made applesauce. We have been working on potty training this week and I am soooo tired!!! I want to dry some tomatoes too.
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Old 09-19-2002, 01:10 PM
 
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GardenRN,

Thanks.

When I make my sauce I add a cup or so of a pretty good red wine and sometimes just a touch of sugar (1/4 cup per huge pot). I also cook it all day long until the color changes from an orange to a deep red (reduces about half). Also if you add about a cup of water from a pot of cook pasta it makes the sauce incredible. Some time I do this just before I use it. Cook the sauce until it is almost to thick. Then when you use it for pasta add a bit of the water. Way better than store bought.
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Old 09-19-2002, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yummmm Greenfrogs
That sounds sooo good! I had never heard that about the cooked pasta water.
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