Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Canning season

My first seven quarts of green beans are canned! I am hoping for many, many more as we have depleted our stockpile completely. Most years, we have lots still on the shelf when we start canning season but I didn't can many beans last year -seems like we had a disease problem with the beans or something-and a severe lack of time.

That figured into our camping schedule this year. It isn't much more expensive to stay for a month than it is to stay for 10 days so we have had the trailer at camp for a month at a time the last couple years. Clarence would stop at home to do his chores, then head over to the camp each night. I'd come home often enough to throw some laundry in, pick up some food from the pantry or freezer and go back to camp. Unless it rained a lot-then we'd stay home for a day or two.

Unfortunately, that doesn't work really well if you want to maximize the garden harvest or preserve any of it. This year we decided to forego the month-long camping adventure so we could try to salvage our garden. Only being home when it's raining means you never pull weeds or pick much.

So, the annual canning adventure has begun. I am thankful that my family cheerfully helps me every year so it makes it more fun, less like a chore. By the end, it is indeed a chore but I am so happy all winter long to have our own organic beans, beets, and tomatoes on the shelf. We usually also do purchased peaches and the past couple years have added pears to the list.

Last year, I experimented with one canner of pears. I added vanilla to each jar (I hope I wrote down how much in my book!). They were extra yummy so I'll be doing that again if we get ahold of any pears this year.
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