Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Put Up or Shut Up


Times are tough. Like everyone else we've been looking for ways to trim costs, save more and live well within our means. So when the garden produces more than expected, peaches arrive by the box load, neighbors offer trees of bounty, and friends unload ripening fruit you say thank you and get busy.

First, it was peppers. These I chop and freeze, dry or can. If canning you should use a pressure cooker since they have low acidity. I don't have one and I have just used a water bath, but it's not recommended.

Next there were peaches. What we didn't eat I simply cut up into slices, added a little sugar and froze in quart freezer bags. Growing up, Mom would always can LOADS of peaches....rows and rows of the peachy fruit lined our storage room shelves. It was pretty, but my kids don't really care for canned peaches; they do love peach smoothies, so I froze most of them with just a little sugar to keep them pretty. I also made peach jam, that turned out quite tasty, by following my apricot jam recipe.

Before I was even half way through the peaches, my neighbor offered her apple and plum trees. So we (and by we, I mean me and Laser Boy) made applesauce, plum applesauce, apple pie filling and plum jelly; still too many apples left on the tree....with such cute help, I'm sure I'll just have to make more.

In the middle of all this, another neighbor calls offering three large boxes of pears that are going rotten faster than she could get to them. Hmmm, let's see, wasn't that me just praying for solutions to lower the ol'e grocery bill.....

k, I'll take 'em.

Turns out they went rotten faster than I could get them to my house (Hubs said they smelled like hooch), not sure what my well intentioned neighbor had in mind, but they did make an excellent addition to my compost pile, and with all my extra time I was able to freeze my corn before it went too mushy.

Now, I think the rush is over and I'm just dilly dallying with more peppers, green beans, basil and tomatoes; hoping it doesn't freeze until I can stock up on canned tomatoes and tomato sauce.

To be honest, I'm surprised by it all. Not that I am well taken care of, that I have come to trust, but the fact that I, can. All those Labor Day weekends spent in hard labor, helping my mom can everything you could imagine and in amounts that are now unimaginable, must have paid off.

Food on Fridays with Ann Kroeker


  1. I'm interested in learning about canning. Is there any advice you can give me? I'm a city girl recently transplanted in the country. I want to start a veggie garden next year and I don't know where to begin. What can be canned...what can't be...

  2. Oh the peaches... the peaches! Lovely.

    thanks for stopping in at Seedlings in Stone, btw. :)


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