Before I ran a bunch of errands I spent the morning in the kitchen. Last week my friend Justin gave me some pears. So today I canned them. It was so easy! Just make a simple syrup and warm up the pear slices and put them in the jars to can. Can’t wait to have those. After pears I started on dinner. I put a pot roast in the crock pot with carrots, garlic, onions, and potatoes all from the garden. I am cooking it on low for 8 hours. It smells so good in my house right now!
After my running around I came home and planted garlic. I planted 6 heads this year, I tripled the amount over what I did last year. Love me some garlic!
Tonight I decided it was time to do something with all my tomatoes. I filled a 5 gallon bucket with all the ripe ones. My husband and I made roasted and smoked tomato sauce. I had pans of tomatoes roasting in the oven, one on the grill, another on the smoker, and the leftover ones in a pot on the stove. I combined a few recipes but it was pretty simple. Onion, garlic, bay, oregano, and basil. I have never made sauce before but I was surprised that I only got 5 quarts out of about 20 pounds of tomatoes. I guess next year I will double the amount of tomato plants. But it turned out great. We had the leftover sauce with dinner, dipped focaccia bread in it. So goood!
Yesterday I got about 7 pounds of italian plums from my friend. So today I made plum bbq sauce.
Today is also my husband’s birthday and he wanted ribs, so it was a perfect match. The recipe was really simple, I just adapted it for plums instead of peaches. I let it cook down for about 2 hours, then another hour on the smoker to add some smoky flavor. It turned out so good!! I also have had a bunch of dill leftover from making pickles, so it’s been in all my recipes this week. Today I made garlic dill potatoes and they are my new favorite way to make potatoes! I also harvested our lemon cucumbers and made a creamy salad with them, onions, and of course dill. What a great birthday dinner. For dessert we have cake pops. My son wanted chocolate and my husband wanted lemon, so I made both. Great day in the kitchen, hanging out with my loves ♥️
Today’s harvest was carrots from the garden. I also bought 12 pounds of cucumbers at Schuh Farms. I ran around to 4 different stores to find more canning jars. I finally found a store with some and I stocked up. Today I canned spicy dilly pickled carrots and spicy dill pickles. I even taught my husband how to can his own jar of pickles with one cucumber from the garden. All in all a good productive day.
Yesterday was the first day of school, my son is now in third grade. Since he is in the autism class, he gets to go in person for two days a week and virtual learning the rest of the week. So I decided I would get a job when he is in school, and for the weekends. I started work yesterday at a local farm, Schuh Farms. They sell all sorts of produce, fresh baked goodies, and even have cute house decor. We have gone there for years to buy our pumpkins 🎃
They also sell corn, fresh out of the fields. And what a good deal they have, 50 for $10! So of course I bought 50. Today my husband and I bbq’d them all, shucked them (after cooking), then took off the kernals. We ended up with 16 bags for the freezer. Not too bad for an afternoon 🌽
Well it took 2 days but I’m finally done making apple pie filling. My mom helped me the other day and today I finished up. Total of 7 batches or 24 quarts, at 5 pounds a batch. And that is only HALF of my apple harvest! I gave about 30 pounds of apples away to friends. And I still have a drawer full in the fridge. I think I’ve processed about 75 pounds of apples between the apple pie filling and applesauce I’ve canned. I can’t imagine having more than 2 apple trees. But it’s been fun and it’s actually relaxing now that I have the rhythm down of how to can.
I also made some spicy dill pickles out of a couple cucumbers I harvested. I just added some garlic cloves and a jalapeno to the mix. Easy peasy 🥒
Yesterday I harvested our potatoes. I waited as long as I could, and it was set to rain so it was time. I guess that I harvested about 25 pounds. I made mashed potatoes last night with the yukon golds, so yummy! Now I just have to wait for them to cure before I store them for the winter.
Today we went out to the church park and picked more blackberries. This time I brought berry pickers with me! My husband and brother in law both picked massive bowls of berries. I had enough to make a double batch of blackberry jalapeno jam and a blackberry cobbler. I used jalapenos from the garden. Can’t wait to try the jam with some creamy brie on crackers tomorrow. Yum!
My rhubarb was getting quite large so I thought I would make some jam. I bought a flat of strawberries at Snow Goose produce stand and cut off 6 of my biggest stalks of rhubarb. I’ve never made jam before so I wasn’t sure what to expect but it turned out really good. I was able to can about a dozen jars. I had some fruit leftover so I made sauce with them. Going to top my ice cream with it tonight. Oh yeah, I also pulled up my first carrot to see how big they are…looking good so far!
I have been saving all the fallen apples the last week in two crisper drawers. They were packed and I had my harvest basket full so I needed to do something with them. Last week I made a jar of applesauce to keep in the fridge, to test the method and the recipe. For that jar I left the skins on and it left a little bit of a gritty texture so this time around I knew I needed to peel the apples.
I finally got to use my KitchenAid attachment to peel. It worked great. Then I added 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 TBS cinnamon to the apples and cooked them in the instapot for 8 minutes. This was my first time canning all by myself so I was a little nervous. But it was actually really simple. I blended the cooked apples and added them to the hot jars. Then canned the jars in a water bath for 10 minutes. I repeated that process for 3 batches. I ended up with a dozen jars. And they all popped! I love that sound, it is so satisfying.