Friday, August 15, 2014

Canning & Freezing 2014

I love canning.  This past winter I noticed almost every dishwasher load had at least 1 canning jar in it, we really eat a lot of what I can in the wintertime and it's so handy. 

This year I'm taking better notes of what and how much I'm canning and freezing.  I don't have a lot of space in my freezers, (those chickens and bunnies take up space:)  so I try to can more then freeze.  Plus i like the handiness of grabbing food off the shelf and having an instant meal/side, rather then having to thaw things out, I don't always plan ahead good enough for that.  Some of my canned things are in a cardboard box on my basement floor, so you don't need to have glamorous storage space for your jars.  There is the debate that canning zaps out more nutrients then simply freezing your items.  I haven't found a clear answer for that.

A couple things, like red beets and corn, I didn't need to put away much of because I still had some from last year.

Here is my current list of what i canned and froze so far in 2014:

Green beans - 62 quart (I always run out, this should be enough) 48 canned/14 froze

Corn (froze) - 10 quart

Chicken broth - 21 quart (made from our butchered chicken's carcasses)

Red beets - 9 quart

Meadow tea - 8 quarts of concentrate (will make 8 gallon)

Beef stew (pictured above) - 14 quart (a new favorite- it's an instant meal.  it's delicious, the carrots and potatoes came from the garden.  it also works well as a quick meal to give to other people.  i found the recipe in my pressure canner owner's manual)

Tomato juice - 15 quart

Diced tomatoes - 37 pints

cabbage (froze) - gallon size bag of leaves to crumple in soups

Orange/lemon meadow tea mixture, concentrate - 14 quart, to make 14 gallon

fruit for smoothies - freeze- (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and peaches)

green peppers (chop and freeze)
applesauce (using the oven canning method) 
kale (freeze for soups and smoothies)
Lima beans (from an Amish farm, will freeze) 
pumpkin (pureed and frozen)

I chip away at many of these things as they are ready in the garden.  I did not do all 37 pints of diced tomatoes in one day!  I did it 3 different times as they ripened.  I like to do it that way because I don't need to make it a full day event, but rather a couple hours in the morning or afternoon.  That way I can just fit it in with other things I have going that day rather then focusing only on that project for the entire day.

If you are looking to start preserving veggies, green beans are an easy one to start with.  Kale and spinach are too.  you don't need to cook the leaves first, just put them in a ziplock bag and freeze.  you can then take out what you need and crumple in soups, casseroles, eggs, or smoothies.

School starts soon!  new school update coming soon...Happy weekend

No comments: