Monday, September 22, 2014

Putting Food Up

Preserving, for me, has become part hobby and part mission.  I enjoy canning food for my family for the winter months, but I also feel like it's how I earn my keep.  Mr. B and I try hard to improve skills that allow us to be self-sustainable.  If anything were ever to happen like a job loss or something worse, I feel like we know how to grow or hunt our food, preserve it, and cook it.  We're learning to identify plants in the wild that are edible or medicinal.

In years past, I've made some attempt at canning and preserving foods.  I think my first year was probably just canning applesauce and maybe peaches.  Last year, I stepped it up and preserved:

6 quarts beef broth
5 pints and 1 quart of chicken broth
6 quarts of green beans
16 quarts and 15 pints of peaches
16 half pints of strawberry jam
14 half pints of peach preserves
12.75 quarts of tomato sauce
6 half pints of tomato paste
41.5 half pints of apple butter
3 bags of peach pie filling (frozen)

This year, even though I've been pregnant and now have a newborn, I've been a preserving machine.  In the last couple of months, we've put up:

1 ½ pints honeysuckle syrup
2 pints elderflower syrup
7.5 half pints “hard” strawberry jam
9 half pints “soft” strawberry jam
5 12 oz jars “soft” strawberry jam
4 12 oz jars strawberry jam/syrup
3 lbs frozen blueberries
12 oz maraschino cherries
8 oz cherry pit liqueur (including pits)
4 cups frozen cherries
1 ½ gallons of frozen raspberries
½ gallon raspberry liqueur
1 ½ cups dried apricots
3.8 gal of sumac concentrate  
46 heads of garlic
2 quarts of sage leaves
1 cup of thyme leaves
1 cup of winter savory leaves
1 quart of oregano
9 pint jars of peaches
7 24 oz jars of peaches
35 quart jars of peaches
12 pint jars of spaghetti sauce
5 quart jars of spaghetti sauce
26 quart jars of tomato sauce
5 pint jars of tomato sauce
15 quarts of applesauce
5 pints Pumpkin and Sausage Soup

Some of that which we put up has already been consumed, like the honeysuckle syrup and most of the elderflower syrup.  We have a lot left to do before winter comes, too, so this list will change rather dramatically in the next few months.  Now that apples have come in, I'll be canning (hopefully) a total of 24 quarts of applesauce.  I'll be making and canning a ton of broth and cooked beans when it gets cooler and around the holidays.  I’ve just started experimenting with meats and soups, so hopefully I’ll be able to can more of that as well.  The only problem I'm running into at the moment is storage space, but that's a great problem to have.


  1. Wow, that's a lot of work, and a great skill to have. Way to go!

    I have to admit that I'm still just dabbling in canning. I want to do more in the future though! This year I've just done pickles, relish, and two kinds of jam.

  2. Thanks! I find that when I've taken a break from canning for a little while (like the winter), I'm really hesitant to start back up. My first batch after a break always ends with me saying "I forgot how easy that was!"