Food Preservation and a Day Off–August 25, 2017

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All day, almost every day, food is being canned and frozen around here.  It’s very exciting to see the cupboard filling up with rows of colorful jars.

The pears are almost all used.  I’ve canned 35 quarts, used many for fruit cocktail and have a batch of pear butter in the crock pot right now.

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Jake and Patsy loved helping with grinding the pears for pear butter.  My recipe is very simple.  Grind the pears, add some sugar to taste, and cook down until it is like jam.  I was so tired last night, I just filled the crock pot and let it cook all night, but it needs to be much thicker.  I will probably use the microwave to cook it down some more today.

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Rob found a dented gallon of pineapple at Cash and Carry for around $2.50, so I canned it up in small jars to be more usable for pizzas, etc.

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I froze yet another tray of peaches from our tree.  They are an odd peach.  Do you notice the green color on the edge of some of the pieces?  Also, when they look really ripe, they are rotten.  So, I’ve been having to work them up when they look a little green to me.  They taste ok, though, and Ja’Ana especially loves peach smoothies and peach crisp, so I’m freezing them, tray after tray.  After they freeze, I put them into baggies.  This way, we can get the frozen pieces out easily to make smoothies.

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The beans are still prolific.   I froze another 7 quarts last night.

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You can only eat so many in a week!!   I think I will be serving beans yet again at family Sunday dinner:)   I think the green ones are about finished and the yellow ones are winding down.  The purple ones are pole beans and will continue until frost, which is great.  I will welcome beans in reasonable quantities until frost.

I did get a couple of batches of applesauce done, but there are a lot of apples left to process.

On Wednesday, we took the day off and went down to the beach.  We went to Newport, Oregon.  Rob wanted to try surf fishing for perch.  He did not catch anything, but we had a great day.

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It was pretty cold and foggy when we got there, compared to the hot temperatures we’ve had in the valley this summer.  It felt great!

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It didn’t stop these 2 from digging for hours.

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Or from trying to dam up the little river.  Or  from making sand castles with water in the moat.

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The sun broke through the clouds and it turned out to be a very pleasant day.  We had a bunch of food in the car, and munched away all day.  On the way home, we grabbed some ice cream and fries from Dairy Queen….This crew sure loves their ice cream and fries!!

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In the afternoon, we visited the Mark Hatfield Marine Science Center.  We always enjoy it there, and they had changed quite a few exhibits from the last time we were there, so that was nice.

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After that, we went down to the docks and bought an albacore tuna from a fishing boat.  The young man working there cut it up for us and we also kept the carcass.  Rob plans to go crabbing soon, so he cut it up and froze it for bait.  Today, I canned the tuna.  I could have frozen it, then canned it later, but I wanted to get it in the jars right away this time.

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I cut it up, put it into the short, round 1/2 pint jars I keep for this purpose, added 1/2 teaspoon salt and a small square of the belly fat, then pressure canned it for 100 minutes.  To translate this further–that means someone gets to sit on a chair for 1 hour and 40 minutes, making sure the pressure canner stays at the correct pressure. We were fighting for the job!  Since Rob was cleaning the shop all day, he was a ready and willing volunteer for this job and finished up the processing time around 6.  Then, it needed to cool until the pressure came down.   I can put 3 layers of these jars in my tall canner, and ended up with 22 small jars and 1 pint.  We ate the additional pint that would not go in.

So far, it’s been a very productive week!

13 thoughts on “Food Preservation and a Day Off–August 25, 2017”

  1. Have been reading all your posts but not commenting for awhile. Fun to hear all you’re doing. And great job with all that canning and freezing!

    1. Thanks! I’m glad you have been enjoying reading. I’ll bet you are super busy with all your community gardening! I know I can’t keep up and it’s right outside the door:)

  2. You have been busy! I’m working on making applesauce today in my crockpot with some the of Yellow Transparent apples from our tree. I hope that my hubby will be able to pick some more for me since the ripe ones are up high and I am not stable on a ladder at all anymore. 😉 I want to get at least 2 more batches made and frozen.

    1. My Grandma used to use Transparent apples for applesauce. I don’t remember eating it much, my mom always used Gravestein because her mom did:) So, I mostly do, too. Isn’t it funny how that works sometimes?

      I hope your hubby can grab them, too. So much to do this time of year!!

      Frankly, I was so tired today that I didn’t do a lot, except keep Jake happy and occupied. That’s enough some days:) He was very, very good–just busy. He’s spending the night tonight, so the kids are happily watching Night at the Museum, so the busy part of the day is over, and the rest of the evening should be relaxing after I finish a few things in the kitchen. Sleep well:)

    1. This is only the 3rd time I’ve canned tuna. Each time, we love it this way more and more. It is a big process, though:) But, I love canning and am enjoying doing something new.

  3. So envious of your fresh tuna to can. I really need to get a pressure canner so I could can some of our good home-raised beef. It would be very handy in the pantry. Cucumbers have been especially prolific here in the Central Plains. Tomatoes just starting.

    1. Our tomatoes are really just getting going well here, too. Lots more to go on those.

      I am blessed to live in a place where it is relatively close to go down to the coast, and get fish from the docks. I have lived here my entire life, and I know I sometimes take it for granted, but I do appreciate fresh seafood, raspberries, hazelnuts and other regional foods. I was raised on them, so sometimes forget that they don’t grow everywhere as easily.

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