Thriving In My thrifty Week–September 7, 2020–More Food Preservation

This week, we concentrated on food preservation again. It’s that time of year:). The shelves are starting to fill up nicely.

Rob emptied and cleaned all 3 freezers that we keep in the shop for the first time since we moved here. Then, I came and helped sort the items that were inside. Much to my chagrin, I found some very oldies, but no longer goodies and dumped them. Things like cauliflower from 2015 and zucchini almost as old is not worth taking up real estate in those freezers. Things just got out of order when we moved, and it was time to sort it. I have so much new, good, fresh produce I’d rather eat, and now I can find it.

I spent time cleaning and organizing the canning shelves. I decided the berry syrup from 2002 (yes, believe it–sad, but true) had to go. It was one teeny, tiny jar, but that stuff is so much work it was hard to throw it away.

But, now, I can look forward to eating fresh food. I know what’s there, everywhere, and love that knowledge. I have one turkey and one ham to use before the fall sales. There’s lots of chicken and fish and even some shrimp. I have room for the 1/4 beef we will get when the farmer gets it ready, probably October.

I finally met a goal I’ve been working on for several months. All of the beef bones are used up! Every time we get 1/4 beef, we get packages of bones. They are time consuming to work up, so I tend to procrastinate until I need broth. I wanted them all used before this new beef arrives. This week, I boiled that last of them and canned another 7 quarts of broth. Then, I made 14 jars of vegetable beef soup with what I saved out. I used broth, the bits of meat from the bones, lots of veggies, and especially every odd and end of a veggie I could find–a few beans, a little corn, carrots, onions, celery, even a huge bunch of parsley from the raised bed. Rob patiently sat and babysat the 2 canners for the 90 minutes they needed to cook, and I just checked and they all sealed! Yea!

Tomatoes are taking over!!! I picked tomatoes at my sister’s house, and my garden. I made salsa, tomato sauce, and jars of canned tomato chunks. I’ve finally met my salsa-making goal and that time-consuming job is done for the year. I’m through canning most of these tomatoes as of this evening, and will finish the rest in the morning.

This morning, we picked corn at my sister’s. We just don’t have the room or the good soil to grow good corn, so she generously grows enough for all of us. How much corn often depends on the weather and the hungry crows, who eat the seeds in the spring! Part of this is from her garden. The rest is from the field they lease out to a lady who has a fruit stand and told my sister she could take all she wanted. We took about 20 ears, because I wanted to do a little more than was ripe in the garden today. That was so kind of both of them. I got 25 pint cartons to add to the 8 that we got the other day of frozen corn. I also canned 19 pints of corn last week. We were simply out of almost out of everything this year.

Rob bleached the kiddie pool so we could cool corn in it. He and Patsy did most of this project, after I boiled the cobs, and then I worked on tomatoes and soup.

I did get to visit with baby again. Awww….so sweet.

I did not clean my house. I did not weed my garden. My laundry is a mess–the baskets have been dug through as needed. I don’t have a clean dish towel in the drawer. But, my shelves and freezers are almost full. We’ve managed to cook some very simple meals, such as tuna melts, tuna sandwiches and tuna salad. Good thing we canned so much tuna! And, I’m having a great week:). I love this time of year.

I did finally go to the store after a couple of weeks and got out of there for $77. For me, for 2 weeks, that’s awesome, so I’m thrilled. I had to go late afternoon, because I had things in the canners, and so many things were missing from the shelves. Maybe that’s why the cost was so reasonable:) :). But we got plenty! I’m going to have Jake and Michaela quite a bit this coming week and there are certain things they eat. Period. So, I got those, the other things they had on my list, and the rest we can live without.

22 thoughts on “Thriving In My thrifty Week–September 7, 2020–More Food Preservation”

  1. How wonderful to have all that food put up. I know how much work it is. It’s such a good feeling to know it’s on the shelves. It sounds like the beef broth soup made great use of the resources you had on hand.

  2. CONGRATS all that work to fill those jars…absolutely beautiful! BUT….. being a California resident, it makes me very nervous to see those shelves not ‘blocked’ for earthquakes?. A strip of wood or a bungee cord could really save the day (and your precious labor!)

    1. I guess it’s hard of me to think of earthquakes, since I’ve only been in 2 that had any significance, in my whole life. They were mild compared to what the people of California get. Still, that’s not a bad idea. This year, with Covid, so many wildfires, and everything else…..let’s hope that there won’t be an earthquake, but……bungee cords or boards are a good idea! Thanks!!!

  3. What a sweet baby!
    Your pantry looks amazing! What a lot of work, but it will be a blessing this winter . How much do you can each year?
    We bought 1/4 beef for the first time this year, and I have some new cuts to try this winter. I have never cooked oxtail, and I look forward to making soup with the soup bones. My son wants to try making jerky.
    Hope you have a good week.

    1. I have never counted all the jars I can. But, since I can think of days where I canned between 50 and 100 in a couple of days, and that happened several times, plus all the small batches…..I’d guess it’s several hundred…then there’s the 3 large freezers…..

      We don’t get oxtail with our 1/4 beef, so I don’t know how to cook it, either.

  4. What wonderful pictures – a full pantry and a sleeping baby. Life doesn’t get much better.

  5. Your pantry looks awesome! I haven’t ever canned soup, just tomatoes and green beans. It looks delicious and what a great way to have a quick meal ready!

    1. I will say it takes a long time to can–90 minutes for my vegetable beef. And, that’s after the time it takes to cut up everything and make the soup itself. (A note: I didn’t cook the soup as well done as I would have to eat–I just took it to a place where the tomatoes were broken down, and I could taste the herbs and salt level. The carrots were still crunchy, but they will be soft after 90 minutes in a pressure canner!) But, doing 2 canners at once helps as Rob watched both at once. I like having that quick meal at my fingertips. There’s been more than one time that I’ve said, “oops, forgot to cook lunch–it’s soup time:)”. So, it’s all worth it to me.

      Tomatoes and green beans are both great canned. If you can do those, you can do anything, because you know how to use your pressure canner. And, the boiling water bath is the easy one, so… are in great shape!

  6. Your pantry looks beautiful, but, I admit my first thought, too, was, “what if there’s an earthquake?” I would try to put some strips of wood to hold the jars in place!

    1. Thank you. This is tomato season, for sure. I was surrounded, but now….those are in jars and things are more manageable around here:)

    1. Awwww….thank you. We did another burst of fall canning this week. I am literally running out of places to put full jars, and Rob is building me a spot to put some of the empties until some of the shelves clear out. I cannot imagine running out of anything this year, and hope to have a few things that carry over until next year…I was really low on my supply by the end of the winter this year. So, it does feel really, really good to have the shelf loaded to the brim again.

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