Tag Archive: canning

Hubby discovered he really likes some types of pickles. Likes them enough, in fact, that he has been learning his way around the hot water bath canner very well!

Today, he made bread and butter pickles and a batch of dilled okra.

You might wonder why he did that?

It is simple, I spent a few days in hospital and have not got back up to par… He had been great about helping slice veggies and pack jars.  The garden hasn’t slowed down one bit. Vegetables  just keep piling up!

Today’s abundance of cucumbers and okra had to be canned up, so he did it! I read the instructions, he made his brines and took right over.

He’s a good man, my pickle packing Papa!

Yesterday, my sister and I went down some old dirt roads together.

One stop took me back some 50+ years, as we found and photographed a house much like my in-laws when Hubby and I first wed. That house had no electricity, no water running from a tap. It held respect, knowledge and caring people, for which I am forever grateful.

out withBJ for the day 027pro.

All this picture needs is me and Granny,sitting on the porch, enjoying the summer afternoon. Feeling the breeze, listening to cicadas and birds sing, a glass of cold well water in hand. Knowing a ‘canning’ of green beans, one of tomatoes, and a batch of pickles are sealing in the kitchen. The wood stove is cooling down, dishes done up, floor is swept…nothing to do for an hour or two, until supper. At peace with the world.

If you read the recent post, “Green beans in a jar”, you know that I had some great help and fun with canning vegetables this summer.
Grandson Erick entered a jar of green beans and one of tomatoes in his local county fair last week.
I proudly add pictures of his blue ribbon winners.
green beans

Erick ribbon

Three gallons of green beans arrived in the kitchen on Sunrise Ridge.
I shanghaied one of he current resident teenagers this morning and demonstrated the fine art of tips, tails and snapping to a more or less willing apprentice. Before long, aid apprentice got the hang of things and we raced through the last half-gallon to see who was faster. 😉
The next part of the lesson involved jar and canner preparation.
While water was heating in the pressure canner, the assistant finished heating beans and getting them properly into the jars.
Soon we had 7 jars of beans in the canner and a respite of time while they cooked.
I regaled my young helper with tales of long ago July days when canning meant keeping the wood stove going, and how glad we were when another was procured and set outside under a big oak tree. There was still a wood fire to feed, but being out where there was a breeze sure beat doing it inside.
Now, I admit, I am pretty sure my helper still has no idea about the wood stove canning and I hope never as to learn how to do that particular thing.
We got the second canner load ready and all finished by 11:30.
That gave us plenty of time to fix dinner and prepare for the second lesson.
We did tomatoes this afternoon, and assistant was pleasantly surprised to find out by dipping the lovely red orbs in boiling water for a few minutes then into ice water, the skins slip right off.
So, now the pantry shelves are filling. A teenager has learned some new things and I have had a very good day. Yes, a very good day!

In a Stew

Don’t you love summer? All that beautiful fresh produce coming form the garden to the kitchen?
Tomatoes seem to be pretty plentiful right now here on Sunrise Ridge. I thought I had better get some into jars, we sure can’t eat them fast enough! I decided to make some stewed tomatoes for later on.
So it began. Half an ice cream bucket of tomatoes, peeled and chopped, a cup or so of chopped onions, some celery, garlic and salt all went into a pot to simmer for a bit. Oh, it smelled so good!
Washed up some jars and prepared the lids while that cooked.
Filled up the jars, and put them into the water bath canner. Nice to have a reasonably cool morning to do this so the kitchen is not so steamy hot.
It didn’t seem like nearly as hard a job as it sounds when I describe it! I enjoy the process, the results and the idea that once more, I have good food on the pantry shelf ready to use.

Growing up, in rural Missouri, a garden was pretty much a necessity for most homes.
Our family of 8, Gram, Mom, Dad and five noisy growing kids was no exception. The boys and dad did most of the growing work, plowing, planting, tilling, hoeing.
When things started coming off, it was up to the females in the family to pick and preserve. Some things went into the freezer but most into jars.
Hot steamy kitchen, washing, cooking, boiling, packing in July and August heat.
That did not matter much, the family had to eat, be it July or January and so it was done.
Now there was the problem of where to store all that food. Our family and any others did not have a big pantry or cellar, so jars went into boxes to be stashed under the beds.
Once the jars were emptied that’s where they went again to rest for the next use.
Yes, friends, I have boxes of jars, full and empty under the bed. It does keep the dust bunnies at bay!

Yesterday, Hubby decided that we meeded to make sausage. There was pork in the freezer earmarked for that use, prepacked seasoning in the pantry, so we got it all ready and this morning began our task.
First, Hubby had to go into Fibber Magee’s closet to get the electric meat grinder down from the shelf. Large meat chunks had to be made smaller to fit the grinder.
Minor details… Meat was ground on the biggest grinder plate, spices and salt kneaded into it and then a second grinding on a smaller plate… and packing for the freezer. Done!
It was not nearly the kind of job it was back in the day when Granny and I had to do it on the old hand grinder. That was before the power lines marched through the woods to Sunrise Ridge.
We would spend a day spelling each other cranking that grinder, then she hand mixed salt, sage, red pepper to seasomn the meat.
After the mix met her standards, it went back through the grinder and then had to be canned…
Some days you just have to appreciate modern conveniences a lot more than other days – this is one of those!

Cheryl Baranski of Virginia is the winner of the Jam.

Today, the skies are gray and gloomy. It’s 50 degrees and looks like it might rain. The weather forecasters are saying we might have some snowflakes in the next few days.

Black-capped chickadees have been hanging around. My mother-in-law always called them ‘snow birds’ and believed that if they came in numbers there would be snow.

Most of my Christmas crafting is finished, the last stocking was done this morning, one scarf to go and a couple of hats. Then unless something strikes my fancy, the yarn, knitting needles and crochet hooks can rest awhile. But as always, this time of year, I picked up some pretty yarn to add to the big basket by my chair.

And I printed some patterns I want to ‘try’, so I doubt they will be out of business for a while yet. Surely someone will ‘need’ a scarf, hat, mittens or such in the future.

Earlier this week, I did some bartering, I traded some of my jellies for some of different flavors with a neighbor, then a couple of jars for a series of books from an author friend, and some books for some handmade gifts with yet another friend.

Each of us came away happy, feeling we had gained something we wanted on the trade.

Things like that are sort of like a big hug, don’t you think?

To learn more about this challenge or to read other entries go here: http://madison-woods.com/flash-fiction/forbidden-100-words/

Collecting Jewels 

“Let’s git going”, Granny said, “Daylight’s wastin’!”

Hot already, sun beats down

Picking berries, filling buckets

“Careful”, she cautions, “watch for snakes!”

Sweat rolls, bugs bite, briar scratch

And finally home; but not to rest!

Pump some water, clean and sort.

She chucks wood into the old stove,

Steaming hot! What’s the point,

I wonder, filling up the jars.

Lids tight, into boiling water.

Then I know!

When these red jewels mix with

Sugar, cornstarch.

A bowl with

Flour, lard, deft use of rolling pin

Cobbler in the oven.

Sweet taste of summer

Watching the snow drift down.


Right now, I do not have to do much ‘store’ shopping when it comes to fresh food.

The yard and garden have begun to provide, not only what we need now, but some extra to go in jars and freezer to enjoy later on.