Monday, August 9, 2010

Food Preservation

As you know from a previous post, we purchased large quantities of peaches, tomatoes, corn, and okra to put up.  That's what I spent a great deal of my time on last week.  We had a few challenging things to work around - the trip to the Dr. on Friday being one, but we also had some difficulties with the sink that made canning an adventure. 
We have granite countertops with an undermount sink and the sink had come loose, mostly on the larger side, so I made arrangements for my younger brother to come on Tues. evening to fix it in the hope that everything would be all set for canning on Wed.  Unfortunately the job was going to be a bit more involved than he had expected and required a trip to the hardware store as well, so the sink couldn't be repaired Tues.  I got the parts and we made plans for him to come again on Thurs.  We went ahead and started canning on Wed., but we had to be careful not to splash much in the sink and we couldn't put the canner or large pots in the sink to fill - we had to hold them, or set them on the counter and fill with the sprayer; a little slow, but doable. The adventure came when he was trying to fix the sink on Thurs. while we were canning the last of the peaches.  He was lying on the floor, half under the sink, with three tool boxes in various places around him, and we were back and forth between the sink (since the problem wasn't with the pipes, the water was never turned off), counter, table and stove trying to get things in and out of the canner.  It was kind of like a dance - one he objected to, saying that I could have planned things better and not been canning while he was there; to which I reminded him that I HAD planned it well - he was supposed to have fixed it on Tues. :D
All eventually worked out, and here are some of the products of our labor:
This is some of the result of this spring's labor.
Here are some of the tomatoes we've gotten so
far this year.  The romas, in the middle, were added
in with those that we were turning into sauce.

We canned the peaches first - this is just some
of what we have put up.

Diced tomatoes and peach honey.

Tomates cooking down for sauce.

Finally finished.

A casualty. This was a homemade version of
Ro*tel - diced tomatoes and green chilies.  Since our
peppers didn't do well this year (and I had specifically
planted poblanos to use for this) my brother donated
some green cayennes.  Needless to say, we didn't need
much per jar.  If I ever have to use them again I plan
on wearing gloves while I cut them.  The tips of my
fingers were burning by the time I was done cleaning
out the seeds and chopping them.

Most of the tomato stuff:
Diced, homemade Ro*tel and sauce.

I didn't think to get pictures of the other things we did last week, but we also got the corn, okra, and some shredded zucchini (from our garden) put in the freezer.  Kay and the youngest two girls sat on the deck one morning shucking all the corn while Ri and I blanched the okra.  Bree bounced between jobs, helping as needed with shucking and cutting the corn, cutting the okra, or washing dishes.  The grating blade on the food processor made short work of shredding the zucchini.  I would have liked to have done some more tomato sauce, but we don't have a food mill yet.  All the tomatoes had to be peeled (easy once you blanch them, but still...), chopped, seeds removed and excess liquid squeezed out by hand.  I definately plan on getting a food mill in the future, if not this season, then I'll ask for one for Christmas.


1 comment:

  1. Wow Becky, you have had a very busy time with all your adventures and food preservation. It all looks so wonderful and the pictures are lovely, I can almost smell the delicious food. It must have been allot of work hopefully you will get your food mill soon.