Category Archives: Canning


trying to get the two freezers combined into 1 downstairs.  So got all the fat out of the freezer to make lard.

two crock pots full

IMG_0347Let that cook down to a liquid


it takes a while to cool


I should have enough lard.  More than enough.  Might have to give some away.


Just because


I am certain I would never use these, I just like having them.  I have seen the purple ones with food in them, and the food looks off color, like it’s canned in some sort of brackish water.

PAUL — my hopes for 2015

It has been a few week since I have had any quiet times alone, without Madigan, or a holiday, or a dinner or an event, where I could just reflect.  In that spirit, I have some ideas for 2015.

** Produce.  Produce more food on our own.  Bigger garden, more flowers, maybe try to raise a few meat birds, can more. We do 90% of our own cooking, using very little prepackaged food.  I want to try my hand at making some breads for Madigan and I.  Maybe learn how to make pasta.  Lower the number of boxes or bags of pre-made stuff.

** Appreciate. I would like to take more time to reflect, soak in, appreciate where we are, even in times of struggle.  Be more thankful for things we have accomplished, how far we have come and what we have done right.  We are fortunate in so many ways, and sometimes we forget how much we do have because we get sucked into others view of success, wealth or riches.

** Unafraid. This is all me, I am afraid of things I know nothing about.  Maybe it is because I was single so long and the buck stopped with me.  Since I do not consider myself handy, and would rather pay someone to fix something than try and do it myself.   My fear is the problem when it comes to changing out the mailbox or replacing a flapper in the toilet.  Boomer literally has to do these thing when I am out of the house because I am a super worrier NUT.  It’s not that I don’t think he can do it, it’s that I know *I* can’t.

** Learn.  Continue to learn. Read more books.  Talk with people who do stuff we want to do.  Try more things.

In addition to all that, get back to pod casting, keep a tidier home, get rid of junk we don’t need. Stay off our smart phones and away from TV.


What are you doing?

Sometimes when my mom calls she asks that, yesterday I said everything and I wasn’t kidding.

Pepper and Onion Relsih

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Getting the chicken broth strained and put in the freezer.

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Making spaghetti  sauce

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And when I had 5 minutes to sit, I was knitting.  A friend is having a baby and I am knitting a blankie.  I just wanted to see what pattern I was going to do.  I think I am going to do the checker board…making each square about 16 stitches wide.  Should be cute without getting to fussy about it.


You might think I have today to relax, but its a chicken day, so again no rest for the wicked!

Great problems to have

Too many cucumbers.  I have given them to everyone at work. Shared some with family.  I have made cucumber something every day to do my part.  I have 8 sitting in my fridge right now.  That is just from the weekend.  Those are the slicing cucumbers.  I have a dozen or so if the pickling cukes.  I am going to make another batch of fridge pickles.  I pulled all the greens out of the raised bed up front, cooked those up last night, got 8 cups of cooked greens out of it.  I froze half for later.  Not sure how frozen greens will taste but enough salt and butter makes shoe leather taste good.  The tomatoes are starting to turn.  I suspect I will be canning those babies next weekend.  Another great problem to have, no rooster so far.  We buy 6 chickens at a time, because that’s how they sell them and because we expect to lose a few.  So we are living with 10 chickens.  That also seems like too many chickens.  We have a couple we could process for meat birds that are certainly market weight, but it’s a long time till chicken days in the fall and we never know what can happen with those crazy birds.


Since this year was a bit weird, I haven’t done much canning. No tomatoes, the corn I canned I didn’t LOVE when we ate it. And if I go a year or two without applesause I am okay. We still have jars from last year. But I have to make apple butter. People like it, I give it away as presents, so that’s what I did last weekend.


The dining room turned into canning central. I got some salsa made up too. That’s always a good thing. More canning this weekend. Salsa, not apple butter I have things to do outside of the kitchen this weekend.

10 cucumbers and some freetime

I had about 10 pickling cucumbers from the garden and decided to make some fridge pickles.


I had to dig around and find all my canning stuff, which I haven’t used since moving. I am going to get organized and get all my stuff in one place when I need it. August and September are the months I do all the canning.


Six lovely pints of dill pickles. We will finish them up in no time, but I love the really crisp fridge pickle.

And Madigan didn’t want Mewtwo* to be left out of the fun.


*For those that don’t know Mewtwo is a Pokemon and Madigan wanted to make sure you knew that.

Freezer jam

Two containers of strawberries from the farmers market


wash, cap and cut, smash

Sugar and pectin and you have freezer jam

I am putting the small ones in the freezer and putting the larger one in the fridge and it needs to be eaten in three weeks. NOT A PROBLEM. I will make more if the strawberries hold out.

First canning accident

When I pulled the lid off the canner it was obvious that something had gone wrong.

Clearly it was this one

I waited the 5 minutes for the other jars to finish doing their thing before I started getting to what the problem was.

That will do it. I got some secondhand jars from a friend and can’t say for sure if this was one of those jar but it popped. It’s not the end of the world that I lost a jar of curry apple chutney, I am glad I had my first mishap and am still very into and excited about canning.