The canning season has officially begun.  First you have strawberries in June, then a little break.  Blueberries in July/August…another break…then the peaches, pears, beans and tomatoes come all at once and suddenly you realize that canning season has come.

 

First it’s kind of like we are willing the garden to wait awhile longer…not yet, please not yet…we don’t want to can yet.  But then it comes, and once you let yourself get into the rhythm of it, it becomes enjoyable.   After a couple of months, though, you are happy to see the apples come, because you know that the apples are the last thing to do 😀

It’s a lot of hard work sometimes, but seeing the jars all lined up pretty, and getting to eat some of that food is well worth it 😀

 

The other day we picked peaches off of one of our trees…the other one isn’t quite ready yet.

 

 

{Charissa}

 

 

Look at all those monkeys, lol!  😀

 

 

I really like this picture of Charissa 😀

 

 

 

Isaiah got to  help, too…

 

 

The peaches…we only got about 1/2 a bushel off of this tree.  It looks like the other tree is going to give us a lot more, because the wind blew 1/2 a bushel of peaches off of it, and there’s still plenty more.  Yum!

 

 

Cute little helper!

 

We go through a lot of peaches, so in addition to our own peaches, we ordered 4 extra bushels from a local Amish store 🙂

 

We used to invent games to help our canning go faster…like once we were prisoners, being forced to cut loads of peaches, and if we were done by a certain time on the clock, we would be set free.  If not, we would be slaves forever!!! However, as we got closer to that certain time, we began to realize that we were going to be slaves pretty soon, so we made ‘the bad guys’  come in and give us more time for no explainable reason 😀  Haha, bad guys, we escaped you again!

 

 

When we would do grape juice, we had to de-stem all the grapes and wash them first.  The grapes came in handy 1/2 bushel cardboard boxes that made excellent castles.  We cut a door/drawbridge out of the side, and two girls would each stand at a sink with her box, and we’d help the little grape people to safety (which was into the jars).  Little grape sentries stood guard atop the boxes to keep an eye out for ‘the bad guys’. Whoever the bad guys were and whatever they were going to do if they caught up with our grape people, who knows, but they were bad and that’s all that mattered!

 

Once we actually had a large piece of cardboard that was as long as our counter.  We taped it up vertically, making a ‘wall’ right down the middle of it, and cut out a couple of  little ‘doors’ for the pears/peaches to go through.  Two girls peeled on one side and slid it through one of the doors to the girls on the other side who would then cut and slice them 😀  It was the ‘peelers’ favorite thing to do to get a bunch of peeled pears backed up before sliding them all through to the ‘slicers’ 😀

 

Aren’t they pretty?!  We were all caught up in slicing, dicing and packing, focusing on getting these done, then all of the sudden I looked at some jars all packed and canned, and it made me  happy just seeing their prettiness 😀

Another cute little helper 🙂

More pretty jars 😉

 

 

 

Tomatoes!  We picked a bushel of them about a week ago, then we went and picked three more bushels of them yesterday.   A very good thing, because in addition to all the peaches we eat, we also go through a large amount of tomato sauce (to the point that we’ve had more than one cashier at Walmart ask if we had a restaurant :D)    Our average consumption of tomato sauce in two weeks is about 30 sixteen ounce cans 😀

 

Charissa and Anna were very nice to wash all these tomatoes in the bathtub for us.

 

 

Then Cassia, Susannah and Bekah chopped and pureed them all..

 

 

 

 

 

…and later Leah and I cooked the puree down to a sauce and canned them.

 

 

Oh the beans!  I think this is all of our girls’ least favorite thing to preserve, just because they take a long time to pick, a long time to snap, and a long time to pressure can.  But we have gotten to the point where we enjoy it a lot more than we used to!

Every year  Leah and I joke about sitting on the bean plants so that they won’t produce anymore.  That comes from when we were little and Mommy sent us out to pick beans.

We were hot, so we found these big ‘Indian blankets’ (at least that’s what we called them!), to ‘shade’ us from the sun.  However, trying to shade yourself with a big heavy blanket in the hot sun does nothing to cool you, so we ditched that idea.  We were picking the beans and found great satisfaction in sitting on each plant as we finished it.  It was like celebrating our accomplishment 😀   Kind of like getting to check something off your to-do list.  We had no idea that the beans were supposed to come back again…we thought you picked them once and you  were done!  Well, as we were telling Mommy about this, she said, “No, you don’t want to do that…more beans will grow on them!  You might kill the plants if you sit on them.”    Leah and I were horrified 😀  WHAT??  Those terrible beans come back??

I think maybe we both were secretly happy that we had sat on so many of them, lol!  I don’t remember if they came back or not, but now we joke about it every year…”Hey Leah!  You want to have the honors of sitting on the plant?”  😀

 

Here’s a little piece of advice…if ever you have loads of beans to snap, there are two best ways to do it.

 

The first, and very bestest way, is to do it with your family or friends.     The last time we snapped beans was especially fun.  I have no idea what all we talked about, but we talked and joked and as a result of the joking…we laughed really hard 😀

 

The second way is to put in an audiobook, or music to listen to while you’re snapping away.  It gives something for your head to think about while your hands are snapping beans 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noah wasn’t so impressed…

 

…neither was Isaiah 😀

 

 

He actually fell asleep on the job, lol!  Isn’t he cute?!

 

 

 

 

{Mr. Tomato Man…we seem to always get one of these little guys each year}

 

So now you know what we’ve been doing lately 😀  Canning, chopping,  and freezing!

 

Do you have any funny stories from preserving food?  Any games you played? 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chop, Can, Freeze…
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13 thoughts on “Chop, Can, Freeze…

  • September 4, 2011 at 7:22 pm
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    What great stories of canning. The pictures are beautiful showing all your productivity!! Can’t believe I’ll be standing in your kitchen before I know it!! HUGS!!!

    Reply
  • September 4, 2011 at 7:22 pm
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    Oh Jessica…you make me laugh 😀 …I wish I could help you all! Canning with you would be fun!!!! 🙂 We don’t really can…maybe a little bit every 2-4 years ! 😐 (and I’m not kidding! 😆 ) The last time I remember we canned was when Mommy tried to can meat…it was a complete mess and turned out the jars didn’t seal right (or something along that line) and the meat spoiled 😥 Then about 5-6 years ago we canned blackberry jam… that worked, but then someone who knew how to can jelly was helping us 🙂 😳

    So…as you can “read”…we are not very good canners!!! GIRLS! WE NEED YO TO HELP US CAN….AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA…..MY MEAT SPOILED AND I MIGHT GE FOOD POSIONING BUT CAUSE I ATE IT ! 😐 (Just joking!!! 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😀

    Love you all 🙂 (I want to run up to you all and give you all a BIG squashing hug!!!) I miss you sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo bad 😥 😥 😥

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    • September 4, 2011 at 8:26 pm
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      you can tell (probably) that I’m in kind of a funny mood tonight…and a missing mood….{{{sigh}}}

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    • September 4, 2011 at 8:28 pm
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      ROFL Rachel! You’re so funny! Oh, that would be so disappointing to go to all that work and the meat not turn out 🙁 We’ve had trouble that way with peaches…grrr!

      Thanks for sharing your story 😆

      Here’s a cyber-{HUG!} for you 😀 Though I know cyber hugs aren’t near as good as real ones…ah well, maybe we’ll get to see you again someday soon!

      Jessica

      Reply
      • September 11, 2011 at 2:28 pm
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        Um, is Rachel okay? 😉 Wow!! You must really miss them! When was the last time you saw each other?

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        • September 11, 2011 at 4:12 pm
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          Lol! Yes, I think she might be okay 😀 We saw them last October, so it’s been almost a year 😀

          Jessica

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  • September 4, 2011 at 9:07 pm
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    I’ve never canned before but I’m sure that there is a great sense of accomplishment to having all the jars all lined up and pretty! I LOVE audiobooks for long tasks…sometimes I’ll download one or a sermon series on my ipod even to just listen to for doing normal chores around the house. Your pictures really made me miss our peach tree though 🙁 we used to get the BEST peaches off that tree and then it got struck by lightning – that was one chore my brothers and I always fought over having to do because sometimes peaches would get knocked off the tree and land all mushy on the ground and we would be sent out to pick them up…the bees always seemed to congregate there and it was not fun – but I would do it all over again to get those peaches back!!

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  • September 4, 2011 at 11:50 pm
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    It sounds [and looks!] like you all are having fun chopping, canning and freezing those veggies and fruits! 🙂 loved the post.
    🙂

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  • September 5, 2011 at 2:13 pm
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    Wow… looks like so much fun, but also tiring! I’m glad you all have each other to get through the work. Whenever I get a vegetable box (about sixty pounds worth) I have to do all the work myself and it is a lot of work. The peaches are gorgeous. I just love your pictures.

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  • September 6, 2011 at 1:05 am
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    Great pics! looks like alot of fun! We harvested two ears of corn and about six cups of carrots from our tiny graden 😀 We had an extremely fruitful sugar snap pea plant; it probably gave us two handfuls a week! And a zucchinni plant that gave us a eight inch zuke about once a week 😀
    -nicole

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  • September 7, 2011 at 12:37 am
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    This looks like us right about now……..except we are drying and not canning this year. Keeps the nutritional value of the produce, is easier to store, and is much faster. 😀 Though we are going to pickle 20 or so pounds of crab apples this week.

    Reply
  • September 11, 2011 at 2:30 pm
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    WOW!!!!!!! That is some post! I LOVE the pictures of the boys tired and falling asleep! 😆

    Reply

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