Over the weekend, I canned up the last of the apples into applesauce and for all intents and purposes that’s the end of the 2012 food preservation season for us. Oh, there are some chicken carcasses in the freezer to turn into stock and maybe some pumpkin butter making, but we’re calling the end to the main season.
We canned a total 388 jars since May of this year. It breaks down generally like this:
- 241 Pints, 82 Quarts, 61 Half Pints, & 4-four ounce jars
- 270 Jars were entirely or partially composed of homegrown and/or foraged items
- Of the 118 Jars that were not homegrown/foraged, 49 of them were Flathead Cherries, the remaining 69 a mix of local and purchased from fruit stands and likely from Washington or Oregon
- About 200 jars were done in the Tattler Lids – we have more regular mouth jars than wide mouth so we ran out of lids in that size (I have a little over 100 lids in each size).
The canning is only a snippet of our overall food preservation:
- There are about 6 gallons of dried fruits: cherries, apples, apricots, etc.
- Herbs and chard were dried as well.
- Things like garlic and winter squash are sitting in the unheated guest room without any further preservation needed.
- We froze peas, snow peas, some fruit, pesto, and more.
- Drinks, there was a lot of cordial experimentation this year including peach, cherry, golden plum, mint, lemon balm, and more.
- There was about a gallon of maple syrup from our trees earlier this year, though that’s been eaten through a bit.
- Lots of homegrown and foraged items were steeped in oils for salve making.
- Tinctures and syrups for various ailments and general good health were made.
As we enter the season of using up our stores instead of adding to them, I’m looking forward to better documenting just how we use everything and how well and long it all lasts us. I predict a winter of good eating ahead and I’m excited to see just how well we make do with what is in the pantry.
Without a doubt this is the best year we’ve had in terms of how much we’ve put up. It’s also the best I’ve done in maintaining my journal – oh I try every year but I get busy and let the journal note-taking slide. As we move into winter, I’m looking forward to keeping the journal up to date with just how we’re using the pantry and garden produce.
Please know it’s taken us years to get here, don’t think it happened over night. Canning up 388 jars is a lot of work and it’s only because I’ve had so much practice that I’m able to do it so quickly and efficiently these days, I would not have attempted it in my first few years of canning.