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annie1992_gw

What have you put up? 2021 version!

annie1992
6 months ago

Well, I get to start, I guess. All my preserving has to do with beef or cleaning the freezer for beef. We picked up nearly 900 pounds of processed beef today, dropped one beef half at my oldest daughter's house and another was delivered to a neighbor who buys a half every year. My freezer still got filled to the very top, but my youngest daughter is going to want hamburger, so that'll free up some space if we decide to buy pork from a neighbor. Right now, the freezer looks like this!




I took out last year's soup bones, made some more stock, canned 9 quarts of beef stock and 7 quarts of beef cubes, as well as 3 quarts and 4 pints of turkey stock from some turkey legs that I found hiding in the bottom of the freezer!


I need to make some raspberry jam and cranberry sauce and get some of the berries from last year out of there too, so maybe this weekend...


Annie


Comments (72)

  • annie1992
    Original Author
    5 months ago

    Wejust got that big storm here, dumped a couple of feet of snow on us and now it'll be below zero every night for a week or so. Ah, winter. I love my tenuous internet connection and that caused me to get kicked out of Houzz and I've had a terrible time getting back, but finally....


    canfan, my granddaughter wants me to buy a Dexter bull or a mini-white Galloway, but I really am not sure I want to keep doing this. We've spent a couple of days moving snow just so we can get hay to the few cattle I have left, but I do have that 30 year old buggy horse so I would still have to haul hay and fill water tanks. My son in law thinks maybe he'd like to take over when I give it up, so we'll see.


    Jack, those Mama Cows can be a force to be reckoned with, that's for sure. I watch mine carefully, even though they are pretty much pets and let me handle them and their babies, I'm never complacent. They're still cows and so I never take it for granted that I know what they will do. Elery says the difference between us is that he looks at a cow and sees steak, I look at a cow and see a pet, LOL.


    Anyway, since Mother is here and I was basically snowed in, I canned another 11 quarts of beef broth, trying to get some freezer room....


    Annie

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    Annie - that is a lot of snow! We got about 1/2" yesterday here so I feel your pain. grin. I'll have to shovel for at least 15 minutes today! Something to help to keep me busy before the big game tonight. The polar vortex will make it down here but not those nasty temperature you're going to see. I think I saw one or 2 days with below zero lows in the next week+. My brother who's been playing snowbird for the last several weeks on South Padre Island is going to stop through here mid week on his way back to central Wisconsin. He is in for a rude reception when he gets home!

    We took 3 bales out to the pasture Friday evening and put a nice blanket down in the barn for the calves with part of one. The newest calf is a girl so we got 2 girls and a boy this time around. No name for the youngest yet but I'm sure the little 3 year old GD will come up with a good one today to go along with Baby Cheeses (girl) and Speedy Gonzales (boy). She and the other GDs treat the calves like pets but loose interest when they get bigger. And they love hamburgers too!

    Back to canning...still waiting on the nice, cheap asparagus to show up in the stores. I think it will be a couple weeks yet but it varies a bit from year to year. I need to pick up some Mrs. Wages kosher dill mix too. I did 'put up' some shrimp yesterday. My grocery had 15-20 count Paul Piazza shrimp on sale for $32 for a 5 lb. bag so of course I bought the 10 lb. limit. Divided it into packages of 10 and vacuum sealed them. No worries about freezer burn. I did 18 bags so should be set with surf and turf on the grill for a while.

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  • annie1992
    Original Author
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    Wow, Jack, that's a great buy on shrimp, I'd have stocked up too.

    I was thinking of you this morning, I got my sale flyer from the local market and they had asparagus, $1.99 a pound. It'll be coming your way pretty soon, I think!

    My grandkids name the calves too. They don't think I'm so funny, I have names like Chuck and Stew, Tom Shanks and Flank Sinatra, Sir Loin and his sister Tender. The cows we kept are Rosie (after a character on a kid's cartoon), April (because she was born in April and that way I can keep track) and Mookayla, after my oldest Granddaughter, Makayla. I tell them not to make pets, the calves are dinner, but they try anyway.

    Annie

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    Annie - I'll be looking for the asparagus sale when the grocery ads come in the mail on Tuesday. Aldi has been at $2.69 for awhile for good quality spears and I've been buying theirs for fresh eating.

    Those are some very creative names for your cows. I'll have to remember them in case I ever get a chance to name one. Doubtful!

    The new calf is now named Missy. The grand daughter couldn't think of a name so her GF told her 'You just sit there until you think of a good name missy'. And now you know how her name came to be Missy.

    Missy is the one hogging the camera, then Speedy Gonzales in the middle and Baby Cheeses in the back. They sure posed for the camera well!

  • annie1992
    Original Author
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    Oh, Jack, they are so cute!! I love the babies, it just makes me happy to see them, even if I know they will grow up to be dinner. And Missy has what my kids call "swirly" ears, that mix of red and white. I have a soft spot for little Baby Cheeses, of course, and I hope his leg is healing up. Is he black with a white face? That's the usual color for a Hereford mixed with Black Angus. Speedy is a really nice sturdy calf, though, nice and thick through the neck and shoulders and well filled out.

    I've been checking on April, hopefully she'll hold off another month or so. It's going to be below zero and snowing for the next week, then the temperatures will go back up closer to average, highs in the 30s and lows in the 20s. Much nicer than this morning's 8 below zero!

    Annie

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    5 months ago

    Annie - Baby Cheeses is doing much better now after 3 rounds of steroids. Thanks for asking. It is amazing how much Speedy has grown in just 2 months. Yes baby Cheeses is black with a white face and brisket. The steer from last year's calves has the exact same coloring while the heifer was brown like Speedy. Missy is the first calf we've had that is a mix of black and brown.

    I haven't been over to look at them since SB Sunday. It's really cold here too and I'm worried about the calves. -1F as I type with a little snow falling. -8F tonight and -14 forecast for Monday night before it slowly starts to warm up to above freezing temps next weekend.

  • annie1992
    Original Author
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    You have three, so as long as they have a dry place to lie down, sheltered, they'll lie together and keep each other warm, plus the Mamas will let them stay close and they'll have nice warm milk to drink.. They're old enough that they should be OK, but it's cold for the little ones. I remind myself that cattle are born out on the prairie in Montana in blizzards and survive, but I still worry. Your night time temperatures are going to be lower than mine, so that's extra cold for you. Of course, cows aren't like people, I think the magic number was 37F, the temperature at which cattle start needing extra food for heat. Mine just stand around the hay feeder and the snow piles up on their backs, when they could go into the barn and lie in the straw for shelter. They don't though. One of my big cows is brown with black zebra stripes, she's the only one I got with that coloring and she's unusual. You can only see the strips if you really look closely, but they are there.

    I got the sale flyer from the local market today, asparagus for 99 cents a pound, so get ready! It's probably that little bitty pencil thin stuff from South America, but it means better will be coming. I pulled some frozen from last year out of the freezer and roasted it to go with the scallops for today's dinner but mine won't be ready for 3 months or so.

    Annie

  • annie1992
    Original Author
    5 months ago

    I was going to edit this to add that I canned 4 quarts of beef stock this evening, but the edit button seems to have gone away!

    Next will be chicken broth, grape jelly or raspberry jam, I haven't decided yet, but I need to keep working on cleaning those freezers.

    Annie

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    I'm happy to report that the calves made it through the artic blast in good shape. Missy is a happy little one and full of energy like Speedy Gonzales. Baby Cheeses is still not moving around as well but seems to slowly be getting better.

    I am heading over to feed them today as my partner is down at the lake for a long weekend. He got a couple hundred pounds of spent brewers grain that we are feeding them right now mixed with some Stock Guard pelleted feed.

    I just discovered that wild turkeys do not like crows at all. There are a couple dozen turkeys feeding in the field behind my house right now and any time a crow lands near them the turkeys sprint over to chase them off. I guess no other birds like crows around. I know they will raid nests for eggs and baby chicks but it's too early for that right now.

  • annie1992
    Original Author
    5 months ago

    I was pretty sure those babies would be fine, they are old enough to tolerate the cold for a limited time, they have shelter and they have each other to snuggle with, as well as their Moms. Just body heat from those 6 animals will warm up a sheltered spot, but I'm glad to hear they are all doing just fine.

    I'm still waiting on April, but I think it'll be a month or so, thankfully. I have cataract surgery on one eye this Wednesday and on the other on March 17, so I don't want a heifer having her first calf until I'm back to full vision and a bit recovered!

    Annie

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    Annie - My older sister just had her second eye surgery for cataracts. She is so happy to finally have them both done and wonders why she waited so long. She says that colors are so much more vibrant and clearer than they were before.

    I hope both go well for you. You're having the second one done on St. Patrick Mahomes day!

  • annie1992
    Original Author
    5 months ago

    Yes, Jack, I'm a good Irish/Native American girl, and there goes this year's corned beef and cabbage. Not that it's particularly Irish anyway, that's an American tradition, LOL.

    I never considered I might have cataracts, I just thought I needed new glasses! I kept cleaning them and wondering why they stayed cloudy. (grin) I tried to make an appointment, but all the doctors here were taking emergency cases only because of the pandemic, then when they opened it took months to get an appointment. And then the doc asked why I hadn't come in sooner, sheesh.

    The doc says I'll be able to read and use the computer without glasses, but will probably need them to drive. I've worn glasses since first grade, so that will be different, I might see a whole new world! And since I'll be home and "taking it easy" for a day or two, maybe I'll get those raspberries out of the freezer. I'm thinking Mother might like some raspberry syrup to go with her favorite chocolate chip pancakes. I've got to find Linda Lou's fruit syrup recipe, it's always good.

    Annie




  • annie1992
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    I sorted through my butternut squash in storage and found a couple that had spoiled, they've been in storage now for 6 months. baked and froze three of them, netting 9 quart bags of puree. I don't have a lot of freezer room and still have pork coming, so I can't get carried away but I hate to have them go to waste so several of them went to the local food bank who were happy to have them. I still have a couple dozen, though...

    Annie

  • Liz Gross (5a, WI)
    4 months ago

    Wow that's a lot of squash! Sadly, my last two ended up going to waste...one was spoiling a bit and the other froze in my garage during a cold snap. Do you have chickens, Annie?

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    4 months ago

    I'd bet some of Annie's animals got a taste of squash.

    I never did find Asparagus of the right quality and price to pickle some. but I didn't try very hard either. I still have 4 quart and 3 pint and a half jars left from last year. Gonna have to pickle some of my own here in a month or so.

    We're heading to the lake cabin today. Not sure if we will get the boat out and fish or not. With all the rain lately the lake level is 13' above normal pool and still climbing. We definitely won't be able to get out to the dock without getting wet and the water temp is at 41 right now.

  • annie1992
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    I do have chickens, Liz, and they get pretty much all of our food scraps, including the squash. The cows love them, though, so if I have more than just seeds and peels I cut them into smaller chunks and give them to the cows for treats. I'd rather give them to the food pantry, though, my cows aren't going hungry like some people are, and the pantry always appreciates my garden over flow!

    Jack, I'd not be getting wet if I were outside in those temperatures, I think I'd wait, LOL. The pond still has some ice but it's mostly clear. We aren't fishing yet, though, because we don't want to disturb the bluegills, which will be bedding soon.

    I am also waiting for my asparagus before I pickle or freeze any, but I did freeze another 6 quarts of butternut squash puree from a couple of squash that still had good necks, but the bulbous bottoms were starting to become fibrous.

    Annie

  • annie1992
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    OK, I actually canned something while trying to clean the freezers. I found 36 chicken wings and no one in my family will eat chicken wings, so they became 7 quarts of stock and a container of chicken for pet food. I also unearthed 4 quarts of raspberries that I froze in 2019, and so I made a batch of seedless raspberry jam for Mother. She didn't used to mind the seeds, but now she says they get in her teeth, so she won't eat the jam unless I get all the seeds out. Raspberry is her favorite, so she's set for a while now.

    I have a lot of rhubarb still in the freezer, so I'm going to have to make a batch of that rhubarb juice/punch that my oldest daughter likes so well. My rhubarb is already starting to grow this year, so I need to get last year's out of the freezer!

    Annie

  • CA Kate z9
    4 months ago

    I found some really nice, meaty bones at our local Market which has it's own butchers. I just made 8 quarts of vegetable beef stock. Right now the jars are cooling down in the outside fridge and will go into the freezer tomorrow. I do like to have jars of good, hearty stocks on hand. Much better than any commercial brand.

  • bcskye
    3 months ago

    I'm finally back and have really enjoyed this discussion. All the babies and some canning. I haven't been doing much of anything except taking care of my chickens and Pekin ducks. I went from one Pekin drake to two Pekin drakes and five Pekin hens in the last year. Then, a week ago the one drake fatally injured one hen while mating right in front of me on Easter morning. She died in my arms. Since I don't don't butcher anything, I tried to find someone who would want her. No one. On the eighth of this month, I lost the youngest Pekin hen. She had been dumped in a friend's front yard on a freezing day last October. She was about two weeks old at that time. She was pampered in a crate in my back hallway and had quite a following among my friends. I woke up that morning and went to give her some mealy worms. She was sitting as normal with her eyes wide open, but non responsive. Not a mark on her. I cried for two days 'cause she was my baby.


    To happier things. I, too, need to get a little speed on cleaning out my freezers. I think I'll get a lot of jams from the fruit in there. Also have quite a few roasts so maybe there should be some stew cooked and canned. I know there's at least one tenderloin waiting to be be made into Canadian bacon. One question for all. I have at least a half bushel or more of frozen whole Roma tomatoes. Suggestions? Suitable for Annie's salsa or Roasted Garlic Tomato soup? Would the be too mushy to roast? Or what? I'm already signed up for another bushel later in the year when they are in season which will be salsa.


    By the way our JayC grocery, which Kroger owns, had asparagus on sale at .99 a bundle yesterday. Don't know the weight of the bundles. Didn't buy any. I did buy two bundles of absolutely beautiful strawberry plants from my favorite farm. Twenty-five plants per bundle and $7.95 per bundle. Lots of strawberry preserves this year. And I did find some Ball canning lids at their usual price so I bought enough to get me through this year.


    Madonna

    annie1992 thanked bcskye
  • annie1992
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Madonna, I'm glad you've managed to beat Houzz into submission, finally. Welcome back!


    I think the frozen tomatoes would be find for either the soup or for salsa. If I were going to roast them, I'd just put them on a sufficiently deep pan and let them roast until they are well broken down, then remove the peels and proceed. Even if freezing has broken them down a bit, I roast mine until they collapse, so it's about the same texture.


    I'm so sorry to hear about your little duck. I cry over all my animals, even the ones that aren't really pets. And ducks are just so darned cute...


    This is my newest baby, healthy and happy, thank goodness. I think the Princess has won the naming battle and he's Montgomery, Monty for short. He's a big sturdy guy and 2 weeks old now, so I can stop holding my breath, I think.




    Congratulations on the canning lids, I think they are going to continue to be a hot commodity. Good luck with the berries, hopefully I'll beat the chipmunks to some of mine and we'll be canning jam at the same time.


    Annie

  • bcskye
    3 months ago

    Thank you, Annie. Is Monty the calf you hoped wouldn't come until after the snow and freezing weather was over? He's beautiful! Happy canning!

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    2 months ago

    A friend and I split a whole hog and picked it up at the Amish processor last weekend so I'm all set on pork for awhile. Breakfast sausage, bacon, ground pork, chops, steaks, cheddar brats, and a slab of ribs.

  • CA Kate z9
    2 months ago

    It all sounds good, Jack. We use to get fresh meat from the farmers when we lived in Wisconsin. It was the best!

  • docmom_gw
    2 months ago

    I started what I hope will be my first big preserving year. I froze 6 quart bags of asparagus pieces from the local farm market, and 4 of chopped rhubarb from my sister’s plants. I planted strawberries last spring, and they are blooming now. So, strawberry-rhubarb sauce might be an option in June.

    Today, I put the finishing touches on my 8-foot deer fence around what will be my vegetable garden. I have far too many tomato, pepper, egg plant, tomatillo, cucumber, and brassica seedlings started for my needs, but I am having fun. I need the weather to get warmer so I can start hardening off my plants. Can’t wait to plant beans and winter squash. I will check back if/when I am successful at harvesting anything.

    Martha

  • annie1992
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Jack, I picked up a local hog a few weeks ago too, so Elery has fresh pork for his smoked pork butt. No sausage because I like to season my own, but lots of ground pork!

    Martha, welcome to the wonderful world of canning! Be careful, it's addictive.

    I also have way too many plants started and growing under lights in my front entry. My family refers to it as my "grow op", LOL. I have cattle so I have electrified my garden fence and it seems to work. I also have a collection of milk crates that I plop over the new seedlings when they go out into the garden as the rabbits, voles, groundhogs, chipmunks, etc all seem to enjoy the young tender plants but will leave them alone when they get bigger. The crates allow air/sun/water in and keep most pests out. Then I just contend with cutworms. I've tried the "two skewers", I've wrapped stems in newspaper, I use toilet paper rolls. Mostly it works, but I always lose some to the worms anyway.

    I did get one picking of asparagus and had numerous little shoots about an inch tall, but it froze last night and will be below freezing for the next four or five nights. I think the fruit crop will be irreparably damaged, but we'll see. Rhubarb is up and will be ready in another couple of weeks, strawberries a couple of weeks after that if I can defeat the chipmunks, so soon it will begin!

    Annie

  • docmom_gw
    2 months ago

    The weather in Michigan has been unusually cold, especially after the warmth we had early in April. I’m in Berrien County, which is the furthest south and right on Lake Michigan. So, we are a bit more protected from the cold. We’ve had a lot of frost, but not repeated hard freezes. The entire local peach crop was lost last year because of a few late nights in the mid 20s. It will be interesting to see what happens this year. Farming is certainly not for the faint of heart. My neighbor is an agent for a crop insurance company, so I hear lots of stories.

    Good luck to all.

    Martha

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    2 months ago

    Annie - What seasonings would you add to ground pork to make a mild or a medium Italian sausage? We use that quite a bit in Spaghetti. Do you mix the spices into the meat before cooking or just sprinkle the seasonings on top while browning it?

  • Liz Gross (5a, WI)
    2 months ago

    My rhubarb is in and doing fantastic. We took the first harvest last night and I made a rhubarb coffee cake that I'll take to my parents' house for Mother's Day lunch today (as of Friday I'm fully vaccinated - I was the last one in the family!).


    I think I'm going to take advantage of rhubarb being the only thing I'm harvesting right now and make some Victoria BBQ sauce for the first time this month.


    Also just made our bulk meat order with our farmer yesterday. I was pleasantly surprised they didn't raise the prices on anything (we get beef, pork, and chicken from them).

  • annie1992
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Martha, I'm in Newaygo County, quite a way North of you, and it's below freezing again tonight, and has been for the past several nights, with a few more to go according to the weather people. I remember a hard freeze on Mother's Day a few years ago, so it's not unusual, but certainly not the norm. I don't put plants outside in the garden until the end of May as a general rule.

    Jack, I use this recipe from "Charcuterie". I like it mild, and this works for me. Penzey's also makes a good spice mixture, if you don't want to mix it up yourself. For breakfast sausage, I use Alton Brown's recipe.

    Italian Sausage

    (from "Charcuterie" by Ruhlman and Polcyn)

    Makes 3 1/2 pounds

    2 tablespoons fennel seeds

    1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds

    1 1/2 tablespoons red pepper flakes

    3 pounds boneless pork butt or shoulder, cut into 1-inch chunks

    8 ounces pork fat, cut into 1-inch chunks

    3 tablespoons kosher salt

    2 tablespoons hot Hungarian paprika

    1 tablespoon granulated sugar

    1 tablespoon dried oregano

    1 tablespoon dried basil

    1 teaspoon ground black pepper

    1/3 cup ice water

    3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

    Toast fennel seeds, coriander seeds and pepper flakes in a small skillet over low heat, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

    Toss meat and fat with all seasonings but not water and vinegar. Place in freezer until semi-frozen, about 1 1/2 hours.

    Grind meat using 3/16-inch plate. (Or pulse in a food processor until about the size of baby peas.) Add water and vinegar to mixture and knead and squeeze to mix thoroughly. Or use paddle attachment on stand mixer on low. Refrigerate for 1 hour, then fry a small patty, taste and adjust seasonings.

    At this point you can stuff casings using a sausage stuffer or divide into bulk portions for later use. I always fry a bit and taste it to be sure it's not too hot or salty, and is sweet enough with enough fennel. I can add more meat to dilute the heat or adjust the spices before I stuff it into casings or freeze a bunch.

    I use already ground pork so I skip the steps about freezing and grinding and just put the pork and the seasonings into my KitchenAid mixer. When that's all mixed I add the water and vinegar. I never have hot Hungarian paprika, so I just use plain old paprika and it's still plenty spicy for me with the red pepper flakes, because I'm a wuss about heat. If I know the pepper flakes are pretty hot, I'll use less. I've left out the vinegar when I didn't have it and liked it just as well and once I put some sweet white wine in it because some friends said that's how their Grandmother did it in Italy. It was OK that way too, although I don't really care much for wine. Sometimes we stuff it into casings but usually we just make patties and put them on buns or use the sausage in lasagna or other recipes.

    I highly recommend the book "Charcuterie". One of the authors, Brian Polcyn, had a restaurant here in Michigan that was popular and well known for sausages and cured meats, so given the Michigan link a friend bought me a copy. I use it a lot for everything from corned beef to canadian bacon.

    Annie

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    2 months ago

    Annie

    Thank you so much for taking the time to post the recipe and the additional advice. I'm going to make up a batch this weekend if we get the washout the weather guessers are calling for! I think I have everything except for the fennel and coriander seeds already. I'll probably just vacuum seal it in about 3/4 lb. portions for use in spaghetti sauce.

    The book you recommend certainly gets some great reviews (4.7/5). I'll have to add it to my Christmas wish list.

  • annie1992
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Jack, you are more than welcome. I've played around with making sausage for several years now, from liverwurst to brats. I like that I can choose the seasonings, some pre-made sausage is too spicy or has ingredients that I don't like, this way I can make it just the way I like it.

    Have fun! Oh, and it is a great book. My nephew borrowed mine and liked it so much that he bought his own when I insisted on having mine back, LOL.

    Annie

  • docmom_gw
    2 months ago

    5 more quarts of frozen asparagus. My husband insisted I stop, to save freezer space for potential green beans and purchasing a pig or cow from the 4-H kids, etc. I think we just need another freezer. Though, we probably should get a generator, solar panels, or wind turbine to ensure power to keep one going. I’ll get my dehydrator going again, and not worry about power supply.

  • annie1992
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    docmom, it's a slippery slope. When Elery and I got married 13 years ago, he had a freezer and so did I, as we were both in our 50s and had our own homes. We bought the farm I grew up on and sold both of our houses. We enlarged the garden. We planted fruit trees, raspberry canes, asparagus. We raised grass fed beef and decided to get some meat chickens and laying hens for eggs. The deer ate everything as fast as it came up, and we started fencing everything. Elery decided to take up deer hunting in revenge, LOL. So my big chest freezer was used to store beef and pork and his smaller upright kept the fruit, berries and produce, as well as "egg overflow". We bought a third freezer for venison and chickens!

    My asparagus froze a few nights ago, but it's popping up again, so maybe it'll be ready this week with some big enough for preserving.

    Annie

  • Liz Gross (5a, WI)
    2 months ago

    I finally get to report my first food preservation of the year! This morning I harvested just over 4 pounds of rhubarb. I made a batch of Victoria Sauce (first time trying this recipe), started a rhubarb ferment with ginger and cardamom, and froze 8 cups.

  • annie1992
    Original Author
    last month

    I have rhubarb ready, but no time to deal with it, so I let a neighbor come and pick quite a lot. That'll keep it growing for another picking later this summer when I do have time.


    I've been picking asparagus and we've been eating our fill. I have 3 gallon ziplock bags finished and in the freezer and a big container ready to blanch for freezing. I have pickled asparagus on the shelf from last year, but I may have to make some more anyway, just to save some freezer space!

    Annie

  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK
    last month

    It’s Elderflower season here. I’m making cordial. We’re on the final bottle of last year’s.





  • Liz Gross (5a, WI)
    last month

    The last 10 days have been full of preserving.


    On June 12 I purchased 16 quarts of strawberries from a nearby farm. I froze two gallons, dehydrated enough to fill a half gallon jar, and had about 2 quarts left for fresh eating.


    Last Thursday I harvested all of our garlic scapes - 4.5 pounds. Over the next few days I made 3 cups of garlic scape pesto (already wishing I would have made more), started fermenting a pint of garlic scape paste and a quart of whole garlic scapes, and canned 7 jelly jars of balsamic garlic scape jam.


    On Saturday I went back to the farm to get 6 more quarts of strawberries, and harvested 4 pounds of rhubarb from the garden. I made 4 pints of strawberry rhubarb pie filling for the freezer, 6 half pints of strawberry rhubarb jam, 4 half pints of sugar free strawberry jam (will gift to my dad this weekend), and froze 8 cups of rhubarb.


    Tonight I harvested what I felt the garden was demanding I harvest - 8 ounces of basil (I had to lop off the top of the plants so they'll bush out instead of flowering) and 1.5 pounds of swiss chard (they were too thickly planted, so that was the thinnings). Now I'm down to "just" 21 chard plants.


    I picked the leaves from the basil, washed them, and put them in the dehydrator just before bedtime tonight. The chard will have to wait until later this week.

  • annie1992
    Original Author
    last month

    Liz, you have been busy!


    I also cut the garlic scapes, but the chef at the local B&B wanted some, so I gave most to her, they were having their first guests in quite a long time. I have a few left, so I pickled some, but just have them in the refrigerator, I didn't can them.


    I did cut some rhubarb and put 8 quart bags in the freezer. While I was doing that I found some soup bones that needed to be used and so I made and canned 5 quarts of nice beef stock.


    I should trim my basil too, thanks for the reminder...


    Annie

  • Liz Gross (5a, WI)
    last month

    Forgot my updatesnfeom last week!


    I harvested my beets thst were shading out some carrots, and combined thise with the swiss chard I harvested and some turnip tops from a farmers market purchase to put 5 10 oz packages of blanched greens in the freezer. id also purchased half a bushel if peaches, and I canned 12 qurrs of peach halves in honey syrup before dashing out of town to visit my parents last Friday. I’m headed back home this morning to see what the garden has in store.

  • docmom_gw
    last month

    I picked and dehydrated basil, oregano oregano, and kale ( for ”green powder”) last weekend. Last night I was able to get another nice dehydrator pretty full of basil. Pulled my garlic this morning, and I’ll probably dehydrate that, also. Outdoors, of course.


    Martha

  • food_lover
    29 days ago

    4 half pints of berry (mulberry and raspberry) rhubarb jam

    2 half pints of blueberry lemon jam

    3 half pints of pesto


    Do you all use a tracking system for what you put up and and when/where it goes? l am asking because some its goin into the freezer and later get canned. some get given away soon after being canned and some get ised pretty quickly. I would love to know what happens with everything to inform the planning for the following years better, but I have not foind a system that works and is easy to keep accurate.

  • Liz Gross (5a, WI)
    29 days ago

    Harvested more basil yesterday, and put up 12 half cup jars of pesto in the freezer (+ 2 cups in the fridge for eating fresh), and the 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator is completely full with the rest of it. I foresee many more basil harvests and will have to start researching ways to use it, since I have all the pesto I need and am probably close to my need for dehydrated as well.


    Food Lover - the only good tracking system I have for use of bulk storage is my bulk meat. I have a spreadsheet that lists all the cuts, what we paid for them, and when we use them. It's to help me plan for an appropriate order the next year.


    For preservation, this is the first year I've had a list with goals for preservation, and I'm tracking my progress as I go. No plans for tracking how it's used, though (and I don't really track my harvest amounts either).

  • food_lover
    28 days ago

    three half pints and one 4oz of a new favorite: raspberry rhubarb jam


    We are optimistically looking ar our fruit trees this year in hopes of a first apricot harvest and perhaps a first pear harvest. Well, we have been harvesting a single pear (total) from two trees for the past several years. It is always so delicious, but it goes way to fast. We are also anticipating our first blackberry harvest as well.

  • docmom_gw
    22 days ago

    I didn‘t harvest these items, but I’m progressing along my preserving journey. I dehydrated 8 mangoes, on sale at the grocery store, and went back this morning to buy more. Healthy, delicious snacks and potential gifts for the vegetarians in my life.


    Also dehydrated chopped celery for soups and stews. I’m really tired of throwing out entire bunches of slimey celery that I only used two stalks from.


    Now I have 42 ounces of mini-portabello mushrooms dehydrating—also on sale.


    Finally, I currently have 16 pints of ground beef in my pressure canner, also on sale. We have less than reliable electric service, so I want to have less in the freezer and more on my shelves. Hence the dehydrating and canning.


    My tomatoes and peppers are looking good, so I look forward to actual harvest in the coming weeks. I did dehydrate a few yellow cherry tomatoes from plants donated by a neighbor. My pantry is developing some diversity.


    Hope everyone is having a productive summer.


    Martha

  • l pinkmountain
    12 days ago

    Jeals Floral. Elderberry is on my "want" list of plants for the yard but I haven't gotten around to planting it yet. My yard needs a lot of work and I am trying to discipline myself to sticking to the areas around the house FIRST and not moving out from there until they are finished. We have some seriously overgrown landscaping and water drainage issues to deal with and a deck to fix and refinish. And a huge bed around a tree covered with plastic and rock mulch that is taking forever to dismantle. UGH.


    The only thing I have "put up" for 2021 is my first batch of frozen green beans. I've never frozen any produce but with my current ratty electric stove I just don't want to fuss with the pressure canner plus I'm not sure where it is. Freezing is just as good as far as quality, in fact maybe better. And far easier to do . . .

    But we planted 60+ tomato plants in our community garden plot and they are looming . . . cue "Jaws" theme. That is if we they can keep ahead of all the fungus and blights. I got the plot because I wanted to plant and can a lot of tomatoes. But it has had so many problems that we are not going to do it again.

  • annie1992
    Original Author
    4 days ago

    All these posts remind me that I have basil to be dealt with. Lots and lots of it, I found a recipe for pickled green beans with basil that I think I'm going to try with the next picking of beans.

    Meanwhile, I've been canning green beans. So far I've done 26 quarts of green beans, 2 quarts of yellow wax beans and 14 pints of pickled bean salad:



    Today I moved on to cucumbers and made 5 pints of dill pickles, 6 pints of dilled beans, 6 pints of Honeyed Sunshine Pickles from the "Joy of PIckling" (a new recipe for me), and I have a bucket of Linda Lou's 8 day sweet pickles on the first day of brining.

    My two youngest granddaughters visited and helped me pick raspberries, and we put 8 quarts of raspberries and 5 quarts of blueberries in the freezer for later batches of jam and scones.

    Tomorrow I'm going to try another experiment, freezer pickles. Not many, because I don't have much freezer space, and I'm almost out of vinegar.

    Happy Canning!

    Annie

  • Liz Gross (5a, WI)
    4 days ago

    Last weekend I canned 13 pints of bread and butter pickles, and tomorrow I'm going to do some dill spears (I'm drowning in cucumbers but don't want to make too many pickles). I also have 2 gallon bags of blueberries in the freezer thanks to our local market's purchase direct from a Michigan grower. I have two gallon bags of zucchini tots (a favorite in this house). And I made a green chili/soup base out of garlic roasted zucchini and cucumbers that's a total experiment (freezer).

  • canfan
    3 days ago

    I'm not canning like I did just a few short years ago. Just my husband and I at home but I wanted to share that my first ever dill pickle ferment was a success. It was a 6 day ferment, the temps are on the warm side with our heat wave in Central WA so that made it a short ferment. It was a small batch in a new crock and they turned out so good! The dills will be kept in the fridge to protect their deliciousness and probiotic goodness.

  • annie1992
    Original Author
    2 days ago
    last modified: yesterday

    Good for you, canfan, it's always gratifying when something turns out well the first time!

    Here I canned 7 pints of bread and butter pickles and 6 jars of pickled beans with basil, and made another batch of freezer pickles, this time with lime zest and mint.

    I'm editing this to add 11 pints of Linda Lou's 10 day sweet pickles, which got canned today.

    Annie