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Enjoying the Harvest all Year Long!

Although we just moved into our house in March we were able to have a pretty good garden.  It wasn't as big as last years but we have gotten a pretty nice harvest I certainly can't complain!  Since Harvest time is my most favorite time of year I like to preserve a bit of it to enjoy all year long.  So far this year we have.......

  • made apricot jam and froze a bunch of apricots for smoothies or maybe more jam in the future
  • We froze a huge harvest of peaches from Grandpa's trees and dried a bushel of them too
  • We also dried a bushel of pears!  Of course we ate our fair share of these things fresh too!

  • We made lots of crock pot apple butter and apple sauce 
  • we also made lots of Apple Pie Filling and there are still apples in the fridge and on Grandpa's trees that will probably make more sauce, pie filling, and we will dry a bunch and some will keep for eating fresh in the extra fridge clear till next Spring!
  • Of course we did pickled beets and froze some and I hear Grandpa has more in his garden ;)
  • We made 2 large batches of Sauerkraut with cabbage we grew!
  • And last but not least with our tomatoes I made lots and lots of salsa, a huge batch of barley soup and tomorrow I will use up the last of them to make Spaghetti Sauce
Below you can see how I get a lot of tomatoes done all at once!

When I have a lot of canning to do in one day. (For example there are lots and lots of tomatoes that need to be done today and will not wait any longer)  Here is what I do!  First with the tomatoes I scald, core and peel them all.

After they are all peeled instead of cutting them all up, which is tedious and takes to long, I just get my hands dirty and start squishing up all the tomatoes until they are the right consistency for soup, salsa etc.

It works great and is super fast!

I then chop up any other veggies I will need and start putting everything together in pots.  The Barley Soup I make fills my biggest pot to capacity!

On the stove there is a big pot of barley soup and two pots of salsa.  I actually needed a bigger pot for the salsa up front because I haven't added the peppers or onions yet.  I ended up filling jars with the barley soup so I could use my biggest pot.

I used to use my ladle to fill up jars but found it kind of messy and took quite a few scoops to fill a jar.  I now use my 2 cup glass measuring cup it seems to work better.

Once the jars are full I wipe of the rims with a clean cloth dipped in very hot water and I put the lids on.  When I have only a dozen or so jars I will just do my canning on the stove!

But when I have over 40 jars.....I have Ryan bust out his camp chef and I get 3 canning pots going at once on the back patio.

It took the better part of a day but many quick easy comforting homemade meals will be enjoyed all year long!

Oh and don't worry I plan to post the salsa, barley soup and crock pot apple sauce very soon!

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