CANNING FOOLS!!

We have just four weeks more on the farm and then the new owners take over but at this time of the year we can’t slack off the work.  The gardens don’t look like much but they are still producing so we need to keep canning a putting the nice vegetables on the table and in the cans or freezer for winter.  This week we used up the last jar of spaghetti sauce from last year so really needed to do one big canning to start the next yea with.  Once we are in Florida we will make a big batch of sauce each month so we all have our spaghetti once a week if we want but we do need some to start as the first month we will be busy moving and unpacking.  So yesterday we went to Dunlap and got six twenty-five pound boxes of canning tomatoes, thats 150 pounds.  Today we have cooked up 75 pounds and are still processing them.  I started at 6 a.m. by chopping up the onions, garlic and celery and measuring out the herbs to make the sauce.  When Norman got back from his walk he loaded the jars into the dishwasher and got the pressure canner ready for the job.  I set out the bowls, knives and towels  and right after breakfast we started.  Norman blanches the tomatoes, cools them in ice water and puts them on cooky sheets.  I took the first sheet and began peeling them, then I cut them in half and pull the seeds out, which I put in the strainer to collect the tomato juice.  Norman peeled tomatoes in-between the blanching and cooling process and I began chopping the deseeded tomatoes.  Norman had one box all blanched and on cooky sheets by 8:30.  We had quite a line going and by 10 the blanching was all done and the large stew pot was full and the sauce was cooking and Norman stopped for a cup of coffee and country biscuit.  I skipped the break as I am still trying hard to lose some weight.  I took time out to feed the humming birds. Right now I have to fill their large feeders twice because all the babies are at the feeders also so we have as many as 15 at the two feeders at a time and with only 16 feeding slots it is fun to watch them jockey for a spot.  By 11:15 we had the first 7 quarts of sauce in the canner and heating up.  The pressure canner only hold 7 quarts so that is all we can do at one time.  We got more tomatoes chopped up and refilled the large stew pot and had that on cooking while Norman timed the canner and I got dinner ready.  We had put a chicken in the oven with baked potatoes at 10 so all I had to do was heat up the green beans, cook the carrots and sour cream and fry some green fried tomatoes.   Right after dinner we went down and got the second load of 7 cans in the canner.  We chopped up the last of the tomatoes , added more herbs, onions and garlic to the pot and got the last of the sauce on cooking and when Norman finished timing the second load we both went up stairs and took a short nap while the canner was cooling enough to open.  At 3 p.m. we started the third load of tomato sauce making 21 quarts done today so far and while that came up to heat and Norman timed the load we cleaned up the cellar getting it ready for tomorrows repeat of today.  Now we are waiting for the third load to cool enough to open the canner and we will finish canning the sauce.  It looks like there will be three quarts of sauce and four quarts of tomato  juice in this last load.  As Uncle Web always said, “Done a good days work.”  and I guess we have.  Norman just called- It’s ready. so will say Have a great day!  And we will load up the fourth and last load.

About Carol (Ouma) Petts

I am a retired teacher. I have taught all levels from kindergarten through college and have been retired now for over 20 years. The last ten years we have lived on a farm and lived off the land, growing our own food and canning for our extended family. Now we have sold the farm and are moving to Florida to truly retire. I guess I have always had a short attention span as this is our 11th move. We have moved from a small farm in New Hampshire, to more city type living, small business adventures, focusing more on traveling, Florida living, Georgia, and Tennessee farming and now back to Florida. My blog is a way to keep my children up to date on what I am doing and letting them know I am still alive and well. My children are spread across the country from New England to Florida, Nova Scotia to New Mexico and CA and several places between, They let me know what they are up to by commenting on my blog but they are so busy with their own lives most times I have to assume " no news is good news". Now I are starting on a new adventure so will try to give daily updates until we get settled into a routine. Then I know even if I am getting older and should settle down I will start looking for some new and exciting adventure to start. Welcome aboard. Norman died Oct 30, 2017 so I am continuing the journey alone with the aid of my children, grand children and great grand children. At present I am living with my daughter and we are 7 in one house and cover four generations. We range in age from 7 to 85 and are finding common ground, we are living proof that multi generations can live and function in a three bedroom house if they really want to. Soon my grandson will have his house built next door so we all will have a room of their own except for the seven year old twins who by choice will share a room.
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