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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Canning and Preserving Marathon

Last week was a marathon of pickles, green beans, beets and carrots.  My BFF Marilyn and I do lots of canning and preserving each summer from our gardens and sometimes items purchased at the Amish produce market.  I knew Wednesday when I was unable to go to market with her that there was bound to be trouble before the end of the day.  OMGosh, was I ever right!!  She bought 10 (that's correct 10) boxes of picklers to make sweet pickles, dill pickles and bread and butter pickles.  But I am still in shock that she brought home 10 boxes.  Math is not Marilyn's best subject and she had figured that we would get about 36 or 48 jars of pickles................HAH!  It ended up being way more then that!!  Working furiously Wednesday afternoon, evening and night,  we had 5 boxes of the pickles worked up and in lime water to make bread and butter pickles the next day.  This was no small task, first you have to cut the ends off each little cuke and then you have to slice each of them up, fortunately I have a mandolin so it was a bit easier then cutting all of them into slices using a knife. Then they go into buckets of lime water to soak overnight to insure that they remain crisp and crunchy. I went to bed so tired and yes, I was a little peeved at her for purchasing so many of the darn things.  I mean how many pickles can someone eat.  Yes, I know that we can for her family and mine too but 10 boxes of picklers?  Really?  REALLY???   That left 5 boxes for sweets and dills to deal with the next day after finishing up the bread and butters. 

Thursday: We rinsed the cucumbers in cold water 3 times to remove the lime from them, made the syrup to cover them in the jars with, filled all the jars with slices and poured over the hot syrup.  Then every 7 jars had to be water bathed to insure they were preserved and sealed. I am already tired at this point and I looked over my shoulder at the next 5 boxes and knew I was doomed to the cutting of pickles all day again. So while Marilyn preserved the bread and butters I started cutting the ends off the picklers for dills sliced and whole.  (We had decided not to do any sweets because there were so many bread and butters.)   I got them all ready to slice and out comes the mandolin again and wheeeee, we are slicing for dills.  Once again, into the lime water overnight (it is 9:00 pm by now) and off to the shower and bed for me. 

Friday:   Morning came pretty darn early but I wanted to get those pickles done!  Marilyn did not get here until noon and it was crazy from then on through the day.  We did get the pickles all done finally!  We ended up with 84 quarts and 6 pints of bread and butter pickles and 78 quarts and 7 pints of dill pickles.  Oh, I was so glad we were done, I was exhausted and at that point I hated pickles.  But it ain't over yet baby, not by a long shot!  Here comes Steve with buckets of carrots and beets......Are you kidding me??   Tomorrow, I'll just do them tomorrow. 

Saturday:   14 quarts of green beans, 7 quarts of carrots, 11 pints of beets later and we are finally done.  Sometime this week if the rain stops, there will be potatoes ready to be canned.

Now so you don't think we are entirely crazy around here and since most of you know it is just Steve and I and Marilyn being single, we don't eat all this food ourselves.  We can for our families as well. 
In between all the pickles, beets, carrots and green beans, Steve checked the wild black raspberries and picked 2 gallons of those and got them into the freezer. 

It is a busy time of year and I do complain about it being so much work, I am ever so grateful that we can do this and save money on groceries.  Not only does it save money, it tastes so much better then anything you can buy at the store. So while the bees made honey and the grapes lapped up the sunshine to help them grow and ripen, and the garden continued to grow yesterday, I rested most of the day while doing 2 loads of laundry. 

I wonder when I will see my sewing room again?  Probably not very soon..............:( 

What have you been doing?

2 comments:

  1. oh my! what a lot of work! but such a feeling of satisfaction and achievement to put away all that food - Anna

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  2. I was "gifted" a four years ago with a bunch of cucumbers and canned bread and butter and crock dills...and we are still eating on them! I remember the endless days of canning the vegetables from my garden and I envy you your friend to share the work with...even if she does bring 10 boxes of picklers!!!

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