Tag Archives: canning

Green Moms Carnival – Food Preservation

Welcome to the July Green Moms Carnival! I’m so excited to be hosting the carnival especially with Food Preservation as the topic because I think that food is one of the first ways that many moms choose to “go green,” by opting to eat seasonally and locally.  Once you’ve found your farmers you can learn to save money and enjoy that produce year-round by buying in bulk and preserving it.   Please take the time to visit each post!

apple week 007

Food Preservation Basics

Tiffany from Nature Moms Blog gives a nice summary of different types of food preservation, along with some tips for getting started in her post Bringing Food Preservation Back to Our Kitchens.

Katy of Non-Toxic Kids (and my Moms Clean Air Force teammate) shares 3 Ways to Preserve the Summer Bounty.  Berry picking is a great way to teach your children where their food comes from and get some great pictures of ruby stained faces.  Katy also suggests pesto (yum!) and baked goods as ways to preserve.

Laura of Pug in the Kitchen shares tips for preserving food with little ones underfoot in her post Preservation: Pickles, Jelly and Sanity.  I’ve found that my canning has dropped way off (as in, come to a dead stop) since I had Joshua because big pots of boiling and a baby who wouldn’t let me put him down were not a combination I wanted last summer. 

Michelle of Green Bean Chronicles writes about canning, freezing, dehydrating, fermenting and not preserving in her post There is More Than One Way To Skin A… at The Green Phone Booth.

Canning

strawberry jelly 042

There are so many different ways to preserve food, but many people think of canning first.  I have loved seeing the resurgence of canning in the past few years.  It’s hip to can! Can you believe it? 

Deanna of Crunchy Chicken, one of my long-time favorite blogs, contributed some fantastic canning recipes.  Just the titles make my mouth water!

Lisa from Condo Blues and Lazy Budget Chef writes about her first canning experience in I Canned Jam and Nobody Died.  There are so many people who are afraid of canning, but once they try it they realize how easy it can be! It’s blueberry jam, by the way.

Mary Clare from In Women We Trust totals up the return on a $20 seed investment in her post Can Yourself – Grow Money, Grow Friends.  You’ll be shocked!

Anna from Green Talk shows us how she has worked on Greening the Tomato Sauce Process.  There are great pictures to walk you through the steps of using a tomato press.

Linda of Citizen Green shares her tried and true recipe for marinara sauce in her post Use Your Garden Tomatoes in this Sauce.  It’s versatile and can be canned or frozen.

For those of us with a pressure canner and nerves of steel, Jena from Married to the Farm tells us about Pressure Canning Green Beans.  Don’t be scared!

I want to also share a few of my own favorite canning recipes from here at Farmer’s Daughter:

Freezing

Photo Credit: Laura from A Pug in the Kitchen

Lisa from Condo Blues and Lazy Budget Chef shares step-by-step tips on How to Freeze Fresh Tomatoes, for those of us who are a little too scared of the pressure canner.

Zoie at TouchstoneZ shares various ways to make organic strawberries from the local farmer’s market last and finds making freezer jam is even sweeter with her kids and a little reggae on the side in her post We’re Jamming.

Anna from Green Talk walks through the steps of Cooking Pumpkin and Squash for Easy Winter Storage.  She reminds us not to forget the seeds!

Karen from Best of Mother Earth explains that while she doesn’t do a lot of preserving, she does cook from scratch and makes sure not to waste the leftovers in her post How Do You Preserve Food?

Emily from Live Renewed shares a step-by-step tutorial for freezing fruit, along with a neat tip for pitting cherries, in her post Preserving Summer’s Bounty – Freezing Berries.

Lori of Groovy Green Livin shares how to find, freeze and thaw blueberries, as well as their health benefits in Preserve Summer: How To Freeze Blueberries.

Diane from Big Green Purse Blog shares a step-by-step tutorial on how to freeze tomato sauce in her post Make Your Own Delicious, Organic Tomato Sauce. Here’s How.

I love to freeze sweet corn for use in soups, stews and cornbread throughout the year. 

Drying/Dehydrating

Deanna of Crunchy Chicken shares Drying Herbs for Idiots.

Beth of My Plastic-free Life shows us how to make dried apple slices and fruit leather in her post Dry Summer Produce to Keep Through Winter Plastic Free

Mama Bear runs through a pro/con list of dehydrating in her post Kitchen Adventure: Drying Strawberries.   She outlines how to use the oven to dehydrate food.

Cold Storage

december-harvest-007

Jena from Married to the Farm shows us how to store carrots throughout the winter in her post How to Store Carrots, and Save them for Seed

Dairy

Deanna of Crunchy Chicken shares:

Marci of Down on the Farm has two grass-fed Jersey milk cows and is in my opinion an expert cheesemaker! Check out her how-to’s:

Do you know what kefir is? I didn’t until I read the following two submissions. Now I want to try some! I have one question, how do you pronounce “kefir”?

Micaela of Mindful Momma‘s husband John shares how he makes homemade kefir in his guest post Kefir Madness.  Can I just say how cool it is that there’s a DAD joining the Green Moms Carnival?

Jen of Puddle Jumping shares her very low-maintenance kefir making system in her post Easy Homemade (Refrigerator) Kefir. I’ve gotta get me some of that kefir.

Baking in Bulk

Betsy from Eco-Novice shares her recipes for baking in bulk and freezing, which means she can have homemade food in a pinch!

Miscellaneous

sunny stroll 014

Deanna of Crunchy Chicken shares Homemade Rosolio and Candied Orange Peels.

Brenna of Almost All the Truth shows us how to reduce food waste and eat more of the green leafies with her post Getting Greens with Organic and Fresh Green Smoothies.

Phew! What a huge carnival! There were a grand total of 45 submissions! (Unless I counted wrong, my eyes are tired from all this typing!)  I want to send a special welcome to our new participants Marci, Zoie, Brenna and Jena.  Jena is a VERY new mom to her son Kent. Congrats Jena!

Thank you everyone for joining the Green Moms Carnival! Next month’s topic is Back To School and will be hosted by Micaela of Mindful Momma. The deadline is August 4 so get writing!

Please join in by sharing a link (or two, or a few) to your favorite food preservation post.

13 Comments

Filed under Adventures, Food, Living from Scratch, Local Agriculture, Recipes, Sustainable Living

Enjoying the Apple Harvest

As apple season nears its end in our area, I spent some time going back through my recipes to make sure I’ve gotten a chance to enjoy them all with fresh apples.  Since I grew up with an apple orchard right next to my house, apples have always been a big part of my life.  Snipping blossoms and arranging them in a big vase in spring time, watching the little apples grow throughout the summer, picking that first Macoun in early fall and polishing it on my jeans before taking a crispy bite, sampling all the different varieties, helping press the apples into cider, and of course baking apples into a pie.  Now that I no longer live on the farm, I’ve planted my own little mini-orchard of six apple trees, but it will be a few years before I get any apples. 

Here are some of my favorite ways to eat apples.  As you prepare any of these recipes, I highly recommend eating the skin that you peel off of the apples.  The skin smells and tastes wonderful, so don’t waste it!

apple week 004

Apple Tart

apple bread 001

Apple Walnut Bread

Apple Raspberry Crisp

pie-and-deer-001

Apple Cranberry Crumb Pie or traditional Apple Pie

apple week 007

Cinnamon Cider Jelly (Reduced-sugar version, too!)

Applesauce and Caramel Apple Butter 

cran-applesauce 001

Cran-Applesauce

What’s your favorite way to eat apples?

3 Comments

Filed under Food, Living from Scratch, Local Agriculture, Recipes, Sustainable Living

Tomato Canning Tutorial

Today’s guest post comes from Laura of A Pug in the Kitchen.  I’ve known Laura for the longest of all my bloggy friends and she graciously agreed to do this tutorial after “canning tomato sauce” won my poll and I realized I probably wouldn’t be able to do it!

I come from a long line of tomato sauce makers.  As far back as when I was still standing on a kitchen chair to help my mom, I remember stories of her grandmother’s sauce and how she always carried a sprig of basil in the front pocket of her apron.  If you ask my grandmother’s neighbors what they remember most about her, they will typically answer that the whole street smelled like home when she made her pasta sauce.  My own mother planted 2 dozen tomato plants every year and made vat after vat of sauce.  After she died, I got her tomato sauce vat and I proudly use it yearly.  However, when it came time to make my own sauce, I wanted to can mine, and not use up valuable freezer space.  For this, I took lessons from my husband’s sister’s mother-in-law.  It was a long day, full of tomatoes, but the skills I learned then I use often and hope you will find helpful throughout this brief lesson on canning tomato sauce.

 

Before you begin, you must first make sure you have canning jars, lids, rings and something to use as a water bath canner.  I have a home canning kit that was given to me as a wedding present, but I have also found that as long as you are able to cover your jars completely with water, you can use any pan you’d like.  When I make sauce, I prefer to use the Roma tomato variety because they are meatier tomatoes and the sauce thickens up better.  Any tomato will do, it’s simply my preference. 

 

My mother washed, cored and quartered the tomatoes before taking them for a spin in her blender.  While this method is a piece of cake and requires no blanching and peeling, I am rather partial to the Kitchen Aid attachment for straining fruits and vegetables.  It is literally the same 3 steps as with a blender, but the Kitchen Aid attachment is designed to reject the seeds and skin, so all you have a pure tomato pulp.  (Also effective and a much cheaper option is a simple food grinder.  It’s great for quick jobs, homemade baby foods and if you don’t have a Kitchen Aid!) Once your tomatoes are mashed, put them into a stockpot and begin to heat them.  The point of heating the tomatoes is to sanitize them and then cook them to the thickness you desire.  I like mine as thick as I can get it, so I often add in an 8 oz can of tomato paste per 6-7 pounds of tomatoes while the sauce is cooking to ensure it gets to the consistency I want.    You can add in your choice of spices while the sauce is cooking or leave it plain and add them in before you serve. 

 

While your sauce is cooking, this is the time to get your jars, lids and rings in order.  I try to do the bulk of my sauce in quart-sized jars, but after I have at least 20, I am willing to do pints of sauce.  You will need to sanitize your jars and one of the quickest ways of doing this is to put them in your dishwasher on the sanitize cycle.  If you don’t have this option, fill your canner with water and boil the jars for 2 minutes.  The lids and the rings should go in a separate pan to simmer until you are ready to use them.

 

Once the jars have been sanitized, the water in your canner is boiling and your sauce is the thickness you desire, you are ready!  Carefully ladle the sauce into your jars, leaving 1/4th inch headspace.  Then add in 2 Tbsp. lemon juice for quart jars (1 Tbsp for pints), so keep the tomatoes fresh tasting and to reduce any odds of spoilage.  Then wipe the rims with a towel, retrieve your lids and fasten them tightly.  Set your jars down in the boiling water bath and make sure the tops are covered with at least an inch of water.  Process them for 40 minutes for quarts and 35 minutes for pints.  Once the jars are done, remove them from the water using tongs and set them aside to cool.  When they are cool, you can check to make sure they have all sealed by pushing down on the tops of the lids and making sure they don’t spring back.  Don’t do this while the jars are still hot because you can seriously burn yourself and you really shouldn’t mess with the jars until they are cool as it can hinder them from sealing completely.  As the jars do seal, you should hear them “ping” shut.  If you’ve never heard it before, you’ll love it and if you’re a pro, I think you’ll agree with me that that sound is even more rewarding than the sauce itself after a long day of tomato canning!

 Quick tips:

*For thin sauce – An average of 35 pounds of tomatoes is needed per 7 quarts of sauce; an average of 21 pounds of tomatoes is needed per 9 pints of sauce. A bushel weighs 53 pounds and yields 10 to 12 quarts of sauce-an average of 5 pounds per quart.

*For thick sauce – An average of 46 pounds of tomatoes is needed per 7 quarts of sauce; an average of 28 pounds of tomatoes is needed per 9 pints of sauce. A bushel weighs 53 pounds and yields 7 to 9 quarts of sauce-an average of 6½ pounds per quart.

*I don’t recommend putting fresh garlic into your sauce before you can it.  For some reason, the flavor always seems a little off to me.  I like to simmer my sauce for a little before actually using it, so I add the garlic in then.

Laura is an advocate of things green, natural and even a little crunchy after leaving her career as a Toxicology researcher when it became evident to her what was really going on behind all the pretty labels.  Today, she can be found in the garden, in the kitchen, playing with her 1 year old son, crafting or stealing a few moments to read.  Feeding people real, local and simple food that isn’t deceptively healthy is her passion.  Check out Laura’s blog A Pug in the Kitchen or follow her on twitter @Beansprouthair.  

3 Comments

Filed under Food, Living from Scratch, Local Agriculture, Recipes, Sustainable Living

Canning Poll, Please Vote!

strawberry jelly 035

I’d love to post some more canning tutorials, but based on the canning I’ve completed this year (read: ZERO MINUTES SPENT CANNING!) I’m guessing I’ll only have time for one post.  It will be similar to this Strawberry Jelly tutorial from last summer.  Which of the following would you most like to see? Please vote in the poll! Voting will close one week from today.

6 Comments

Filed under Food, Home, Living from Scratch, Local Agriculture, Sustainable Living

Stocking the Larder

Reassessing my goals…

pantry 004

Back in January, when motherhood was an abstract concept and I was dreaming of summertime, I wrote out my preservation goals for this season.  Let’s review them, shall we? I’ll add in commentary in bold italics.

June

  • 2 dozen half-pints strawberry jam -FAIL!

July/August

  • 1 dozen half-pints peach jam -that would be nice
  • 2 dozen pints canned peaches -maybe 1 dozen instead?
  • freeze 10 lbs Maine blueberries -easy… should be able to accomplish this
  • 3 dozen quarts canned tomatoes -not from my garden… but I still hope to get this done
  • freeze 5 dozen ears of corn -maybe if I leave it on the cob
  • freeze as many raspberries as possible -define “possible”

September/October

  • 3 dozen pints applesauce -gotta do this!
  • 6 quarts apple pie filling -I’m over it
  • 6 pints cranberry-applesauce -maybe…
  • 6 half-pints cider jelly -next year

I’m hoping next summer will be easier, when Josh is running around instead of being in my arms all day long.  If it just gets more difficult, don’t tell me now, let me keep my delusions.  Moms, how do you get this stuff done?

9 Comments

Filed under Food, Gardening, Living from Scratch, Local Agriculture, parenting, Sustainable Living

Autumn Relish

I have yet to find an apple pie filling recipe that I really like, so I’m sharing this recipe instead.  I tried a recipe from Hobby Farms, but it was too much glop and not enough apple for my taste.  I’m busy formulating a different recipe in my mind, and may try it next weekend.  For now, enjoy this apple-pear-cranberry-walnut relish instead.

stand 013

  • 2 cups peeled and chopped apples
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped pears
  • 12 oz. fresh cranberries
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Combine fruit, sugar and water in a large pot.  Simmer, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes.  Stir in the nutmeg and walnuts, then cook for 5 more minutes.  Place a whole cinnamon stick in each sterilized jar, then ladle the hot relish into jars leaving 1/4″ headspace.  Process for 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.

6 Comments

Filed under Food, Living from Scratch, Local Agriculture, Recipes, Sustainable Living

Looking for suggestions!

I’ve got a bunch of apples that I’d like to can. Of course I’m going to make a ton of unsweetened applesauce, but I’d also like to can apple pie filling or apple slices.  Anybody have a good recipe?

7 Comments

Filed under Living from Scratch, Local Agriculture, Sustainable Living