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.


  • 2 dozen half-pints strawberry jam –FAIL!


  • 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”


  • 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?


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

9 responses to “Stocking the Larder

  1. I’m looking for answers too! Not one single strawberry was canned, frozen or baked into anything of value. I haven’t picked one single blueberry, although I hope to soon. My garden is absolutely pathetic. The pear tree seems to be doing well, though. I’m hoping that I can co-op with other girls in the area and get work done as best we can. I don’t want to give up having a stocked canning cellar and freezer just because Liam is so busy! What did your mom do?

  2. Tia

    When my kids were that little I accepted all the help I could get from my family. My grandma canned tomatoes, my great-aunt made me jam & peaches etc…I barely managed to even freeze anything for about 3-4 years. It does get better, it just takes a lot of practice. You will handle it better as you have Ed to help. As a single mom I just didn’t want to focus on the food when I got home from work, I just wanted to be with my kids. 🙂

  3. Liz Hoskins

    Loved your commentary Abbie, I always get super ambitious in my mind, then my kids slap me back to reality. I had been dreaming for about 6 years to do a veg garden, and this year, my dream came true! My kids are 5, 3, and 15 months, and while I won’t necessarily say it gets easier, it definetly gets more manageable. Right now, Josh rules your daily schedule (enjoy it, you will miss it!), you will soon have more reliable “pockets” of time to do more and more of the stuff you want to do! My youngest is about the age that Josh will be next year, and his mobility keeps me on my toes, he currently climbs on everything he can lift his little chubber leg onto, and despite my 5 years of childproofing my house, he is proving to be much more curious than my other two! It will get easy, I just priortize everything I need to do, and concentrate on the “musts” GOOD LUCK!

  4. Let’s just not say it’s more difficult. You will just have a “helper” instead! My vote…interact with him. Let him play in the high chair, play with some extra food and cup measures, etc. It will help a little bit. : )

    Best of luck! I’m impressed you’re canning!

    • Lol Robbie my whole day is interacting with him, that’s why I don’t get anything done! Though when he can sit in the high chair it might be easier. I haven’t canned anything yet, just thinking about it 🙂

  5. My girls are 8 and 12 and I didn’t get any strawberries preserved. I was planning to freeze them, but the season came early and peaked quick with the weather here and I just didn’t have time to go out and pick enough to preserve. So sometimes its not motherhood, its just life in general. As is said life is what happens while we are busy making plans….
    Flexibily is your key…. enjoy this summer for what it is, because things change oh so fast…

  6. You just learn to work “differently”. You work in shifts, you can smaller amount, or you freeze stuff now to can later. If you have a birthday coming up, tell everyone you want them to watch the kiddo for a few hrs as their gift to you. The gift of time is suddenly so valuable when you’re a new mom.

    I only started canning last year, and thanks to my husband wrangling the spawn, I was able to put up quite a lot. I can’t wait to see what is possible when the kiddo is older!

  7. It does get easier. That’s what I tell my friends with babies. They see all of the cooking that I’m able to do now that mine are 3 and 6, and think that they’re “failing” as mothers, because they can’t do all of that. No! As the babies get older, it does get easier to have your own time. If your “own time” consists of lying on the sofa reading, well that’s fine too. 🙂

    Two things: I found a carrier to be indispensible when the babies were little. First a Maya Wrap sling, then an Ergo Baby Carrier, when they got bigger. I can remember many nights cooking dinner with a baby on my back. After being in daycare while I was at work all day, they just HAD to be touching me as much as possible. And secretly, I loved carrying them, so it was a benefit to me too.

    Also: have you thought about having a Preservation Party? I find that if I invite friends over for dinner, we can share the childcare responsibilities and the cooking. And it’s more fun and less stressful than trying to manage it all alone.

  8. I do my canning with a mom friend. That way one of us can be on kid duty and one of us can tend the hot stuff. Sometimes the kids even entertain each other and then we can double up our efforts and things happen faster. But I’m not canning by myself, without another adult in the house to take care of the children.

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