Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

August 21, 2008

Harvest Savers 8-21-08

This weekend past, and yes I apologize for my neglect this week, I had a deadline at work that needed to be met today and well, let's just say that I had my hours for the week plus a few for next week in the bag by this afternoon so I was a bit preoccupied working to support my gardening habit. But as I was saying; this past weekend, we were able to put up a few more jars of food from the garden. Our boys loved the bread and butter pickles that we put up last year, and begged us to make more so with our first harvest of our pickle cucumbers we made 4 quarts of them. A~ worked hard on Sunday, while I was actually at the office for a few hours. When I returned she surprised me with those two quarts of red goodness. Pickled beets! I can't wait to break into those babies. She also took 6 pounds of our hamson and san marzano tomatoes and made a great smelling spaghetti sauce that we canned. Three pint jars full and one nearly full that we'll be eating soon.
We also did something a little different this time.

We used our fire pit for the hot water bath method that we used to can with. It was all very "Little house on the prairie". The last time we did any major canning, we noted how much it raised the temperature of the house. Since we have been trying to use as many passive cooling methods as possible to keep the inside temps down, we didn't want to heat it up just to can a few quarts. A~ had gotten a good start already on the prep work in the kitchen, and I had gotten the pot set up as seen above and started the fire. Our 10 and 11 year boys were placed in charge of this and that was their contribution to the process. (I have to add here, that keeping a fire and respecting it is something we have worked on with them for some time, and at no time were they unsupervised for very long.) Using the fire worked very well and allowed us to burn off some scrap OSB that we had laying around.

Now that I realized that our fire pit can be used for more than just roasting marshmallows, I have a couple of things that I think I'll try out with it. Stay posted for that. I should have a few good "catch-up" posts that I've been meaning to get around to this weekend.

Thanks for the patience,



warren said...

So was the outside canning a lot of extra work? I mean, was keeping the fire hot enough, long enough any problem? Was it too hot? I have never tried it but would prefer not to heat up our house with canning also. We always can in the middle of the night to keep it cooler. Still, an outdoor fire would be great!

Anonymous said...

you see, A was up against an important deadline too. Sounds like she was just as successful at pulling it off as you were. :) Great idea with the outdoor canning, we were thinking about doing that as well.

MeadowLark said...

Doesn't OSB have chemicals in it? Be careful of that.

Looks like fun though - I mean, it involves FIRE - what could be un-fun about that?

han_ysic said...

They look delicious and I love the idea of outside canning. I have thought of doing it as well, although probably with a portable electric element rather than fire. I like the fire idea though.

P~ said...

I have to ay I'm surprised how much interest there was in this... Let me address a few questions.

warren~ Yes and no. Yes it was a bit more work, and would be very difficult to do alone. However, having our older kids helping by keeping the fire going really alleviated much of that trouble. It also kept them entertained at the same time which is a boon to anyone trying to can with kids at home! FM, you'll agree I'm sure, and yes A~ was on a timeline, and she always does seem to make them!

meadowlark~ yes, OSB does have chemicals, which is why we used it for this purpose. It is never recommended to cook any food over OSB or any other glued or manufactured wood products. That said, the actual canning of the food was done indoors in a clean environment, and by the time they came outdoors, they were already enclosed in the jars. This method was ONLY for the hot water bath preserving.

han_ysic~ I tried the electric element previously. Because of the volume of water, and the fact that it needs to maintain a boil for a while, it never did get boiling, just not enough juice in the small element.

Hope that clears up a couple of things. I do recommend this though. It wasn't that difficult with a little help, and really kept the house cooler.

Sandy said...

Any recommended "canning for beginners" sites or books? I'm interested, but also slightly afraid I'd screw it up somehow. I've done most of my preservation by freezing things.

Heather said...

What a crazy, fantastic idea. I have to remember this.