Friday, August 19, 2011

Kitchen Report

Today's canning: 4 quarts of turkey, 2 quarts of broth and 6 quarts of grape juice. I'm still making pickles and figure to add a few quarts of those to the booty from today's work.

You may be wondering, why on earth is she canning, let alone cooking, turkey in this weather? The reason is that we eat a lot of turkey. We raise our own, and cook one a month. One turkey for two people is a lot of meat, so usually we have it for dinner, then pick the rest of the meat from the bones and freeze it. I like to cut the breast meat out in two large chunks; those are saved for when we have visitors because they make a nice meal or lots of sandwiches, whichever is needed.

This time I decided to can the meat because it's very handy to have some jars of canned turkey in the cellar for quick suppers, soups and casseroles. I also stewed the bones with bay leaves and onion to make broth. I used the broth to cover the meat in the jars, and then canned what was left. There's nothing like broth to start a good soup or stew.

We planned to work on the peaches today. We picked them but they are still too hard so they will have to wait a little to be processed. I will  make them into jam as I am completely out of peach jam.

The grapevines are loaded this year, especially the Concords and the Niagaras. Niagara is a white grape and has a delicious flavor. Larry picked a bushel of Concords so I used those to make juice. He went back out and picked almost a bushel of Niagaras, too but those are in the fridge to be done later. There are still grapes on the vines so I will be into this juice-making process for a while. We already have all the grape jelly we need.

Cucumbers are just going crazy, producing enough to make a batch of pickles every day. Which is a good thing because this family sure likes pickles. I've lost track of how many I've made so far, but I think it's about 40 quarts of dills and a few bread-and-butter. I made some yesterday and have some ready to finish up in the kitchen right now. Yesterday was also tomato canning day; I still don't have enough but I'm getting closer to my goal of 50 quarts. Our tomatoes and corn are not doing as well as usual due to the dry, hot weather this summer.

I dried yellow squash yesterday for squash chips. I sprayed the slices with Pam and sprinkled with salt and they came out very tasty. They are still not as crisp as I would like, but I enjoy them as they are, and I'll try again. They are a good snack to have around.

It's nice to see the cellar filling up!

10 comments:

A Vintage Green said...

Putting away for the winter. Very comforting.

When a child, we lived on a ranch and the garden was huge. Gardening and canning was very important. I remember helping cut meat into pieces for canning when I was under 6. Fruit, vegetables, meat, baking, milking. Without Mom's labours there would not have been the abundance of food because there was no cash money to buy groceries. We were very fortunate in those years (late 40's, 50's) because we had good food, fresh milk, butter, eggs. Dad worked the land and the herds and the maintenance and buildings. They were so young and worked so hard and were happy in those years, but really tired. I forgot to say Mom made and remade the clothing and I do remember the flowered flour sacks.

It seems like a cycle again as growing fruit and vegetables and flowers, preserving, chickens in the back yard, grinding wheat for flour is becoming important and necessary again.

When Dad followed his calling to be a minister we were even more poor. We moved to the city. He dug the back yard (it had been used for parking) and Mom made a garden and grew the food. We had crab apples and the ranch would send us a frozen side of beef packaged. I do not know how they managed. Mom re-made the clothes and I know most of them came out of the missionary barrel at the church. Grandma would send a bolt of cloth as a birthday present and Mom made dresses for the girls and herself. I remember the fabric, the colours, the sashes and collars with great fondness.

Everywhere Dad served there was a garden and until Mom succumbed to Altzheimer's she kept growing flowers with vegetables intermixed.

Thanks for bringing me some old memories.

- Joy
- Joy

Country Whispers said...

Sounds like you've been super busy.
There is nothing like the satisfaction of canning your own home grown food...even though it's a long and tiring process.
Those squash chips sound good. I may have to give them a try.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

I know there's a food shortage in the world but you don't have to solve the problem single-handed!

Brighid said...

Wonderful canning woman, you make me smile...

Granny Sue said...

Joy, what a beautiful story! You should post it on your blog, if you haven't already done so. Such memories as yours are treasures--and your parents were some good people, that's for sure. Thank you for sharing those memories with us.

Granny Sue said...

I enjoy the canning, Jessica, even though it can be mighty tiring. One of my sons stopped by Friday evening and he was so pleased to see all the jars in the cellar--and several went home with him :) His children are my best pickle customers!

Granny Sue said...

John, sometimes I look at all the stuff we put up and think we're nuts--there's only two of us! But a lot goes to other homes during the year, a few jars here and there. It's nice to have it to give. And there will be no food shortage on this hill in the near future, I'm pretty sure :)

Granny Sue said...

Brighid, your comment made me smile too :) Back to it today...

Nance said...

Granny Sue, do your children come home and make you presents of empty canning jars? I'm training my younguns to bring those jars back home! lol I do enjoy (and connect) with your posts.

Granny Sue said...

Most of the time they do, Nance, thank goodness. I give a lot away, so I'm happy when the jars find their way back home :)

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