Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Harvest Festival

I went out to our gardens this week to see if there might be anything left, just in case. To my surprise I found over 65 items (Gus counted!) that were ready to be picked and brought in. Some were things we planted this summer like carrots and tomatoes, but there were plenty of self seeders and mystery plants that appeared out of no where.

The harvest? 3 cantaloupes, a squash, yellow pear tomatoes, roma and heirloom tomatoes, 5 potatoes, onions I planted last year, 3 green peppers and 8 beets. There is still a lot of parsley left too, but I left it out there for the bunnies.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Apples Apples Everywhere

This fall may win awards in Minnesota for being our best, most beautiful, ever. It has been sunny, warm, cool, crisp, barely rainy and absolutely wonderful for colorful leaves and playing outside in the piles of them.

Two weeks ago we visited my mom's cousin's apple tree (same place we've picked in the past) and brought home FIVE large cardboard boxes of apples. They aren't beauties, but the flavor is good and with a bit of love, they make great apple sauce.
With an hour or so of chopping and chatting time with my mom plus a few hours afterschool, I've been able to make a pretty good dent in the supply. There are two boxes of apples left on the porch that need to be cut up and cooked, but we have 11 quart jars canned and 11 32 oz. yogurt containers put up in the freezer.

Yes, the freezer. I almost cried today when two of my quart jars cracked when I put them into the canner, letting all of the liquid gold run into the canner. What a waste! Looking at the gallons of sauce left to can, I pondered a few choices. Freeze the jars instead of boiling/canning them? No, that would require me to purchase more rings to seal them. Quart ziplock bags? No, that would require buying more stuff. What do we have on hand? 32 ounce yogurt containers... saved in bags in the garage because Minneapolis doesn't accept them for recycling and we take them elsewhere. I'm not positive on the longevity of preserving in yogurt tubs, but with a bit of foil and a rubber band over the top, they seem to be well sealed.