Well I took a nose dive into canning when I got bombarded with cucumbers. I didn’t have enough stuff to make the juice so I did three jars at once. I figured I better try it on something BEFORE our 50 tomato plants fruit turns red.
I struggled with it. I was afraid I would screw it up somehow, but I didn’t. I filled my waterbath canner up halfway full. Turned it on. Put the lids in water and turned them on and then kind of followed the directions on the packet of Ball bread and butter pickle spices. One problem, it says it makes 2 quart jars…Wrong! I put the sugar and vinegar in the saucepan. Then opened the packets and picked out every single clove (YUCK). I put some cinnamon in and let it start boiling.
When the canner water was about boiling I put the jars in my oven on the rack and turned it on to 200 degrees for 10 minutes. My mom used this method. Other people have. Ball doesn’t have it listed, but oh well.
I filled them and let the process for 20 minutes to be sure. Took them out and was mad because all of my cucumbers shrunk and there was nothing but juice on the bottom and pickles toward the top of the juice..UGH.
I went to my mom’s to visit and came home and saw two jars had popped!! YAY. I checked them today and two lids stayed on, one came off. I put that one in the fridge only after a taste test. Am going to start some dills tomorrow. Super excited!
I also have froze 4 loaves of zucchini bread, gave one to the parents and one for us. Froze two bags of homegrown peaches and a small pack of green beans!!
Along with Christmas joy came the joy of various seed catalogs in my mailbox. I compared catalogs and this year decided with the saving coupons to go with Gurney’s.
Last year we had 16 tomato plants, 10 pepper plants, baby bear pumpkins, zucchini, cucumbers, corn, cantaloupe, watermelon and lambkin melons. The corn died out cause of the drought. The tomatoes and peppers did wonderful. I watered them throughout the summer. Cucumbers were okay. Zucchini were okay. Pumpkins were great. Lambkin melons and watermelon were also good.
THis year my husband wants to go big or go home to say. OMG!!! He wants everything!!! I told him for the wild pumpkins and melons he will have to dig a separate garden plot. We put them in between our tomato plants last year and they grew all over the place.
I have my Gurney’s order ready for bush green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, onions, potatos, garlic, watermelon, pumpkins, cherry tomatos and strawberry plants. I will buy my tomatos and peppers from a local nursery.
Last year I tried starting things from seeds and didnt know I needed a transition to outside weather. Almost all of my plants ended up dying because they were not used to the sun outside.
I will probably also get green onion bulbs. I plan to plant the garlic around the edges to keep away small animals even though we have a fence. I want a couple rows of onions and potatoes to store. I want to can salsa, spaghetti sauce and green beans. If not can green beans freeze them. The cherry tomato plants last year I put in containers and that worked great. I named them all “Bob” and even shared a plant with my mom and friend. My peppers that I started from seed were just blooming when fall hit so I dug them up and gave them to my dad for his greenhouse and he got peppers from them this winter.
I am so excited about these new growing and preserving experiences. I cant wait to share my new experiences with you all.