A Heart Toward Home

"...But as for me and my house, we will serve (worship) the LORD."
Joshua 24:15

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Making Jam and Preserving Food

I have to admit that I am a "city girl". Never done any canning, preserving, or freezing of any kind. I have just always bought what I needed at the grocery store or have been blessed by someone giving us these things.
I didn't even know where to start. Since we are trying to eat healthier I knew that eventually it would be good if I could learn these things. Well when we moved here...ready or not it was time to learn.
Uncle David and Aunt Saundra have blessed us with so much. The first thing was blackberries. I did make some blackberry muffins and blackberry jam. My family was not fond of those things because of the seeds. :) Then Uncle David and Aunt Sandra called to ask if we wanted some grapes. We LOVE grapes (the kind from the store that are seedless) so I quickly said "yes". The kids and I went to get them and Uncle David had picked us a BUNCH of grapes!! And they were NOT seedless. We quickly went to looking into making Grape Jam.
We put the kids to doing the "fun" part, deskinning them. That's right, they were squeezing out the pulp and seed, placing the skin in one bowl and the pulp in another. While Bryan and I were boiling the pulp, deseeding it, and chopping up the skins. Together we made some really delicious grape jam!
We made a total of 35 jars! It was alot of work, but so much fun! We all have enjoyed eating this jam and will definitely do this again next year! :) *We followed the recipe from the Sure Gel box. I would love to learn how to make jam without using the box pectin.*
 We have also been blessed with lots of vegetables! Mostly okra. So the kids and I also worked at cutting up okra and freezing it.
 Isaac gets the best okra cutter award! This young man worked really hard and did a great job! The kids pitching in and helping is a blessing to me and a time to learn for them.
 Uncle David and Aunt Sandra also blessed us with four 5 gallon buckets of apples! They let us borrow their apple peeler and that made it possible for us to get these taken care of. :)
 Here is Sarah peeling apples. It was even easy enough that Elijah could peel them while Isaac, Sarah, and I chopped them.
 Such a handy little gadget! Will use this again next year if we get more apples.
 Here is Mommy (me) chopping up the apples. We made apple butter, froze some apples, made apple muffins (froze some for later), and apple breakfast cookies!  All of it is sooo yummy!!
 We even have an apple tree in the back yard and some of these apples came from our own tree! The kids loved that!
Here are a couple of the packs we froze.

Then we canned some tomatoes, made salsa with some tomatoes, put up 48 ears of corn (Bryan bought from the Amish), creamed corn (I learned how to do that), and froze some squash. (Now you know why I haven't been able to keep up with my blogging.) I wasn't quite prepared to tackle all of this right after moving but God helped us to get it all done! Now we have plenty to enjoy in the months to come.

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