Sunday, August 28, 2011

2011 stats and notes

Here’s what jumped into jars over the last 10 days or so:

roasted tomato sauce: 47 pints
tomato juice: 13 quarts
salsa: 27 quarts, 2 pints
plain chopped tomatoes: 26 quarts, 10 pints
tomato and red wine sauce: 8 quarts
Summer Rambo and Ginger Gold applesauce: 80 quarts
sliced nectarines: 13 quarts
chopped nectarines: 39 quarts
sliced peaches: 31 quarts

And into the freezer:
nectarine wedges: 4 quarts
dried nectarines: 10 6-cup quarts
peach slices: 12 quarts

That was the main big push. Before August came along, my shelves were fairly bare. But now? Now they’re all red, yellow, and green.

Here’s the rest of the stuff we’ve put up:
spinach, frozen: 3 quarts, 6 pints
strawberries, frozen: 13 quarts
blueberries (from a vendor), frozen: 29 pints
red raspberries, frozen: 14 quarts, 5 pints
basil, frozen: 6 recipes butter-walnut pesto
Lodi applesauce: 54 quarts (22 frozen, 32 canned)
onions, caramelized, frozen: 2 pints, 6 half-pints
corn, frozen: 12 quarts, 14 ½ pints
blackberries, frozen: 16 quarts, 4 pints
chickens, frozen: 23
green beans, frozen: 21 5-cup quarts

Yet to come are more tomatoes, red raspberries, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, and grapes.

Some notes to my 2012 self:

*Drying nectarines at lower temps for longer times results in chewier, more candy-like nectarines. Fast and furious gets ‘em too crispy.
*Good job watering the tomatoes regularly—no dry rot!
*I am so in love with this roasted tomato sauce that it’s practically sinful. I’m not sure 47 pints will be enough.
*When choosing between two local orchards, always go with the one that starts with O. The one that starts with an R lets you down every. single. time.
*Sun High peaches are really, really good. Maybe even better than nectarines.
*Leave a little extra space in the top of the jars when canning salsa—the raw veggies do a funky expansion thing that causes the insides to leak out and then you have to recan the jars and you know that that’s always a bummer.
*Tomato jam—make it.
*Cut-into-pieces chicken is easy to do and much more accessible for meal prep.
*I know you’re frustrated with green beans—3 separate plantings and 3 pounds of seed for a paltry 21 quarts, I know. But you need green beans, like 100 quarts. So keep trying.
*Plant ounces of spinach, like 2 or 3 of them. Be extravagant. Aim for at least 30 quarts.
*To make tomato juice, put the tomatoes through the Victrola cold! There’s no need to cook them first! The uncooked juice, despite separating out in the jars and looking kinda gross, has a fabulously fresh taste.
*Too much sugar in Lodi sauce will ruin it, doofus.

This same time, years previous: topping for apple crisp


  1. Uh, I read that dry rot is due to a calcium deficiency in the soil.

    Lovely work. I keep a record too and love to see how it adds up.

  2. Amber, I've heard it's due to a calcium deficiency AND irregular watering. Since eliminating one of the problems seemed to eliminate the problem, I'm assuming the calcium levels are okay. But maybe I have it all backwards?

  3. wow. I'm speechless at that amazing amount of food! What an inspiration.

  4. You should soon be a stranger at the grocery store (perhaps already?)!!


  5. Are your feet up yet? Get those dogs high in the sky. Job well done:-).

  6. Wow. That's really amazing. I grew up in the city and I've never really seen anyone can and freeze so much food. It's an awesome idea. Maybe one day I'll live somewhere with a yard so I can grow a big garden. You're going to be eating very well all winter.

  7. Don't know about you but I'm exhausted. Whew. And I didn't lift a finger. And I am in awe, once again. Clearly that's a ton of work and your family will have acres of food to get you through the next year. My question: What does it cost to do this? Are you doing this to end with a better tasting tomato sauce, apple sauce, peaches, etc. or is it to save money. What are the cost of the Mason jars? Who/how do they get washed or are they boiled before canning? No, I've never canned before but I sure hope you get to rest-up and recover.