November 2, 2008

Weird Tendencies

My canning season is officially winding down, thankfully!

The last batch of tomatoes is bubbling away in the canner on the stove at this very minute. The kitchen smells of cooked tomatoes; the dishwasher is washing up the remnants of time spent blanching and quartering fruit and the air is heavy with the humidity of simmering water. As I sit here and sip my wine my thoughts are interrupted by the unmistakable *tink* of lids sealing from previous batches.

It has been a very productive year and will do us well in the coming months.

This year's tally:
  • 46 quarts of canned tomatoes
  • 4 pints of canned tomatoes
  • 8 pints of canned salsa
  • 4 1/2 pints of pickled jalapenos
  • 2 quarts of tomato paste, frozen in ice cube sized portions
  • 22 pints of canned applesauce
  • 8 1/2 pints of canned apple butter
  • 5 quarts of frozen apple pie filling (1 quart = 1 pie)
  • 8 1/2 pints of raspberry jam
  • 8 1/2 pints of cherry jam
  • 8 1/2 pints of apricot jam
  • 4 pints of apricot jam
  • 3 gallon sized bags of frozen raspberries
  • 2 quart sized bags of frozen cherries (1 quart =1 cobbler)
  • 3 bags containing 6 cups of frozen cherries (6 cups = 1 pie)
  • 5 quart sized bags of frozen sweet corn
  • 6 quart sized bags of frozen whole pea pods
  • 4 quart sized bags of frozen shelled peas
  • 8 quart sized bags of green beans
Most of that was all from this year's garden. The apricots, cherries and half of the raspberries were courtesy of a friend's yard. Not too bad for my 1st attempt at growing stuff on my own property! That doesn't include everything that we consumed fresh and the produce that was distributed to friends.

When all tallied up, I might have spent $20 in ingredients for the salsa, pickled jalapenos, jams, pie filling, apple butter, etc. with sugar and pectin accounting for 75% of that cost. I did have to buy jars this year (as I certainly didn't expect to have this much stuff to can!) but those will be reused in future years and the freezer bags had some cost too. Even including jars and bags my grand total in expenses is around $75. I figure the jam and apple butter themselves are worth that much, if you were to buy it in the store so I've come out way ahead in terms of cost.

Time spent, and how much that is worth, is a completely different story. But it's worth it to know that my food doesn't have any preservatives in it, to know exactly what was applied to the plants for fertilizers/pesticides and to not have anything in the ingredient list that I cannot pronouce.

The weird quirk though, is that anytime I'm in the kitchen canning you can be guaranteed one thing...


pam said...

What an inspiration. You are awesome. If only stuff grew that well in texas.

Flying Monkeys said...

You forgot to calculate your time.

It looks like your holding a spot for a burp cloth there. Hmmm...could it be a subconscious desire manifesting itself in kitchen linens? If I can't get knocked up someone else, that I like, needs to. ;)

I wish I had your gardening ambition, I do not. Maybe some year...probably not. Weeding is not my thing and we can't afford a gardener. :)

Kristin, Rod, and Victoria said...

Wow. This is me, yet again green with envy. And feeling REALLY guilty that on 5 acres of land I can't seem to grow a tomato, let alone anything else!

Rod does the same thing with the kitchen towel every time he's cooking. Drives me crazy, as whenever I go to the fridge for the towel, it's never there. Actually, Victoria told me the other day I wasn't really cooking until I put the towel on my shoulder!

Bryant and Candice said...

Holy smoly! You've been busy! That's fabulous that you were able to get all that canning done. Your storage must be massive! ;)

BTW, did I mention how good that jam is that you gave us? Yummy to my tummy!

Anonymous said...

That's fantastic! Reminds me of my old days :) You will really appreciate it during the coming months.
Love, Mom

Shannie said...

Wow and wow again! You are amazing! Oh and I always do the towel on my shoulder thing...don't know why, it just works. Looks like we might be heading back your way...dh hates it here. Check out my blog for reasons.