August 10, 2009

I'll be thankful for it this winter!

On Friday night after work.....we had a daunting task ahead of us. 
We needed to pick green beans if we were going to try and get them canned the next day. There were only a few hours left of daylight and after a full work day...patience was already wearing thin. So, what did we do? We called up my Mother and Father-in-law to see if they could watch the kiddos. I'm tellin' ya, this was the best decision we could have made. Shawn and I sat on our buckets in the garden and chatted and picked about 10 gallons of beans.

His brother stopped by for a visit with us while we snapped. That helped the time go by faster for sure.
We also had these beauties inside in the sink getting clean
On Saturday bright and early, Grandma showed up with pressure cooker in hand to help get the party started. Aren't my beans pretty?

Grandma thought it was funny that I wanted to take pictures and document the whole thing. Told ya I was going to wear my cute little apron all Donna Reed style! LOL :)
Once we got our first batch of beans in the pressure cooker, we started working on our tomatoes. Grandma has the coolest little gadget. It clamps to the side of your table. You put the tomatoes in the top and crank the handle. Your juice/pulp comes out the side and all the skin and seeds come out the front. This made for quick work.
Even Grace got in on the action. How cool is that.....3 Generations of women canning together!!
 My yummy sauce

Cooking away


Here are some of the cans of beans and spaghetti sauce


When we were done with the beans and spaghetti sauce...Grandma had to leave to go home and take care of Grandpa. My mom came over to visit the kids so I got her in on the pickle making action. Remember what I said earlier about 3 generations.....make that 4! Super Cool!
I love the wide mouth jars that my hubby got a fabulous deal on earlier this summer at a garage sale. It was such much easier getting my cucumbers in those jars...and they look beautiful too!
Some completed dill pickles


I had the hardest time getting the lids on my pickles to pop. I followed the directions on the packets and boiled them for 10 minutes. Only about 1/2 popped. So, I put the ones that didn't, back in for another 20 minutes. Some popped right away and other waited until the jars were almost cool before they popped. They all did eventually...thank goodness!

Here is my hard work (minus a few pickle jars waiting off to the side to pop).
15 Quarts of Green Beans
11 Quarts of Spaghetti Sauce
7 Quarts of Dill Pickles
7 Quarts of Sweet Pickles
I had a great time hanging out with Grandma and having her teach me something. She made the comment that she was "proud of me for wanting to learn how to can....most kids your age don't want anything to do with it"!
We still have some beans in the garden that need to grow some more. I think that I will just freeze them when I do my corn!


2 comments:

  1. OMG that is so cool. And to spend time with grandma like that. I'm jealous. I wish I had a garden to grow my own veggies (I'm currently working on my backyard to make this possible). But I also wish I knew and had the items to preserve the veggies like you did so they don't go bad.

    All in all looks like you had a blast. And btw, I love the apron.

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  2. I am so happy that you got to do that! I am 24 and my grandmother is 87. She has canned pickles most of my life. When I was in high school, I realized that one day we wont get to enjoy her wonderful pickles, so I wanted her to teach me how to do it (my mother didn't pick it up from her). Unfortunately, the time was never right and now she doesn't do it anymore. I now live in TX and she's in NC so we can only travel there once or twice per year. I am afraid I will never get to learn that skill from her since she's not able to sit or do anything really for very long.

    I have been wanting to plant a garden next summer in a little area in our back yard. I would love for her to be able to come over to my house one day and teach me everything, unfortunately she can't sit long enough to fly out here.

    I just got the greatest idea! Maybe I can buy some vegitables from the store next time we go to NC so she can teach me (so it wont matter what time of year it is). I keep thinking I need home grown ones, but the important part is that I learn how! I can do it with home grown ones next year! Maybe she can tell me the directions a little at a time. I can write them down so she doesn't have to remember it all at once.

    Thank you for documenting your experience and inspiring me to think of a way to do it before I don't have the chance anymore!

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