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


  • Marie M.

    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.

  • the domestic fringe

    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.

  • Jennifer Jo

    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?

  • Amber

    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.

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