Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Time In The Kitchen

When you grow a great deal of your own food large amounts of time are spent not just growing but processing that food. For many a vegetable serving is just a small plastic bag or can that comes from the supermarket already trimmed, washed and cut into serving size pieces. When you grow your own food all that now falls to you to do. Yesterday morning was no exception. One neighbor had brought over some potatoes, onions and zucchini in exchange for some of my fresh green beans and some fresh hen eggs. Now I already have my own potatoes and onions but this is the country and in this community we take care of one another.  We don't have many close neighbors but we tend to take care of one another. So when everyone's gardens come in we exchange crops back and forth, trade seeds and starts and just all around be neighborly to one another.  So on top of washing the morning eggs I had potatoes, zukes, squash and onions to wash. Then on my rounds through the garden that morning I picked a hand full of my own green onions for cooking this week. O Wise One had picked up a cantaloupe going through Amish country from a roadside vendor over the weekend as well.

 I had already planned to pick beets for pickling so I also had half a laundry basket full of beets. And some broccoli needed picking so I couldn't pass that up could I?

So the beets went into the laundry sink back by the washer to soak any remaining soil off. 

The broccoli had to be washed, cut up and soaked in salt water in case there were any little green worms in there.  

Then run through the salad spinner to spin dry.

Part of the broccoli then went into jars for the refrigerator. This is for snacking and meals.

The remainder I blanched and froze to go in the freezer.

The bulb onions were then cut up and put in the refrigerator for cooking this week. The green onions also went in the fridge for cooking as well as the new potatoes.

Then I put the beets on to cook

While they were cooking I washed all 49 quarts of green beans that I had canned this weekend. Then they were dried, labeled and put in the pantry.

Then I peeled and sliced the beets

And pickled 24 pints of pickled beets to go in our salads through the year. And there are still beets in the garden!

So now I've got another 24 jars to go in the pantry with that 49 green beans and it's just Monday. Then another neighbor comes through and needs a buck rabbit and a rooster. I just happen to have a young buck from that last litter and an extra rooster. In exchange she traded me 4 meat chickens that I can pick up on Wednesday. 

And just in case I might have an extra portion of a minute I have the grandbaby tomorrow for a couple hours and hay on the round.  

For someone who is retired do you think I could get any busier?

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter


  1. A very GOOD busy :). You are inspiring.

    Your beets and green beans look delicious. We have beets, but they are about two weeks from being ready to pickle. Right now, the herbs are crying to be cut and dried, the Green Tomatoes need processed into Green Tomato Salsa, the six gallons of currants just picked need to be made into jelly, and we are in the throws of rearranging the food storage area and cleaning it up for the year. I don't think we will ever be retired (LOL), since we are already in our mid-60's and busier than ever.

    Our plum trees are loaded again this year, which is unusual as we normally only get a crop every two or three years. What a blessing to have two years in a row. We can always use more Plum Conserve and the Native Plums make delicious Conserve.

    Enjoy your grandson. Many blessings to you.

  2. CQ, You and OWO wear me out just reading what y'all do. Those beets sure are purty! Well all the veggies are! Hugs this July morning! Still waitin' for y'all to come towards my neck of the woods!


  3. Thats a soul fulfilling work, and a real productive one too!

  4. Such creative ideas. I used to have a fabulous garden in north Carolina but now that I live in central Florida I have sand for soil

  5. CQ,

    Do you find it easier to peal your beats after you've cooked them?
    I've always pealed before.

    1. Im not THE CQ, but I would never peel my beets.. After they're cooked, you just squeeze them and the skin slips right off.. they're cleaned off in a second or two at the most.

    2. That was a bad description on my part. You are right Kimberly and after they are cooked the peelings do pretty well slip off. I should have been more descriptive : (

  6. Hey CQ,

    But it's a good kind of busy. I went to the farmer's market last Friday to try to find some local green beans ... no luck but I found a local peach vendor that had fully ripe peaches for $8 a whole box. I had sent you an email with a canning question but I just winged it & they turned out pretty good.

    I love the new header!

    1. I am so glad they turned out. I have been hip deep in green beans, beets and garden and soooo behind in emails. I will apologize as I do try to answer as many emails as time permits but sometimes it is really hard.

      Hugs from the holler


    2. No problem. I understand completely. The peaches were an impulse buy & I had to decide what to do with them quickly.

  7. You said it! Everywhere we look these days there is something needing putting up. Your climate is so different, our corn is nowhere near tasseling for at least another month or so.

    Beautiful goods!

  8. We are a family of 5 with a share in a CSA since we have a very small shady town lot. I am freezing and canning along with you. Canning is all new to me so I am learning how as I read your blog. Thank you.We are mid 50's with a second young family. I am doing my best to be a good steward of or income and keep all our produce from waste.

  9. Why do you wash your jars of green beans before putting them away? I've never heard of that being done before, and now I wonder if I've been missing something...

    1. Many times while pressure cooking you will have liquid leak from your jars. I like to make sure my jars are clean and there was nothing collected under the rings before I put them in my pantry. Don't want to attract ants especially on the sweet stuff.

  10. I've been catching up on missed posts. Isn't living in the country great? I can't grow a garden and get the canning done due to some health problems. I have found I have energy for one or the other but not both. We've been blessed with gifted food from neighbors and a local family who sells their produce at great prices.

    Last night and today I spent time putting away 125 lbs of tomatoes. We ended up with 35 quarts of diced tomatoes, 7 quarts of tomatoes with onions and jalapenos, 7 quarts of veggie soup, and 26 pints of Italian seasoned sauce. (Not counting the tomatoes we kept out to eat.)

    We also made 19 quarts of freezer sweet pickles today. Needless to say I've got my feet propped up.

    Your beets are beautiful. I'm hoping to lay my hands on some soon.

    1. That sounds wonderful! I'll say a little prayer for your health : ) I have had years of illness myself and we all do what we can.

  11. As my grandma would say... Your days work keeps you out of trouble. ;)
    Beautiful blessings you've around you aplenty!


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