Monday, October 19, 2015

Harvest Tally 2015 & Tattler Reusable Canning Lid Update

I feel like I've been slowing down in the canning department these last couple years.  I think there may be two main reasons for this...

1) I'm sticking with canning projects and recipes I know my family likes eats.

2) As children grow, life becomes busier in a different way and there is less time for the physical and mental act of preserving.

I also spent time this summer freshening up some rooms with new paint and reorganizing in preparation for the school year and life in general (you can see a few pictures here).

Despite all this, our freezers and pantry are full and now we must set to eating, learning, and cuddling in front of the wood stove.  And I don't mind at all.

Harvest Tally 2015

2 (measly) 3-cup containers for sour cherries (from our injured tree), froze
11 pint bags chopped zucchini (for soups and casseroles), froze
14 loaves chocolate chip zucchini bread (our kids think it's dessert), froze
11 quarts blueberries (from a local organic farm), froze
10 quart bags packed New Zealand spinach (for soups, quiches and casseroles), froze
28 quarts corn, froze
36 pints and 28 quarts tomato sauce, canned
9 quarts (of our own!) peaches, canned
15 quarts (half our own!) peaches, chopped and froze (for smoothies and desserts)
5 quarts tomato soup
18 1/2-pint jelly jars of apple pie jam, canned
121 quarts applesauce, canned
LOTS of spaghetti squash, eaten, shared and stored
butternut squash, stored
potatoes, stored
sweet potatoes, stored

Tattler Reusable Canning Lid Update:  I'm getting the hang of these lids!  My sealing success rate this year was very close to that of my metal lid sealing rate- an improvement from last year.  My guess is that most folks quickly learn how to make these work well.  For others (like me) who have high expectations for their canning projects, when I didn't get things right (right away), I was frustrated.  I'm so glad that I didn't give up.  These lids work very well, have close to paid for themselves and they (the lids and rubber rings) all still look like new after using them for the 3rd year in a row.

When I can something that I share with others (like our applesauce below), I still use some metal lids so I don't need to worry about getting the Tattler lids back.  I've grown quite fond of them.

How are your canning projects changing from year to year?  Are you ramping up, simplifying (like me) or cutting back?
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  1. I've canned more than usual this year. I've made over 30 jars of Spiced Orange Fig Jam (from our fig tree, which bears bountifully), a couple of jars of apple jelly (an experiment using cores and peels), 40 some jars of canned tomatoes, 2 quarts of canned tomato juice, and 28 pints and 5 quarts of applesauce. I've also roasted and frozen quite a few tomatoes. I freeze some of these in small bags and use them to make bean roasted tomato bean dip by adding to a can of drained white beans in the food processor. I enjoy reading about your home and canning projects and have tried several of your recipes from your cookbook.

  2. Our summer was so busy. I just started a part time job which took up my weekends so this year didn't get as much as I would have liked. Hoping next year to get more canned and frozen. I did get peaches(canned), strawberry jelly(canned), zuchinni (froze) , green beans (froze), tomatoes( froze). I really enjoy reading your blog and to see all the things you got to can/freeze through the summer. Keep up the great job with this blog!

  3. I have been encouraged (partly by reading your site) to begin canning. Started last year and did peach jam (YUM!!) and too many tomatoes. Have been trying some different things this year. I don't put up much though since I am the only one I regularly cook for. I tried some jardienniere (sp?) which turned out well! Want to do some more. Have yet to do my applesauce and apple butter. Tried sauerkraut for the first time and am not sure it turned out well--it's very salty. I noticed you made apple pie jam and couldn't find the recipe on your site. Will you share the recipe?
    I love reading your posts. Blessings to you and your family!

    1. The recipe comes from my friend Mavis' site. Here's the link!

  4. we are having some sealing problems w/the tattlers. what is the single most important thing that helped with better sealing?


    1. I think I wasn't tightening them enough both before they went into the canner as well as after. I think I was afraid to over-tighten (which can be a problem- the lids will bulge upward and can "explode"). Mine never bulged upward so I just kept going a little tighter. And I tightened them down well as soon as they came out (after every two or three jars out I stopped and tightened them down). Now, I don't have tons of upper arm strength so I'm guessing I was just under-tightening earlier on. Could this be your case, too? Here's to hoping this helps!


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