Sunday, July 24, 2016

Canning and Preserving


 
I'll pick my garden once more this morning and then summer gardening is over for me. The garden is still producing, but I'm off to Colorado for a month. Emily will continue to pick vegetables, while I'm gone. And while I'm gone, I'll be dreaming of and planning a fall garden to start on my return home. 

You may remember that this was my first year gardening at the lake. Even with the learning curve of gardening in a little different climate and completely different soil, I consider the garden a complete success. The fruit trees were a sweet treasure and gave us lots of fruit to enjoy and preserve. The discovery of our Granny Smith apple tree was the best and although it only had two apples, I'm sure that next year there will be even more. 

I'm going to leave you now with a few pictures of our rewards.


Our peach tree was loaded this year, but the two cold snaps we had in early spring stunted their growth, I believe. They had their fair share of bird pecks, a few had worms and we had a branch break from a combination of a lot of peaches and the branch being weighed down by rain. The deer and squirrels finished those off. But all in all, we harvested quite a few peaches. And with the plums we picked earlier, I was able to put up quite a few jars of peach and plum jam. I, also, froze a few bags of peaches and made a couple of peach cobblers.



 My tomatoes did really well, this year. 


This tomato came from my garden and I probably have a dozen lying on the kitchen counter with that many more in the garden ready to be picked this morning. I've enjoyed quite a few tomato sandwiches and I'm surely going to miss them. And although I didn't plant enough to can, I bought enough from the farmers market for that. I canned 21 jars of tomatoes. Oh my gosh, we are going to enjoy tomatoes and rice this winter. 


21 jars

By the time I took this picture, I had already given away quite a few of the 31 jars of peach and plum jam that I preserved. That's a table full of hard work right there.

I planted one zucchini plant and it took over a 4 x 4 raised bed. The thing was a monster and grew monster fruit.....well, mostly because I didn't get to them in time. 


I was away for a week and when I came home, I had two gigantic zucchinis. You can see one of them lying there behind the zucchini bread. I really thought they weren't any good, but after cutting the seedy part from the middle, there was plenty of flesh left on the sides. From those two zucchinis I blanched and froze four bags, made two loaves of zucchini bread, grated the last one and got enough to make six more loaves of zucchini bread or maybe add to a pot of soup, this winter. 

 6 cups grated zucchini

 2 cups in each bag and each bag will make 2 loaves of zucchini bread.

For the zucchini bread, I followed this recipe. The only change made was that I used pecans instead of walnuts. It was delicious....more like cake than bread. I will make this recipe again. 


 
And lastly, while Cliff, Sawyer and I were at lunch yesterday, we must have had a heck of a storm blow through because we had a fallen tree across the drive, when we got home. 

My posts will take a turn, now, to our adventures in Colorado. If you don't mind, I would appreciate it, if you would whisper a prayer for safe travels. You know I can't stand to fly!

Talk soon, 
Laurie

27 comments:

  1. Ok im just sitting here in awe on how you managed to get that much goodies out of two zucchini. Your canning looks great! Safe travels and safety prayers your way.
    Lisa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HaHa! I'm telling you those two zucchinis were massive. Thank you so much for your prayers! I greatly appreciate them.

      Delete
  2. So glad no one was harmed!

    Love all your preserves..says Home to me..

    Do you go to Colorado every year?

    Take care!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Monique! Although we might go out to visit my daughter once or twice a year, we don't go for this extended amount of time every year. We've done it twice in the last 5 years that she's lived out there.

      Delete
  3. Laurie, Kudos to you...that is a lot of hard work. You have sweet rewards for your winter season now. My son-in-law cans, as does one sister. I admire those that do. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Susie! The pay-off is definitely worth all the hard work.

      Delete
  4. Laurie, I am in total awe of the bounty you harvested from your garden this first year. Such a reward for the hard work you put into it . . . and so very satisfying!

    Sending best wishes for a safe trip to Colorado and back. And a wonderful time visiting with your dear daughter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mama Pea! Your help in answering my questions and just following you were a big help. It's true...hard work equals great satisfaction.

      Thank you, also, for safe trip wishes. I can't wait to get my hands on our baby girl.

      Delete
  5. You are so smart, Laurie! It's great that you took advantage of a home garden by canning a bunch of stuff to enjoy this winter. It will bring back good memories each time you open one of those jars. Have a safe trip out west. I know you will have a great time. Super pics, BTW. You could easily get a job as product photographer if you wanted...

    Jim Fowler, Greenville, SC

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well thank you very much Jim! That means a lot coming from one whom takes drop-dead gorgeous orchid photos!

      Delete
  6. Your have been busy canning .What a bounty! beautiful pictures by the way. can't remember exactly what part of Colorado your daughter lives in...but if your looking for a day trip. I will fix lunch! that is if we are still here. Hubby developed an infection and is back in the hospital.We may be headed to Texas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahhh, you are so sweet. She lives in Denver, but we are staying on Lake Dillon. I would take you up on your offer, but we have our grandchildren with us. I would hate to put that on you and especially since your husband is in the hospital. Gracious, I hope he gets better soon. Thanks again, Janey. Maybe next time.

      Delete
  7. Great job Laurie...enjoy your trip!
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Envious of all your things that you have canned and frozen. How beautiful! Have a safe flight. I don't like to fly anymore either. Nancy

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love your sweet garden and it's white picket fence! Our garden is growing and hopefully we'll reap it's rewards in August. That's the difference in climates! I'll get my zucchini from the Farmer's market and not mess with the vines! Have a wonderful time out West and I'm not fond of flying at all so you have my prayers for sure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, YaYa for the prayers. We arrived safely. I was so happy to see our daughter. It's funny how different our climates are. When you're gathering your first veggies, I'll be planning a fall garden. Hope you make some zucchini bread.

      Delete
  10. I'm picking my very first veggies and you're all done! Hard to believe we live in the same country! haha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know! HaHa!! I'll be planting fall crops soon and you'll probably still be picking veggies from your summer garden.

      Delete
  11. Wow, I hope someday you post your canning process so we can all learn from you!

    I pinned your zucchini bread recipe, as our zucchini is producing like mad this season - crazy!

    Safe travels - like you, I hate to fly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure, I'll plan to do a post on how I can. Hope you try the zucchini bread. That was the first time I've ever made it and I really didn't know what to expect. The cinnamon and nuts made it seem more like a cake. Thanks for the safe travel wishes. We made it safely. I'm already loving this temperature. It was upper 90's when we left home.

      Delete
  12. I have never canned anything in my life and I only made jam once. I am such a bad cook!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Make Steve do it! HaHa! Seriously though, I love canning tomatoes. They taste so fresh, when you open a jar.

      Delete
  13. A beautiful and bountiful harvest for your first year there! It must give you such a satisfying feeling to see all those beautiful jars put up! I can't imagine having my own peach tree :) Sending prayers for safe travels. xx Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Karen, I get so excited about canning tomatoes. Crazy, huh? But they taste so delicious, and gives me a little piece of summer freshness. Thank you for your prayers! We made it safely and the weather is awesome, not to mention how beautiful these mountains are.

      Delete
  14. Your garden was definitely a huge success!! It's very impressive all the things you got. I have to try this zucchini bread because it looks really good.

    ReplyDelete