Thursday, October 23, 2014

Homesteading In The Fall

I love autumn.  

I love the colors that come out.

I love the shift in the light (although I do NOT love the shorter days.  Sorry, Martha!).

I love the cooler days and nights. 

I also enjoy fall canning even more than I enjoy summer canning.

It's not that summer canning is so hot (although it is).  I love my outdoor/back porch kitchen that Mr. Marvelous set up for me and it keeps the heat out of the house quite well.  

I just like the stuff that gets put up in the fall. 

Last weekend Mr. Marvelous and I made a trip to the farmer's market over near Finley Avenue.  We were looking for pears and we finally found some.  I'm not just talking about a few pears, or even a bag of pears.  Oh no!  We came home with a BOX of pears.  That's 50 pounds, in case you didn't know.  Yeah.  That's a LOT of pears.

Last year I did not get pears and therefore did not make pear relish for Mr. Marvelous.  Of all the things I can in the fall, I thought that was his favorite.  That man can put away some pear relish!  I use his Mama's recipe, which probably has a little something to do with the fact that he likes it so much.

After I got all those pears peeled, cored, quartered and ground, and after I got busy cooking and canning, I had 36 pints of pear relish on the shelf.  Half of them are regular and half of them have a little jalapeno kick.  And I still had pears!

That's when I discovered that pear relish is not Mr. Marvelous' absolute favorite; pear preserves are.  You would think I might have figured that out after 27 years.

Did you know that trying to make the syrup and the pears come out evenly is like trying to make the milk and the cereal come out evenly?  It is.  I have 9 pints of preserves canned and 2 quarts of syrup left over in the refrigerator.  I figure I'll get 9 or so more pears this week and any left-overs after that will go to the chickens.

After pears come pumpkins.  I found 2 nice pumpkins at the Green Up Garden Shop (another of my favorite places in case you hadn't noticed).  This week I got those pumpkins de-goo'ed, chopped and peeled and put up 28 pints of canned punkins.  Home-made Pumpkin Spice Latte, pumpkin custard, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread.....Oh boy!

There was one startling moment when I was taking apart the second pumpkin.  I discovered that it had developed a little more than it should have before it was picked, and there were not only some seed strands inside, I found a few leaves INSIDE the pumpkin as well. 

Let's see; 28 pints of pumpkin + 36 pints of relish + 9 pints of pear preserves = some big canning!

And I'm not done yet.  I still have to get apples to put up apple pie filling.  Then I'll make some apple jelly and some grape jelly, and then the fall canning should be finished.

                                   Unless I think of something else.

                                                                     But for right now I think I'm going to bed!

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