Saturday, January 23, 2010

The fruits--and veggies, of our labors

As the snow flies and we wait out ice storms and blizzards, we occasionally sneak a stash of our yummies that we canned last fall. We were determined to try canning. It was our third year attempting a garden. Our previous efforts have not been overly successful. The year before we didn't really get enough to can--but the vegetables did supplement our summer diet. We gained a lot of experiences--we spent three weeks solid standing in the kitchen peeling, mixing, researching, and canning. It was hard on my feet to stand so much--near the end I was having problems with even walking. I went to bed crying in pain. I questioned how in the world this could possibly be worth it.

I could only think "Three weeks and we barely have anything to really show for it!" It gave us a new respect for the pioneers and our ancestors. It didn't look like a lot and certainly didn't seem cost effective. However, I think we learned a great deal and we did get some quality products. There is a point that I don't think it pays to can items that can be purchased on sale at a reasonable price--but there are some exceptions that I think are noteworthy and worth the effort. I found a apple pie filling recipe that is better than any I have ever purchased. Our apple tree isn't doing fantastic, so we had to make a trip to the orchard and spend far more on apples than I am prepared to admit to even myself.

Another item we have done really well at--and am very pleased is the salsa we made. Salsa is soooo good for you--it spices up just about anything with all the right things-vitamins, antioxidants, no fat and much lower in sodium than commercial stuff. Can't go wrong. My daughter used this to make omelets the other day--cheese, soy crumbles, mushrooms, peppers and lots of yummy salsa! Of course, we managed to set aside the best jars for fair time next year. Maybe that time was worth it after all.

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