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jenvan

Any "home-canners" Out There?

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I was just thinking about my garden and about fresh veggies and wondered if there was anyone else who likes to can their own foods? I wanted to 'put up' some strawberry jam this year, but think I'm too late...

Just curious if I'm the only one. I know there are some over achievers out there! :lol:

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Guest Viola

:lol: Over achievers are we ? :huh:

We live on six acres with an orchard and big veggie garden, so canning and freezing is an annual thing. Sometimes, too much of a good thing ... the golf course beckens :rolleyes:

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I have been diligently saving my loganberries because I want to make some jam for the first time ever. This is the second year they've fruited and so far I have harvested about 2 quarts worth. I want to make some jam with xylitol - probably freezer jam as this is my first time. My breadmachine actually has a jam/jelly mode but I can't find the book and recipes to do this so I may just do it on the stove - but with freezer jam it doesn't seem to be a big deal.

Anyway, I have wanted to do this before but since my mom didn't teach me, I just never have done it. It seems like one of those things, like sewing (my mom *did* teach me that...)

Stephanie

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Shirley--

You go with those six acres ! We just have a small garden for now. My eyes are always bigger than my... body I guess! I always make more work than I can handle. My husband and I discussed planting like 2 tomato plants this summer. When I came back from the store, I can several flats of plants !! There is so much I'd like to grow... What do you can?

Stephanie--

Loganberries, that sounds great. Ever had ligonberries? Yum... So you're mom taught you to sew? That is cool... The craftiness in my familiy skipped a generation (my mom!). I wish I could have had more time with my grandmother's to learn how to sew from them. I am trying to teach myself to embroider right now--so I can do tablecloths, maybe a few flowers on some jeans etc...

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Guest gfinnebraska

Yes... I'm as domestic as they come! :) Can, bake, still cook dinner every night...

Life is great!!

We have 10 apple trees, 1 apricot, 2 cherry, 1 pear, and 1 nectarine. :) We use to have a strawberry patch that produced enough for me to make 100 jars of jam a year!! Yikes! Right now we make fresh cider with a press out of the apples (and sauce of course!), pie & jam from the cherries, and just eat the rest of the fruit.

We have never had a vegetable garden ~ just fruit!! ;) We leave the veggies to other people and swap!

Stephanie ~ I find Certo is the best for jam. the "Sure Jel" brand is not as dependable. Good luck and have fun!! (I sew too!! ;) )

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Guest gfinnebraska

P.S. Jen ~ I also embroider, cross-stich and knit! IF you want to sew, it is the easiest to start with simple curtains, plain dresses, pillows, etc. It is really very easy ~ just take it slow and have fun!!

Since I started working full-time, I don't have as much time for all the extra things I do, but I try and get it all done eventually!!

I also love to fill my flower beds with new "pretties". Do you do any landscaping??

That is my other hobby!! :)

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Guest Viola

I'm a sewer too, quilts, clothes, embroidery etc. :) It's fun and relaxing.

We can cherries, pears, apple sauce, apple juice, green beans, beet pickles, beet veggies. and freeze peas. We sometimes can corn if we get energetic, it's pretty time consuming. We also can peaches, but don't grow them. Oh yes, almost forgot the strawberries and raspberries. Gotta have those. We have three different types of plums, but tend to share those with the bears and deer fresh. I'm not fond of them being canned. If the darn bear keeps breaking down the trees we won't have much anymore :angry:

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Well I just got ripped on for doing the frozen mac n cheese, but seriously I am learning how to can. I just don't like mac and cheese that much to take an interest. If you want to learn how to can-Just find those hearty souls who do it, and they are more than happy to help you learn - by doing.

In michigan there is a special berry that only grows in the upper penninsula, the thimble berry. It is some type of cross breed that is the size of a thimble. It is sweeter and richer than any raspberry and all ready tastes like jam.

Laura

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Ooooh! I want to try the thimbleberry!!!

Thanks, Kimberly, for the tip. I'll look for Certo.

I have tons of jars. I don't like to use plastic for tupperware so I buy canning jars - they work just fine and are cheaper than buying specialty glass or ceramic storage containers.

Stephanie

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I love hearing about you ladies--canning and interests. I definitely love the "old arts," so to speak. But on the other hand, I am of course, very post-modern, so my friends think I'm funny with all my crafts. I get a great deal of pleasure out of thinking, planning, working on a project and enjoying the fruits of my labor. And the work is also peaceful to me in a way, I can "check out" and go inside myself, so-to-speak. There is just so much to learn in this life!! As I've said, sometimes I know I have to just force myself to chill and take a break. I like to cook dinner every night too Kimberly! I am definitely NOT my mother's daughter--she hates all crafts! and cooks only tv dinners! Her main priority is work.

This year I will be canning tomatos, and possibly a batch of salsa or tomato chutney. Anyone have a recipe they like? I would like to do a medium spicy batch. I didn't plant very much cucumber, but my dad always canned bread and butter pickles growing up. I did plant a ton of pepper plants--bell, orange, red, yellow and chocolate (I'd never seen that one before!). Think I'll just be eating those fresh. The peaches and apples I can I get at a local orchard and summer market. I also planted a ton of onions--love those! I'm a big "cook-in-a-large-batch-and-freeze-leftovers-person" too. My husband and I bought a freezer not long after my diagnosis, and I love it!

Shirley--Sounds like where you live is beautiful, and "fruitful" !! Except for that bear ! Have you had a hard time growing your straw/raps berries? I've heard they are tough.

Laura-That berry does sound good. I guess it would be hard to get here in Indiana! I like some of the more unusual foods... I would love to can ligonberries sometime--they are a tart berry, great with meats.

My self-teaching of embroidery is going slow, but I've decided it will be a long work in progress, take it out every 2 weeks or something, pull it out while my husband is watching basketball :)

Anything creative and hands-on I love...even refinishing furniture!

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Guest gfinnebraska

Jen ~ sounds like we would get along great!! :) My Mom is very much like me (vice-versa??) She is ver talented with oil painting, but I couldn't draw if my life depended on it! Didn't get that talent passed down... :(

It is fun hearing what we all like to do when we are not worried about what we are putting in our mouths!! During the day I am an office manager for a computer company, so I get to be a "techie" by day and a June Cleaver by night!! ;)

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Nice Kimberly! We would get along :)

I have been amazed at how my goals have changed over the years... I grew up with a 'feminist' chip on my shoulder (for good reasons at the time...) and thought I would grow up to be a workaholic corporate suit. I do work full time, and am thinking I will probably go the route of HR (still not sure), but I never imagined that I would actually love doing things in and around my home even more. Being creative and caring well for those I love, friends and family, is what I like most. (However--in the vein of caring for others, no kids on the horizon for me for a long time---that thought freaks me out!)

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Stephanie--

You reminded me I like to give a lot of homemade gifts in ball jars for holidays. Used to make some awesome homemade granola for friends. Haen't tried to ammend that recipe yet...

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Guest gfinnebraska

I give Ball jars as gifts as well ~ with cookie fixin's in them. :) Make cute gifts with recipe tag.

Not everyone in the world has to have kids. Some people just can't imagine the thought!! :blink: I, personally, wanted to have my family young (had one son when I was 22, another when I was 23). THEN, got the idea to adopt! So, I "had" my daughter when I was a little older -> 34. There are pros and cons to both, and pro and cons to not having any at all! We all have to do what we need to do for "us."

I never thought I would work at all, but I do enjoy what I am doing. I have a wonderful boss that gives me freedom to leave when family matters arise, and also freedom to be on here when I am not busy! ;)

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Kimberly-

I think part of my lack of desire for kids right now is partially health-related, feeling like I can barely keep myself a float, let alone carry and then care for a child. And part of it is probably a fear of having to give up some of my desires too... I will really have to learn to simplify and choose less. On the other hand, I think having children now, even before I'm thirty would be great, give them more of a chance to build a relationship with their grandparents. I think the day will come when I will have them...just can't imagine it yet ! My husband and I are enjoying our time, and still learning how to love one another well too! (although that's always a work in progress...)

Your job sounds like a blessing--great flexibility. And I can't complain about mine either. I do hope for a day where I can work part-time at least though.

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That also reminds me (am I being a dork here?), I got an embosser last Christmas from Martha Stewart (yes, yes, I know....), that is personalized, says something like "homemade by jennifer e hutson". I use it to emboss tags on homemade gifts. Its fun...

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Guest gfinnebraska

I have one too! A friend bought it for me for my birthday. Fun!!! :)

I never thought of the whole celiac disease and childbirth thing. For me, the childbirth brought on the celiac disease. Soooo, already had them when I started getting sick. I do remember just laying on the couch a lot when they were little and I had no clue what was wrong with me. I would like to have that time back and be healthy like I am now! Luckily they don't remember me then... only the fun Mom they have now!

** Tonight I am helping my oldest, 20, move out of our home. He has his own place now. Sniff... first one to leave the nest for good. **

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Just had to jump into this topic! I would gladly trade some of the worlds best California peaches and plums just see that bear in that Plum tree! I do hope the tree doesn't break! We grow 80 acres of peaches and plums, about 12 varieties adn 100 acres of Sun Maid raisins. Plum jam is the best! Although I make apricot and pomegranate cooked jam and strawberry and boysenberry freezer jam too. Pies are big around my home too! Our family and friends love getting jams for gifts, they are so nice. We try and make it family project Anyone wanna come drive a tractor? Or better yet, pack peaches?

Moving a child out your home is tough and fun! I have found a new and exciting relationship with ours as they moved out.

My mom was very crafty, I'm not too interested, but I did sew. Today we looked for a sewing machine for our 20 yr old who wants me to teach her. She is VERY crafty. Any hints on what brand I should look for or avoid? We looked at a White today.

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Ooooh! I want to try the thimbleberry!!!

Thimbleberries are related to raspberries and have a very intense flavor. They are common in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and parts of Canada. Bears like them a lot so keep your eyes open. Had a couple of close calls.

My backyard is full of black raspberries and are my favorite. They are not sweet and somewhat sour but oh so good. I never can or freeze them because my son and I eat them by the bucket full fresh.

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Guest Viola

Ahhh, back from town again ... there is now some grub in the house for another little while :P

You were speaking of giving ball jars for gifts, that was Tammy's (Leidenschaft)favourite thing to do, she hasn't had time to do it lately though and I miss her goodies :rolleyes:

Another good idea that we do for the sewers, especially quilters, is to wrap their gifts in lovely fabric. Instead of tape we use the tiny gold safety pins. It really builds up your fabric stock :D

We have the thimbleberries here as well, and all along the coast of BC. They really are nice. I also miss the wild Salmon berries that only seem to grow on the North Coast. We used to make pigs of ourselves when we were children. :lol:

Raspberries are really very easy to grow. They need to be pruned once a year, and do better if they are mulched around the canes, but other than that they look after themselves. Strawberries on the other hand are a lot more work and tend to have more insect pests. But they really are worth it, even if you have a small patch. But if you really want to try them ... you can get strawberry plants and put them in a hanging basket ... only two to three plants per basket though. They will produce lovely berries. If you want pretty flowers as well, ask for the 'pink' flowering strawberry plants :D I got my friend a basket of strawberries for her birthday, they have been enjoying lovely berries and pink flowers.

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Guest Viola

Oh, I forgot, I do have pictures of that bear somewhere in this computer. One up a plum tree, one big brown one wondering around our front yard and another picture of seven deer under our bird feeder, which is why I no longer have lots of flower beds, I gave up feeding the deer. :angry::lol:

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This is a fun topic--glad I started it !

Kimberly-- ha ha! You're crackin' me up! i love that you have an embosser too! :P Good luck with your daughter's move. as gzimmiz mentioned... I myself have only gotten closer to my parents since the years I've moved out. We are very close. Funny thing--my dad is more of the crafty one than my mom. He said he'd take a knitting class with me sometime :)

Hmmm, sewing machine. Mine is a Kenmore. But I haven't used it enough to rate it against others perhaps. So far I've only sewn a blanket for my cat ! But it did that nicely...

Sounds like raspberries might be the berry to start with. Those strawberry baskets are a good idea too. We do have some wild ones growing in our yard. But I am frantically fighting them across the yard. And speaking of such things--was trying to weed the veg. garden tonight. Jeez! What are those things, and where do they come from ?? And these new red bugs have popped out of no where, don't remember them last year. I'll be keeping an eye on them :angry:

Shirley--The fabric wrap is a good idea, one I still haven't tried. I want to see pics of those bears sometime :)

Boy, I wish I could steal a jar from each of you ladies !

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Kimberly--

Oh, and flower gardening. Just starting all that this year and year past. When we moved into our house (renting at present), it was a MESS! Ever heard of lemon balm?? The bane of my existence ! My mom and I (and hubby at times) spent hours pulling it up--it was everywhere. The woman before planted everywhere, but never maintained it. I'd say a 1/3 of the yard was flower beds. But, after two seasons of cleaning--it looks much better! Simple for now, just hastas, impatients, various groundcover, some periennals that were here previously. When we own a house, I hope to plant hydrangeas--blue ones, my favorite!

Tried some seeds last year, yes, that didn't work so well. It was my first one and I didn't prep them indoors. Had one batch of seeds mature--Empress of India. Was beautiful for a brief stint before they were devoured by damned aphids.

What do you have in your garden/yard? Favorites?

And oh, I work for a landscape architecture firm, so I am often seeing lots of plants---on paper at least!

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Guest Viola

Oh yes, those damned aphids :angry: Just been getting rid of those beggers off my mock orange bushes. I use liquid dish soap and water in a hand sprayer. It works well, is safe for my dog and is cheap :D Now if I could come up with a good effective way of getting rid of earwigs I would be happy.

I'll have to figure out how to put a link up to my bear pictures. I haven't tried that yet. Maybe I'll have time if it rains tomorrow. I think it's calling for showers. :rolleyes:

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