by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

August 18, 2009


Categories: Family, Food

I’ve wanted to learn to can vegetables for quite some time.  I’ve grown tomatoes for three years (not consecutive), and my husband and I are slowly working out our routines.  We have been to the u-pick farms more this year and have had a greater variety of fruits, although I don’t believe we’ve yielded the same quantity as last year.  Regardless, we are slowly learning, and slowly we are working our budget down and eating more home-prepared foods.

We picked several pounds of strawberries in June.  At that time, I promptly destemmed and sliced them all.  They have been frozen for the past two months.  This week, Levi and I made it back to the u-pick and collected blueberries and peaches.  Lev must have eaten a 1/2 pound while picking the blueberries, and he certainly ate a cup or two after we got home.  Perhaps we’ll make it back for some raspberries and/or blackberries, but I think we’ve waited too long.

Freezer and canned jam along with blueberries and peahces (right).

Freezer and canned jam along with blueberries and peaches (right).

Finally, we purchased a canning kit which includes a very large canning pot with jar rack for the hot water bath, the jar lifter, a lid lifter, and a large funnel.  The price was comparable, and we purchased it from Mirador, a Community Store.  They often sell better quality kitchen items, and the canning kit is no exception.

So far I have made:

  1. Strawberry freezer jam
  2. Strawberry jam, BWB
  3. Strawberry-blueberry jam, BWB

Next, I have planned:

  1. Canned peaches, halved or quartered
  2. Peach jam

I’m really hoping we make it to Hood River this year (I’ve wanted to go at least 2 years prior) to collect apples.  Then we can make applesauce, which is actually quite simple according to the recipe in Better Homes and Gardens.

The strawberry-blueberry jam.  I added strawberries because I didn't have enough blueberries.  I hope it sets okay; I had to guess at the sugar.

The strawberry-blueberry jam. I added strawberries because I didn't have enough blueberries. I hope it sets okay; I had to guess at the sugar.


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