canning schmanning

13 September 2010

What we’ve been up to…
peachesseptember 2010 003 1 and applesauce
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Let me just tell you…if I can do this, anyone can do this. I’m not a canner.
I first canned applesauce in Idaho at my friend Lynette’s with a bunch of other people and never dreamed of doing it alone. But, we decided to invest in a food strainer this year since a bunch of our neighbors have apple trees. Apples were abundant and we didn’t have to pay anything for the fruit.
It’s so cool: you put steamed apples in the top (we just cut them with an apple cutter, steamed them on the stove, and then tossed them in the top), you crank the handle,

september 2010 008 1 and it strains applesauce out, 

august 2010 040 1  and all of the “guts” come out the other end. Fresh homemade applesauce straight from nature. You can sweeten it, or add cinnamon, but if I had to do over again I would leave it plain because some of my kids aren’t as crazy about the cloves I threw in when I was steaming the apples and sometimes cinnamon doesn’t taste good in recipes you may want to use it in. Those can always be added later, as my sister-in-law Kristine reminded me after I already finished. :) Oh well, next year.

august 2010 043 1

This is the strainer we got~everyone I talked to said go with the Victorio, but I’m sure others work just as well.
Here is a great blog with detailed instructions on how to can both peaches and applesauce, even if you’ve never done it before.
I never thought it was for me, but I actually liked it. Okay, except for the stickiness everywhere afterward.
And I was exhausted.
But I love knowing that we took food straight from nature and made it into something we can enjoy all winter. My grandma would be so proud and my kids love that they helped make it.
If you don’t have fruit trees, keep your eyes peeled (ha ha) around your area. If you see trees full of fruit just falling to the ground, you can always ask if they are going to use them all. Anyone we asked said to take all we wanted. Apples don’t need to be pretty for applesauce~you can always ask for seconds at fruit stands or farmers markets. The peaches were 60 cents a pound at good old Walmart~I couldn’t pass them up.
I found a big canning water bath 4 years ago at a yard sale for $1 and we just used it this year….
Soooo…are you canning this fall? What’s going in your bottles?


  1. Yes! I am canning for the first time ever - we're getting ready to make our 3rd batch of salsa with everything coming from our garden. Made a batch of freezer jam and basil pesto as well. I'm not sure what else I'm adding to the list this year but it's been work, but really satisfying. I love that picture of your boys sitting on the counter helping - my boys love to "help" as well and it makes for some fun times in the kitchen as a family!

  2. Isn't that just like a snooty sister-in-law to come in after the fact--after you have done all of that work and tell you what you did wrong--the nerve!;) I'm feeling bad about that--sorry! Your fruit looks so beautiful all jarred up and I hope you are keeping it on display on your counter for at least another week! What a home maker you are!! I am so proud! Michael has committed me to doing our peaches this week! Loves!

  3. Hey girl!!! I am soo proud of you!!! Your goodies look FAB!!! You are awesome!!!

    And...I still have applesause! I guess canning one million quarts in one year is MORE than enough! Hehehehe!!!

    Okay...maybe it wasn't really that many, but it felt like it!!!

    Keep it up crazy canning lady!!! :)


  4. Good job!! Your little guy looks amazed!

    I have watched friends can all sorts of things:) I "made" pear butter this year. I posted about how incredibly simple it was. I was daring enough to actually can it--I just froze in small quanities:) Baby steps for me.

  5. Hurray for you guys! Your applesauce looks great. :) I tried canning tomatoes last summer and almost killed myself when my apron caught on fire. It was fantastic, really.

  6. Oh that is so great! The only thing in my jars are flowers but I've always wanted to try to make something like jam. And my mom has that colander!! The aluminum one with the stars. Its a classic.

  7. That applesauce looks delish! I've always wanted to can and have yet to do it. Maybe next year.

  8. YUMMY! I grew up with my mom canning everything, and I just can't make myself buy applesauce. I try to make it every fall. I also make freezer jam in the summer (another thing I won't buy). Last fall my husband canned whole tomatos with onions and some with peppers - perfect to start a homemade marinara sauce that tastes wonderfully fresh! One day I will can peaches and pears like Mom still does.

  9. I have been on a canning kick this year. Yes it is a lot of work but it is so rewarding lining up all of those jars of yumminess in the shelf, very satifying.
    So far my daughters and I have canned 58 quarts of applesauce, 35 quarts of peaches, 42 quarts of pears, 26 pints of tomatoes, 56 pints of green beans and 113 half pints of tuna. It looks SO very nice in the food storage room.

  10. Connie~that is amazing! I was going to say, I bet you want to sit in your pantry all day and just look at it :)

  11. This was my first year canning too (just posted about this yesterday). I did hot peppers so far and next I'm doing tomatoes. I froze shredded zucchini and everything else we just ate fresh. I might have to check out the farmer's market for peaches and apples though and if I can get a good deal, I might try canning those too.

    It's fun and very satisfying knowing you provided something like this for you family, isn't it?

  12. Good for you! I wish I had the motivation.

    Love your blog!


  13. That applesauce looks soooo yummy! And your helpers are adorable!

  14. You are the All-American Woman! Just look at those glorious jars of goodness.

    I've never canned anything, I'm ashamed to say. One of these days I need to learn how to do it!

  15. Yum! Apple guts, my favorite!
    LOVE the boys' faces.

  16. This reminds me of living in N. Michigan with my mom. She just called to tell me she canned..... peaches, plums, strawberry preserves, cranberry chutney,grean beans, peach salsa, and some others I forgot! You will be enjoying this treat all fall.

  17. I love looking at hard work in a jar. I can as much as I can, beans, corn, peaches, pears, BBQ sauce, ketchup, salsa, taco sauce, chili sauce, spaghetti sauce, jams af all kinds, pear and peach butter, and when the apples come in I must do at least 5 bushels this year to keep us in stock for the season. I'm thinking apple butter and apple jelly too. I also did fruit leathers this year. I love not having to run out the the grocery store and the fact that much of it comes from my very own back yard! I always get excited when I see other people canning, I just love doing it even if I am exausted the entire month of August!

  18. Ooh yummy, I have fond memories of both canned peaches and applesauce from my youth... of course I haven't been brave enough to attempt it with MY kiddos though. Maybe you've inspired me. Maybe. ;)

  19. I have been such a slacker this year. We've canned nothing which is highly unusual for me. I'm blaming it on a surprise pregnancy, ok?

    I am planning on doing applesauce. I love making homemade applesauce. Last year I froze it and I didn't peel the apples. I regret that because the kids don't care for pink applesauce! lol. This year, I'll be canning. New baby in March so I need to have some ready for when we try solid foods.

    I did freeze some green beans and made freezer jam from strawberries and blackberries. Also froze some of both for cobblers, muffins and shortcakes this winter!

  20. What a wonderful experience for your little boys. There is just something so comforting about home canning.

  21. We canned during the summer. 50 pints of green beans from our garden and two jars of tomatoes.

  22. My first year canning too and I did peaches, pears, and right now I'm doing applesauce. I love to look at the jars on my pantry shelves and my kids are more excited to eat it knowing I canned it!

  23. I have been canning since my oldest was just a wee one, and canned with my mom when I was a kid, too. So I guess it's in my blood. :D

    This year I have canned 39 quarts of tomato juice, 27 quarts of diced tomatoes, 19 quarts of marinara sauce, 15 half pints of plum jelly, 12 pints of plum sauce, 9 quarts of ketchup, 5 quarts of BBQ sauce, and so much more that I can't even think of right now. And my freezer is getting very full!! YAY for the hard work - my family will be rewarded during those cold winter months with the canned foods that I put up with love.


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