Saturday, October 02, 2010

Preserving: Annual Tally

Tracy is a blogging friend over at Home [in] stead: Voluntary Simplicity One Step at a Time. She did a recent post called Tally Ho! in which she summarized her annual preserving accomplishments. Using Tracy's example, I'd like to share my preserving successes for the season.


This is my second year at canning. I was quite fearful at first, but everything came out fine and we enjoyed our products. This year, I bought more half-pints (250 ml) and pint (500 ml) jars to expanded a bit:

  • 5 half-pints tomatoes
  • 4 half-pints hot pickled beans with banana peppers
  • 6 half-pints blackberries (wild)
  • 2 pints and 4 half-pints blueberries (store bought)
  • 5 half-pints strawberry jam (store bought)
  • 4 half-pints blueberry/rhubarb jam

I've dried herbs several times. This year I added Swiss Chard. My first try was in the oven at the condo. It worked fine, but I wanted a way to do it up at the cabin. I experimented with air drying and it was a success, if a bit labour intensive. So far I have three pint jars full ready for soups and stews.


My freezer space is very limited, both at the condo and the cabin. On my last visit to town I froze combo packs of tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and celery (left over store bought) for winter soups.


I cured and stored red onions and potatoes. The onions hang in the downstairs guest room for several months. I wrap my potatoes in newspaper and use plastic trays to store them under the guest bed (my cabin's cool spot) where they last all winter. Carrots and beets stay in the ground to keep them fresh and crispy.

I know this isn't a large stash of food for winter, but it's fun to pull out a few things I preserved myself. Each year my cache gets larger, so who knows what the future will hold. Did you do any preserving this year? How did it go? - Margy


  1. Wow, Margy, if I ever want to know about these things, I'll ask you.
    The potatoes in newspaper sounds like a good thing, and under a bed sounds good, too. Not that I grow any, but Dick is always buying 10 lb. bags of potatoes, and there are only two of us. He says they're cheaper than 5 lb. bags and maybe he's right, but they end up going soft and icky, growing legs out of their eyes. Ugh.
    I really admire the way you have taken to all this country domesticity. I have been terrified of canning all my life (I'm very clumsy) so am not likely to start now, but good for you!!
    -- K

  2. Well done Margy, that's quite a collection. It is lovely to be able to eat your own food. I have just got an allotment and my aim next year is to get to a point where every meal has something that I have grown with it or in it. So a lot more preserving on the cards next year. Most of what I preserved this year came from foraging.

  3. Kay - Last year was a bit scary but this year I felt much better about it. You might like to try some refrigerator or freezer jam that don't need the water bath procedure. It's hard to go wrong with jam (unless it gets to hard or runny - but even then it is tasty).

    Fran - I foraged for the black berries but that was it. I wanted to go up to the high country for some blueberries but our end of summer schedule didn't permit it. What kinds of things do you forage?


  4. You are an inspiration! Someday I'll put in the time and effort involved in canning... but this year I was just giving our green beans away because we couldn't eat them fast enough!

  5. Hi lizziviggi - We had more beans than we could handle too, but they sure were tasty. - Margy

  6. Hi Margy, this year I have foraged plums, damsons, bullaces, rose hips, sloes, apples, pears, blackberries and haws. Quite a haul!

  7. Hey Fran -

    You always make me learn new words: damsons, bullaces, sloes and haws. According to my web search the first three are types of plums or prunes. I assume haws and hawthorn berries.

    What do you do with the rose hips. I saw some along the Nooksack River the other day.



We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy