Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hallelujah! Canning's done!

ALL canning equipment is ready to be put away til next year-Glory!.
It took three days to blanche, peel, cook, season, jar and process the two large buckets of peaches that came off our little peach tree. Darling husband said as he went off to play a round of golf as I stood at the kitchen sink over the peaches-"That's a lot of work isn't it?". There's your sign. He said it was also a lot of work to hit the ball with that club wrapped around his neck.
At the end of those three days, there were 14 pints of canned peaches, 12 half pints and 6 quarts of peach freezer jam. I must have made all of 25 cents per hour, I must be crazy! All that work. But then I thought: I made more that I do watching tv.  
Speaking of tv, a report was  given about all the rodent feces and other nasty stuff that was found in the egg plants that was the reason for the giant egg recall that is going on right now. That makes me feel a whole lot better. I know what went into all my peaches and other food. There is no filth, the jars were scalded and utensils clean. There are no additives other than sugar, salt, herbs, etc. and I am pleased enough to show a photo of the jam somewhere on this page. I think the canned tomatoes are beautiful, too. I still have to make room for them on the storage shelves in the utility room.
Getting the garden produce in this year didn't seem to be as hard as in time past.
My great friend, Mary, came over to help canning all the green beans. We chatted all day as we broke beans to be canned and time seemed to fly as we got done with  in a couple of days. We ended with 56 quarts of beans, not as much as from past gardens but there are a few dozen left from last year so we'll have plenty.
Mary again helped with the first corn picking. When the second phase was ready, I thought we would be able to handle it but it was so hot that it took your breath away. I called Mary. She and her sister, Marilyn, who was visiting came over and helped get in many dozen. It is great to have such good friends who come in to help when needed. I would still be working in that corn if they had not been here. We ended up with over 100  bags of corn in the freezer and Marilyn took several dozen ears of corn home with her. We were so tired we just couldn't finish everything that night. Mary and I were about ready to drop but we have lots of lovely, lovely vegetables put aside for the winter.  
 You would think that with all the stocking up, canning and filling freezers going on here that I have an inherent fear of starving to death. Let me assure you that I have never been truly, truly hungry. Oh, I have made the statement that "I am starved to death" but that was just a figure of speech. There may not have been on hand exactly what I thought I wanted to eat but even then I have always been blessed with a bounty of food, in fact, God has amply supplied me with all my needs.
To me, well stocked shelves, refrigerators and freezers are cheaper than empty ones. I rarely have to make emergency trips to the store for anything and there is usually something handy to prepare a meal even if unexpected guests come in. Besides, if I don't have it on hand, all I have to do is go over to Mary's. If neither of us has it, I probably don't need it.
The first day of peaches, I made the following Peach Cream Cheese Dessert. It calls for canned peaches but I used some of the peaches fresh off our tree. This is tongue swallowing good. I save recipes from friends, newspapers, magazines and now from online. This is one that was clipped from something years ago and is one of my favorites.
3/4 cup flour
1 [4 serving] pkg. vanilla pudding mix [not instant]
1 tsp. baking powder
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup milk
3 tbsp. melted margarine
1 [16 oz.] can drained peaches, chopped into bite-size pieces-[save the juice]
1 [8 oz.] pkg. cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
1tbsp white sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Mix flour, pudding and baking powder together.
Combine and add to dry ingredients: egg, milk and margarine.
Pour into an 8"x8"x2" greased pan.
Add peaches.
Beat together cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and peach juice.
Pour over the top.
Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar and cinnamon.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. 

I am so very thankful to God for the bounty we have, for our wonderful home and all the blessings including our family which now has extended to great grandchildren. Here is a poem that I wrote several years ago. It is dated 1998. I try to remember to date whatever I write, including everything in my journals which I started keeping many years ago so I would know the timeline. 

I've got to  build more closets and it has to be done soon
'Cause the next time I go shopping, I won't have any room
to put that Christmas outfit that will look so good on me,
or all the other things I'll get on that shopping spree. 

I also need more cupboard space for all that extra food
to make those special dishes that my family thinks I should.
The new place settings added will make everything so fab
but now I'll need more silverware, the stuff I have is drab.

There's a white Jeep at church I wouldn't mind having,
My Jeep's ok, but still, it's such a dark old thing.
But then I thought of the next spot and really started thinkin'
What joy there's be if I could have that great big shiny Lincoln.

Finally, clothes put away, I sat down to drink some tea
and trying to catch up on things, turned on the news to see.
Nothing good was told about-just rapes and wars and drugs
adulteries and aids disease and roaming gangs of thugs.

Then I saw a mother staring with vacant, horrified eyes
at her child she held, having to hear his pitiful hungry cries,
she tried, in vain, to cover him for a little dignity,
and I thought but for you, God, that poor soul could be me.

I should be thankful, LORD, for never seeing my child in starvation
but most of all, for Your Son, who came for my salvation.
Please, forgive me, Father, for my wantonness and greed
and help me to remember You are all I really need.