Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hello Spring! You've got me dreaming...

Dreaming?  Yes Dreaming!  Dreaming of one day having a garden and canning all kinds of yummy food and saving BILLIONS of dollars for my family!  Ok so maybe not billions but I'll take saving a couple hundred bucks a year.  I've been sitting here in bed for about two hours reading all kinds of blogger post on gardening and preserving.  Some of you may be thinking I'm a little out no-electricity-wearing-skirts-singing-hymns kind of out there and trust me I think that too when I see some of these blogs but I love it.

Growing up my family always had a big garden.  I didn't always enjoy working in it and I know that will remain true now even as an adult, but I loved the benefits.  Last year with the help of the my super-canning-savvy Mom and my Papa's close friendship with a community of Mennonite people with fabulous produce, I canned some fabulous vegetables!
Last year I put up...
Blackberry jam
Green beans
Squash and Zucchini
I froze...
Squash cassaroles
Creamed corn
Okra for frying

I have left from my canning last summer quite a few jars of blackberry jam and salsa if anyone wants some just let me know.  We won't be able to finish it on our own.

This year I am hoping to put up much of the same, but I would love to add Tomato soup.  I have learned to really like it this year and I am always spending money on it.  I found a recipe today for canned tomato soup which would save me so much.  I could do it in serving size jars (since Brandon won't eat it) and take it to school or work for lunch...Perfect!  I may even try to grow some basil and then make pesto.  Sure I've never made it before but I think I can do it.  I would also like to find a recipe for canned pizza sauce.  I'll let you know how things go as the summer progresses (if it would ever get here)

As many of you know, I LOVE saving money!  Its kind of a passion ...that I wish I had more time for.  I haven't bought green beans all year so on that vegetable alone I have have probably saved at least $40 and that's if I was buying the cheap brand of green beans.  ...Dreaming again...  One day I think I can really make a huge dent in our grocery budget with preserving vegetables.

Some of you may be thinking...I've seen her tiny house and itty-bitty kitchen how does she do it...I have a mom with a great big kitchen where I did all the work last year and I store the cans as best I can on a shelf in my washroom and hidden at the top of my way-too-tall-for-me-to-reach cabinets.  I do have a water bath canner (like the one pictured below) but not a pressure canner just yet (as if I would have a place to store it) but my mom and my sister, Candace, both have the big guns pressure canners so I'm in luck.

Sorry there aren't as many pictures on this post.  But I hope I inspired you some.  I know my friend, Sydney, is planting a garden this year.  I'm so excited for her.  Syd, let me know if you need to borrow my water bath canner.

I also freeze a lot of things...fabulous way to have cook when you are in grad school like me.  I'll do a post on them another time.  For now adios, I'm off to hopefully work out side with my handsome hubby when he gets home.


  1. I love Gardens, too! I have fun memories and not so fun ones in the garden as children! But you can not beat snapping green beans and watching a good movie!

    We plan to plant a garden with the Akin's this year! Come to my house and we will do pizza sauce and soup! Remember Ripley is the home of the tomato!

    I would like a jar of blackberry jam...We got two from mom's but it is Eric's favorite and last for about a week at our house!

    Love you! Looking forward to canning this summer, when you come and visit me!

  2. I am so jealous and DEFINITELY need you to teach me how to "can"!! You know that I am all about saving money too, so anything to help me do that I am up to learning! And if you still need "takers" for your blackberry jam, I would LOVE some!
    Love you!


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