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Showing posts with the label Canning

Failed Pear Jelly

I tried to make Pear Jelly on Sunday while I was making Pear Sauce. I knew you could make apple jelly with the cores and peels of apples and I was pretty certain I could do this with pears. 

I had found a recipe on the internet for Pear Jelly that stated that pectin would not be necessary for this jelly because of the natural pectin in the pear. I had never heard of pears having pectin. I should have listened to myself at this point and did more research. I did not. The original recipe for Pear Jelly was this:

Pear Jelly
4 cups of pear juice
3 cups of sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

This sounds suspiciously like my apple jelly recipe so I should have been more suspicious. I was not. My mistake.

I cooked my pear peelings and cores, minus the stems and blossom ends, in two cups of water to have more than 4 cups of juice.


To the juice I added the sugar and lemon juice. I heated the juice mixture up to boiling and continued cooking.   It appeared to be thickening so I took the pot off of the he…

Weekly Update Of Our House and Pear Sauce

We have been a busy crew! I didn't get as much done on the farm as I would have like, but I am content with what got done. I just need to take more pictures!

Thursday night, I was at an interview. I was asked to sit on the parents committee for interviewing the superintendent candidate for our schools. I found it to be very intereresting and somewhat hard!

Friday night, Shali's and her classmates had a steak sandwich supper to raise money for their class. Excellent meal! Friday night was also parents night for football and since Shali is a stat girl for football, we were in the line-up to be recognized.

Saturday morning we watched this:

Jordan line judging during the volleyball game 
 Shali in motion (in white jersey)
Shali waiting for the ball 
In between games, we had Rob's birthday! He turned 40 on Wednesday and was trucking on his birthday. He came down Friday and Saturday to watch volleyball. Saturday morning I made him apple crisp. He would rather have that than birthda…

Freezer Tomato Sauce

My good friend, Jessica, gave me some tomatoes, basil and peppers! What to do, what to  do...hmmm...Monday night I made a sauce that I could have eaten raw before the freezer! Yum!

I found this recipe my mom gave me for Freezer Tomato Sauce! This recipe was taken from the American Profile insert of the weekly newspaper and submitted by Teresa Blackburn. I have seen several similar recipes and wanted to give it a try.

Freezer Tomato Sauce

16 medium to large ripe, but firm, heirloom tomatoes
1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves
6-8 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
2 Tablespoons white balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
Coarsely ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. *I also used a muffin tin because I used Roma tomatoes in this dish.

2. Cut an X in the bottom of each tomato and place on parchment with X side up.
3. Roast tomatoes 20-30 minutes, until skin begins to pull away from meat of tomato using a sharp knife. Work over a large …

Canning Update

***Just a note of warning: Blog posts will be a bit irregular because our home computer crashed last night. It will be going to the repair shop and get fixed or rebuilt. Either way, hopefully soon!

Anyhoo...back to the regular post for today! The canning update! I will laugh because I don't have a lot to update you on. The very intense heat of the last few weeks has all but killed my garden. Half a row of beautifully producing green beans? Gone. The peas? Gone (but will be replanted). Onions, zucchini, summer squash, garlic? Suffering greatly, but still alive. Tomatoes? Gone. Green peppers? The jury is still out on these. Potatoes? Can you actually kill these? They are still alive and kicking!

I am sure some of you are even asking now: what canning? Thank goodness for Farmers Markets!!! The one in Algona rocks! I bought 8 lbs of beautiful pickling cucumbers for dill pickles. (They come in handy for pickle wraps in which we have a great affinity for!) I also got three onions becaus…

Homemade Applesauce and Banana Bread Weekend

In my quest for frugality this weekend, I was trying to use up food at home. I have been trying to organize my food storage and get it a little more presentable so I can take pictures to post for you all!

We had pepperoni and canned olives to use up so we made Pepperoni Pizza Twist! Absolutely a family favorite!

We ate the LAST box of scalloped potatoes. I think I might miss not buying those anymore, but the some of ingredients/preservatives are definitely not good for us. I wish I could master making "real" scalloped potatoes. Somehow, that has alluded me so far.

I threw out some food that was expired and known not to be good anymore. That makes me sad because of the sheer waste of the money spent to buy them. I need to be better about my eating what I have. I like the idea of marking everything with the expiration date using permanent marker. That way I can see the date easily and know by when I need to make the food.

I had two bananas that needed to be used up. They were …

Rhubarb Pie & Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam

Rhubarb Pie - Yum!!!

This particular recipe is from Recipes & Remembrances: Sutherland Community Cookbook and was contributed by Shirley and Pearl Virgil. This is my go-to recipe for Rhubarb Pie as it has never failed me yet! I will confess that I did use a Pillsbury pie crust because I had it in the fridge and did not want it to go to waste.

Rhubarb Pie

3 T. flour (I used whole wheat flour)
1 c. sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 c. rhubarb, chopped (I used 3-4 cups, I like rhubarb)
1 plain pie pastry

(I also added a teaspoon of cinnamon for something different. It was a good different!)

Mix flour and sugar. Add eggs and beat. Add chopped rhubarb; mix.


Pour into pastry-lined pan.


Cover with top crust or lattice.


Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees for 35 minutes longer. Cool.



You can cover the edge of the pie with foil if you think your edges are going to burn.

Sadly I think my rhubarb might be done. I hope to get one more picking out of it, but it wasn't looking too…

Rhubarb Jam

I got my first batch of Rhubarb Jam made this year! Woo hoo! Looks good too! I wish I would have taken more pictures, but here is the recipe and pictures:

Rhubarb Jam

5 cups rhubarb, chopped finely
4 cups sugar
2 boxes of Jell-o, any flavor (I recommend anything red colored)

Mix chopped rhubarb and sugar together in a bowl. I use the pot I am going to cook the jam in so I don't dirty more dishes. Let the rhubarb and sugar sit for an hour.

Add the two boxes of Jell-o and mix well. Bring to a boil on the stove and let boil for a half-hour. Watch carefully and stir often!


Fill sterilized jars with hot jam mixture. Clean top of jars, add lids, and screw on rings. At this point you can do one of two things: (1) turn the jars over on their tops and let the heat seal the jars or (2) process in water canner for 10 minutes. This recipe will make 2 pints or 4 - 1/2 pints.


Sorry about the fuzzy photo, but you get the idea. Also in the back on the photo is my experiment into making my own vanilla ex…

Canning Goals...

Aren't goals great? I usually shy away from them. I hate to fail myself by setting goals that I might not attain. However, with this goal, I don't have a choice. We are going to can/dehydrate/freeze whatever we can from the garden this year. I don't want to be on food assistance anymore. I hate being on anything from the government. At the time I applied, I was desperate and needed to feed my kids. Now that I am a little more wiser about my food choices and the burden I am on others by being on food assistance, this needs to end.

My first goal is 100 jars of canned goods. Since my garden is just getting going, the progress is slow for this goal. I do have seven quarts of chicken stock done which is great considering how much we love homemade chicken noodle soup and chicken and noodles. Also, this is great since I conquered my fear of the pressure canner...

I also have two pints of Strawberry-Banana Jam in the freezer. I took this recipe from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Pres…