When in the world did it get to be mid December?! I can’t believe. At this time of year, most of us have entered our “net loss” phase from the pantry – i.e. we are now eating more than we are putting up. Because of this, I think it’s an appropriate time to reflect on the things we have preserved this year, and on things we were wishing we had taken better advantage of while they were in season, so we can prepare for next year. Here’s a look at my canning list – just over 600 jars, not including the things I did in MFP class. This may partially explain why I haven’t yet defended my masters… Anyways, before judging me on this crazy list, keep in mind that I often can with a friend, so for many of these large batches I only kept half. I also canned jams for two different weddings, so only about 10% of this jam is actually in my house currently.
Jams and Jelly – 214 jars (ya…I know)
22 rhubarb orange jam
8 strawberry rhubarb jam
8 strawberry lemon marmalade
46 strawberry jam
5 kiwi daiquiri jam
6 cherry marmalade
36 raspberry jam
26 blueberry lime jam
15 orange marmalade
12 zesty watermelon jelly
12 watermelon jelly
6 habanero jelly
6 inferno wine jelly
6 blueberry butter
Summary – I definitely went crazy, but actually compared to last year it’s not that bad. I did 95 last year and sure I gifted some of them, but this year a massive percent were wedding favours.
Other fruit things – 46 jars
4 jars cherry pie filling
8 pints strawberry lemonade concentrate
4 pints rhubarb juice concentrate
5 pints cranberry juice
12 half pint Asian plum sauce
9 pints Victorian barbecue sauce
4 half pints cranberry mustard
I am pretty happy with these items, and I certainly think I will eat it all. I do moderately regret not doing a couple other pie fillings as having those is super super nice for when a potluck catches you by surprise. Otherwise yay fruits!
Pickling – 77 jars
3 quarts refrigerator pickles
20+? jars dill pickles
19 jars pickled carrots
8 pints zesty zucchini relish
9 pints pickled asparagus
14 pints dilly beans
4 quarts sauerkraut
Other than forgetting to pickle beets, my pickling was pretty good this year. And with discovering low temperature pasteurization my pickles are better than ever. Somehow I totally lost track of my cucumber pickle numbers though. My list said 12 – but I am sure I made at least 3 times that considering my pickling experiment alone was 9…but anyways.
Tomatoes – 189 jars
8 quarts crushed tomatoes
35 pints tomato sauce
115 pints salsa
14 pints two in one barbecue sauce
9 pints ketchup
8 jars tomato “jam”
Yes…115 jars of salsa. I know, I know… I think about 65 went to me. This number makes me very very happy. Last year I had about 40, and I had a couple left when tomato season hit, so we should be golden. I was super stingy with gifting these so this year my family may get a jar or two… maybe. 😉 The only thing I kind of would have liked more of is just plain crushed tomatoes. They have so many versatile uses!
Pressure canning – 82 jars
22 half pints corn
38 half pints tuna
16 jars spicy tomato vegetable soup
6 pints chicken stock
I am pretty happy with my pressure canning additions to my pantry, and actually a little surprised I didn’t do more. But this winter I plan to do some more stock, dried beans, and other things not necessarily season dependent. Winter is a good time to stock up on chicken, beef or ham stock. Ya, very bad pun intended.
Of course this is just canning, I also froze and dehydrated a lot of things. All the berries I froze are already eaten sadly, I need a bigger freezer, but not the freezer jam and dehydrated goods.
How was your 2014 season? Anything you missed out on that you definitely are planning on for next year?
To conclude, I’d like to introduce a new series of posts I’m starting this winter entitled “Eat it!”, which will feature recipe ideas for using all the delicious things we preserve. Like many other preservation bloggers, I have a little less to talk about during the off season, and I think that talking about ways to use the things we preserve is just as important as how to preserve it. There is no point in putting up 500 jars of goodies if you ain’t gonna eat it! I hope to get creative with these and help you use up some of those items lingering in your pantry, and give you some ideas for things you might want to preserve next season.
4 thoughts on “Year End Canning Reflection”
I am in awe after seeing everything you have canned this year. Makes me feel puny, I canned 20 cans of pears, 10 or 12 – i/2 pints fig vanilla cinnamon jam, 4 qts bread and butter pickles, i lost count of how many dill pickles maybe 15, i also made several jars of salsa. taco sauce,raspberry syrup, 4 qts candied orange peel ( for hot cross buns and chocolate covered orange peel candy) 12 pints spicy apple butter. i still have 2 gallons of wild blackberries in the freezer i need to make jam with. Last year i finally devised the best fruitcake recipe ever, it turned out so good.everyone loved it. Even people who said they never did like fruitcake before. if you want the recipe email me. i wish I had a bigger freezer, I froze a lot of vegetables from my garden would have done more but ran out of room I love your blog
That all sounds awesome Sandy. I definitely go crazy, so no need to feel puny. Thanks so much for the feedback.
i too tend to preserve in season. will try most things new. am a gifter of things i put up such as jams, jellies, prserves, etc. plus my pickles are well recieved along with bbq, mustard, salsa. i am super excited for the winter blogs to begin and ideas for using what gets on the shelves in the pantry.
Those sound like excellent gifts! I am looking forward to winter ideas too 🙂