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Harvest Time – A Time for Gratefulness

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It is harvest Time  and we were blessed this year with a bumper crop of apples, pears, plums and have

been very busy eating them, making pies, and of course canning them.

The canned fruit will be delicious throughout the winter and spring of next year, when fresh fruit is no longer available. (At least not locally.)

When you put up food, you won't depend (as much) on food deliveries from outside your area, which might get interrupted due to Earthquakes or severe weather.

Yes, it is labor intensive: picking the fruit, washing it, cutting it to the size you want and then putting it in the water bath canner, labeling it,” Super Apples 2016” and then storing it in a safe, cool and dry place.

But, you get the freshest and nutritious fruit when you grow it yourself, (hopefully not sprayed with any pesticides, the bees will thank you) and the short time between picking and processing will preserve that goodness very nicely.

Some people say: Mother nature has times when she provides bumper crops, because some harsher times will follow.

Maybe this is a hint.

The ants stock up for the winter and then “party” underground, while the grasshopper who didn't prepare wonders where the next meal will come from.

This is how our grandparents and forefathers/mothers made it through the war and other hard times. They grew their own food and put it up. They didn't have to stand in the soup line, because they were wise and knew how to provide for themselves.

Here is a way to Canning Apples or Pears or both together:

Wash and core the fruit. Cut the apples in ¼ inch thick pieces or quarters depending how big you want them to be. You have a lot of flexibility here. The most important thing is to get it done and quickly.

Add some water to the pot with the apples or pears you are slightly cooking before placing into the canning jars, the amount depends on how juicy your fruit is and bring it to a gentle boil. You could add sugar or honey for sweetness, some like to add cinnamon and a bit of cloves.

Start heating the water in the canner.

Pack the hot apples into hot pint or quart jars, you can heat them in the oven first, leaving enough head space for expansion usually around 1 inch. Ladle hot water or syrup over it if you didn't have enough liquid while cooking, leaving 1 inch head space.

Remove air bubbles by gently stirring with a butter knife. Wipe the rim of the jars clean. We dip a piece of paper towel into the hot water in the canner and then use it to wipe the rims.

You want those to be nice and clean so you get a good seal.

Put the lids and screw bands on and add the jars to the boiling water bath canner. Once the water reaches a rolling boil again after adding the jars, time it for 20 minutes.

Turn off the heat and remove the jars. We like to put them on a cooling rack with a towel on top, to absorb some liquid and let them rest until cool.

Test if all the lids have sealed by pushing on the middle of the lid. If the lid is tight and does not flex back or make a clicking sound it has sealed. (Refrigerate jars that haven't sealed and eat within a few days or clean the rim of the jar again and use a new lid and reprocess with the next batch.)

Once cool, wash the jars. Many times while sealing some of the liquid escapes and runs down the jar. Adjusting your head space will normally stop most of this.

You want to clean it off so it won't grow mold on the outside. Dry the jars and label what is in the jar and of course what year it is, so you know which ones to eat first.

The Beginners Guide To Preserving Food At Home has more great recipes.

Enjoy the abundance and make an apple cake, pie or apple crumble in a Stainless Steel Cake pan

Stainless Steel, Stainless Steel, Stainless Steel

We are grateful for the abundance nature has blessed us with this year and hope nature will bless you too.

Happy Canning!

Crop News Articles: 

Strong apple harvest of 133 million boxes forecast for Washington

Another record-setting hop harvest predicted for the Pacific Northwest

The Survival Center Farm and Prepper Team

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