Winter’s Goodness

Just when I think I can handle everything and I can do all I set out to do, I am humbled. And gratefully so. My mother came a few weeks ago to help me can. I honestly didn’t think we’d actually do anything more that visit and clean up the garden. But when she walked in the door, along came a gust of busy-ness and motivation. The woman came prepared! I mean ready.to.go. She wasn’t even here 10 minutes and my kitchen was piled high with canning supplies, apples, frozen berries, treats for the kids, and much more. I’m pretty sure she knew how things would go. I had every intention of canning all the apples myself…AND berries into jam/jelly. But the smart lady she is, she wasn’t really counting on a whole lot of my help. She came to work. She came to help. She came to SAVE ME. And save me she did. The night she arrived we cooked down and juiced gallon bags full of concord grapes for jelly. The next morning the applesauce canning began. She went about her saucing while I tried to help in the middle of my daily duties of mothering, wifing, cleaning, chauffeuring, etc. And quite honestly my attempts were good, but the success was fleeting. Just as I’d get my hands washed and a few apples peeled I’d hear a “Mom, Wyatt stinks” or “Mom, dad is on the phone” or screaming and fighting or meals needing to be prepared, etc. It was a whirlwind. By the end that day we she successfully canned 30+ quarts of applesauce, 9 jars of raspberry jelly, 5 quarts of grape juice (for jelly), and 7 jars of grape jelly. The next day I don’t think she canned anything, but we did play outside for a while and dug up three 5 gallon buckets full of yukon gold potatoes, picked pumpkins and squash, and packed her things and she left before 2pm. Did I mention that she made breakfast (french toast, bacon, and eggs) for everyone. Seriously, the woman is SUPER WOMAN. And I am so so so grateful for her. Here are a few pictures of some of our canning from this season. I say “some” because most of what isn’t pictured is stored in boxes on shelves in the basement.

50 quarts of peaches
30+ quarts of applesauce
18 jars of jelly
70 quarts of spaghetti sauce
50 quarts of stewed tomatoes
60 pints of salsa (needing to be made)

As my mother would say, “Winter is going to taste SO good!”

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