Connie and I started canning everything we could get our hands on the last week or two. I took a few of the chicken carcasses I had in the freezer from when I parted out the chickens we processed, and threw them in my giant stock pot. We let them simmer on the stove top for over 20 hours. Really we should have waited till it was cold enough to simmer them on the wood stove and not use the electricity, but what the heck. I think canned 7 quarts. Four with meat bits we picked off the bones, and three just stock. It smelled so good in my house for two days straight.
Next was the green beans. Green beans coming out of my ears from the garden. I've never eaten so many green beans in my life. They taste so much more amazing than the crap you get out of a tin can from the grocery store. 7 quarts, 9 pints, and however much I put up in the freezer. I still want to do dilly beans, and battered fried green beans.
The corn in was begging to be picked, canned, and eaten right off the cob, so last Sunday was a picking, shucking, canning, giant mess on my floor, making day. I think I pulled like 40+ odd ears of corn out of the garden. There is still a bunch out there that wasn't quite ready yet. We de-husked and cut corn all day. Some of the bigger, prettier ears went either whole, or cut in half into the vacuum sealer and the freezer. Some of the cut kernels did too.
Connie showed me this wonderful trick to cutting off the kernels. Place a small bowl upside down in a very large bowl. The smaller bowl is your base for setting the corn on. I was shooting corn half way across the living room trying to slice down the cob on a cutting board. The dogs loved it. I don't think Scott was as amused. We canned two runs of 7 quarts, and two runs of 7 pints. It wasn't until almost all the way through that Connie found how to make creamed corn by scraping the cobs with a spoon to get all the juiced and bits of kernel still left on the cob. We got two lots of 4 cups in the freezer from that.
Yesterday we went to a friend's house that had two apple trees and a pear tree to go fruit picking. We took two rubber made type totes with us and my handy dandy hillbilly fruit picker. I didn't take a pic of mine, but it looks pretty much like this.
It worked great. Got all the apples I couldn't reach since pretty much everything a normal height person can reach is about two feet out of my reach. We got a red variety and a green. I ate one of the greens while we were picking. YummiE. Tart and sweet at the same time. I'm looking forward to lots of apple sauce, and pies. I want to try canning the pears.
On the way home we drove up and down the streets of the neighborhoods. First off, I just like checking out other people's stuff. Secondly, I was having a serious case of fruit tree envy. All these people with trees full of fruit in their yard, and most of it was just falling to the ground to rot. Here I am with no fruit trees on my property and they are just feeding the flies and the yellow jackets. What a waste. I drove past a house with three peach trees so loaded with fruit the branches had fallen over to the ground. Peaches all over the ground. So I stopped and screwed up my courage to go bang on the door and ask if they minded us picking their peaches.
No one was home. Go figure. I'd driven by that house prolly twenty times just itching to stop, and never did. Screw it. I grabbed a plastic bag out of the truck and Connie and I started snatching peaches as fast as we could. Really, what are they gonna say? Give them back? There were hundreds of peaches rotting on the ground.
We did the same thing at another house with trees full of plums and plums all over the ground. I did knock, but no one was home. This time they pulled up while we were picking plums in their front yard. I about had a heart attack. Out of this truck is two high school kids, so I walked up and started babbling, "HI! Do you mind if we pick you plums? There were just so many rotting on the ground we thought we'd grab some and cart them off before they made more of a mess in your grass." See, I was doing a public service. Those poor boys looked dumbfounded before the older one just kinda shrugged and said, "Sure, I don't care. We weren't going to do anything with them." Connie and I busted out laughing after they went in the house. What a bunch of crazy ladies we are. Here's they haul though. Both totes are full of apples on the bottom, and plums and peaches on top.
Yesterday was plum day. I found a recipe for plum jam at pickyourown.org. We made 12 pints. Tonight I peeled and canned peaches from a recipe I found at cityboyhens. 5 pints of canned peaches. We still have a lot more plums and peaches to process. I'm outta lids though. Plenty of jars left, I just have to wait till Monday to be able to get more lids.