Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Fruits Are My Labors

I hit the jackpot yesterday at the local market.....16oz packaged of blueberries for 98cents!!  Oh, was canning time;)

I managed to get five quart jars, three sandwich sized containers, and enough to use this weekend in the hubbies lunches for $13.  Not a bad haul.  I took a trip down the baking aisle to check the price of pre-made "blueberry pie filling" just to make sure I was making a good financial decision by investing the time and energy in to making my own.  $4.99 for 16 oz can.  Now that 16oz includes water, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, artificial colors, and some long named preservative.  Dude, really, all I want is blueberries and sugar in my blueberry pie filling.  Case settled.

These are the strawberries I got a few weeks ago....for 97cents a pound.  I froze them because I didn't know what I was going to do with them, and didn't want to turn them all into jam. 
On the right there are containers of my yummy "power soup".  The soup is made of broccoli, cabbage, onions, carrots, bokchoy, leeks, garlic, and bunches of spices that have anti-inflammatory properties.I make that about once every two weeks and have it as my first meal of the day.  I know soup sounds weird for breakfast, but I don't get up until around 2 in the afternoon nowadays.

This is my pantry.  I've been stocking up on whole grains and other dry goods lately.  The sales have been pretty good (oatmeal for 50 cents a pound, for example).  I make all of my food from scratch due to adverse reactions to food additives and preservatives.  It takes alot of time and planning, but we are adapting well.

I love canning.  I've been doing it whenever I can since my kids were little.  I would find produce on sale that looked really good, take it home, prep it up, and can it.  I used to enter my wares in the local state fairs.  I walked away with quite a few blue ribbons (that got lost in storage).  I think the canned goods are pretty when they are done right.  Kind of an art form.  Very fun, very rewarding. 

I'm hoping to get some more of these blueberries before they go back up in price.  I do have a bag of peaches sitting in the dark with a banana ripening just a bit more before I can them.  I love canned peaches, more so than fresh.  Not sure why, but I do.  Now if I can just get tomatoes at a decent price, I could put some of those up too so I can make salsa later.

One more photo before I go....I love Halloween, and have never taken myself too seriously.  Especially when it comes to self expression in the home.....

You can't see it in this photo, but this is hung over Oscar's food bowl and water, just inside the front door.  The broom wouldn't fit in the Halloween box, and I just love the cat quilt, so I decided to just hang them up.  My husband asked if I was serious, and I said "Hey,  I gotta hang my broom up somewhere when I'm not out riding it around."  He understands;)

Still dealing with quilter's block, but I have some ideas I might work on tomorrow.  I am almost done with that pattern he was testing for me.  I hope to have it done by the end of the weekend.  I will keep you all posted.

To all, enjoy your weekend and get something fun done;)
Happy Quilting!!


Country Log Cabin Quilter said...

I haven't canned anything for years, but I do quite a bit of cooking from scratch. Most of the time I don't think it takes much longer (except for chopping veggies for soup). It is a lot better for you. It spoils you too. I can't stand store bought baked goods any more - not that I need them. Hee Hee! I'm going to bake a rhubarb pie today, though. It's only in the store for a short time & I love rhubarb pie.

Katie said...

Those blueberries look wonderful. I often buy blueberries for pancakes, but never though about a pie...hmmm... I love to cook from scratch, but I do tend to cheat some, too (like pre-made pie crusts for otherwise homemade pies and canned beans rather than soaking dried ones), but my hubby likes store-bought better almost always. (I know, he's not normal; this is just the tip of the abnormal iceberg!)

Just seeing your wonderful orange background makes me want to go quilt...I hope you find something that inspires you soon. In the meantime, can away and this winter, you'll be the envy of everyone with your blueberry pies and salsa!

---"Love" said...

Ummmm---looks delicious! I buy blueberries, strawberries, and black berries often; love them all! When I lived on the farm, I canned/froze them and veggies all the time, but haven't in years since it's just me now. Enjoy! Wish I had some right now! (Your kitty quilt is cute!) ---"Love"

Beth said...

I have been wanting to try some canning myself. My Mom used to, but not in years. I'll have to get busy on that.
I love your kitty quilt. Do you remember the pattern? My sister would love one of those.

Marsha said...

Your berries look yummy! I use to help my Mom can/freeze all the goodies from the garden. I should give it a try again sometime. I remember my aunt's mother would can things to show at the fair. Everything in the jars was arranged perfectly and they were works of art! I learned to cook with mom's canned goods. I remember standing in the grocery store after I had moved away from home wondering how many cans of tomatoes equal a quart.

The kitty quilt is adorable. I have been trying to find that quilt block pattern, it is simple but really cute!

Christine said...

Here you are! I had been away (secondary to computer issues) and your other blog came up deleted. WHAT? Where is she? Glad to see your new blog.

I've never canned before, but was always curious about it. Your canned goods are very inspiring!

My best friend and I were just talking about wanting to decorate for Halloween. I love your kitties!! :) ~Christine