Monday, July 2, 2012

Freezing Blueberries, and My 2012 Preserving Goals

In May, I go through my canning cupboards and freezer. I write down in my preserving notebook what quantities I have left, and then, based on that and on previous years, I make a list of what to preserve for the year.

It's always instructive to me to look back through my preserving notebook.  I recall sources, methods, and quantities - I think I remember details well until I look at the facts!  This summer, I flat-out missed preserving strawberries and sour cherries.  To make up, I bought 20 lbs. of blueberries instead of 10.

The children and I froze the blueberries in a little window of time after supper.  They were happy to handle the washing and sorting.  I packed the blueberries in boxes and labeled them.  It took us less than 45 minutes.

Below is my summer 2012 list of essential things to preserve.  If cheap produce or energy presents itself, I will do greater quantities. 

1 batch strawberry freezer jam - now just any jam will do
freeze sour cherries or blueberries
4-6 quarts dill pickles
6 dozen corn
1 batch pimentos
1 batch salsa
1 bushel tomatoes:  8-12 pints pizza sauce, 20 quarts whole tomatoes
1/2 bushel apples into sauce
5 quarts peaches

Currently my energy is sapped by the heat.  Our house, at 6am this morning, was still 83 degrees, and the temperature outside is barely lower than that and already rising as the sun comes up.  We'll get into the upper 90s today. 


Jennifer Jo said...

Blueberries! I need to order blueberries today! Thanks for the reminder!

After reading this, I popped up to check the temp in the house---80 degrees. It's a good bit cooler outside, but we got up to close the windows last night because there was more wind (can you believe it?). The power stayed on (and the kids asleep), thank goodness. Now the windows are wide open. The air feels good...for a little while at least.

Unknown said...

We're looking at mid-80's today...and canning season will come in another month yet. My list sounds similar to yours and I like to keep a log book too : ) I have an excel spread sheet for each year: what, how much, price, product made, quantity...then each year I can look at my spread sheets and subtract what's left on the shelves downstairs.

Rebecca said...

It does seem a bit cruel that the Tyranny of the Produce comes along with the stinkin' heat. I'm off to drag soaker hose to my poor cucumbers who have their little green tongues hanging out.

Lisa said...

Your helpers look like they're doing a good job!

simplicityinthemaking said...

I freeze mine on cookie sheets and then transfer to containers. That way they don't stick together. Just a though. We are no where near as hot up here and I am dearly thankful for this. I am able to can without disturbing the temperatures in the house. Lovely pictures.

Margo said...

Simplicity, I don't have that many cookie sheets. I've done that for small batches, but not for 20 lbs.
I've also frozen the berries without washing them - then they don't stick together. But this year we washed the blueberries. I'll have to be more careful about thawing them before I use them, so they aren't one solid mass.

Deanna Beth said...

Interestingly, when Sophia froze blueberries for 4-H, our research indicated that you might have a better product if you froze the berries without washing them and washed them just prior to using. Something about keeping the skins tender...

Margo said...

DB, that is interesting. The other morning I pulled out a box of my newly-frozen blueberries to make smoothies. I was able to rattle the blueberries apart easily. The skins got ground up in the blender, so I guess I'll have to check that factor next time.