Today was one of those days where the things I thought I was going to do and the things I actually did were two very different things. I'd had vague notions of getting yardwork done, but one thing led to another and I spent my whole day canning various food.
|So much fruit! And we filled a cooler with apples besides this!|
It all started yesterday, when the kids and I went out with some friends to pick fruit. My friend's aunt has a farm near here (yay for not needing to drive into town!) and they have an enormous amount of apples and cherries we were welcome to pick (bonus yay for free food!). We had a great time, and I even got to get sneak in some adorable squishy baby snuggles.
After I'd had coffee and woken up a bit, Ollie and I got working on some slowcooker apple butter. It made the house smell of delicious all day.
Next up, I got pitting cherries for sour cherry jelly. I learned that pitting 12 cups of cherries by hand is a long and messy process. Thankfully Liam joined me partway through and we got through it much more quickly than I would have on my own.
Once I was done the cherry jelly (which in all honesty looks more like syrup than jelly), I moved on to caramel apple jam. Oh. My. Goodness. This stuff was slightly ridiculously yummy.
After lunch, Ollie and I headed out to the garden for a bit. The weather is supposed take a serious nosedive this coming week and I want to get things in before the frost can damage it. We started off by pulling both rows of beets. We'd planted both the lutz green leaf and the early wonder varieties and they grew beautifully. I didn't get to processing any of these guys today but I have plans for pickling and dehydrating as many as I can tomorrow.
After the beets, Ollie and I moved on to collecting cucumbers. This was my first time growing cucumbers and they threw me for a loop. I thought all the seedlings had died after I transplanted them into the garden in the spring, but then they bounced back. Late in the season they really took off and I tried semi-successfully to build them trellises. We ended up with a bigger harvest than I'd expected, even if a bunch of them are oddly orange and a few of them got eaten by nighttime forest creatures. I got about a third of the cucumbers processed as sweet pickles, and I hope to get the rest done tomorrow.
|Jack and Bear took care of the discarded nibbled-on cucumbers.|
The last part of the garden we went at today was to pull up the beans. I'd fallen behind in picking the new beans so today we had plenty of big old beans. The girls both helped me to shell them and I'll throw them in the slowcooker for baked or refried beans tomorrow.