Monday, July 6, 2009

All In A Day's Work

I could hardly believe my eyes when we pulled up to my sister-in-law's house the other day. Across the road, bordering a field that my father-in-law owns, there were hundreds of cherries hanging from the trees. I held back my excitement long enough to ask if anyone picks those? All I got back was a funny look. They had never noticed the cherries!! That was last week and the cherries weren't quite ripe yet.

We did go up to the beach for the weekend but we came home first thing Sunday morning. I have a bad sunburn (stupid me!) so I certainly didn't want to lay on the beach anymore and we were both ready to go home. Brian went to cut hay and I headed over to pick cherries. The whopping total: 8 # 13 oz.!! That took me a good part of the morning. Back home I pitted them all. Since our 5 tv channels suck and I canceled Netflix I set up my labtop next to me and watched the first 4 weeks of Here Come The Newlyweds while I pitted. After experimenting with different methods, I liked using a drinking straw and popping the pits out the other side of the cherry. It still took forever.

When I finally had them all pitted I decided to make cherry pie filling. I used this recipe and expanded it to work with the 14 cups of berries I had. Then I canned it, processing pints for 35 minutes as the Ball canning book suggests.

Once the cherries were done I moved on to blueberries. What kind of idiot puts 18# of berries in one Foodsaver bag I don't know but that's what I had done a few years ago. I thawed the huge bag so that I could use some blueberries for my 4th of July pie. I expected them to taste bad after so long in the freezer but they were still quite good. Blueberry season is coming up again soon so I needed to use these up!

First project: 4 batches of blueberry muffins equaling just under 4 dozen muffins total. Those went on a rack to cool and then in to freezer bags for quick breakfasts. Next: 1 batch blueberry waffles, into the fridge for breakfasts this week.

Then I made two batches of blueberry pie filling. I used the recipe from the Ball canning book but altered it to be easier. I'll post my method in the next few days.

There were just enough blueberries to top off Brian's ice cream and keep a few in the fridge for desserts the rest of the week. I did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen while the last batch was processing so that by around 10 PM I was finally done. I was really tired and didn't relax much considering it was a Sunday but it feels great to have all this food put away

Total production for the day:
  • Just shy of 4 dozen blueberry muffins (frozen)
  • 9 pints blueberry pie filling
  • 5 blueberry waffles
  • 6 pints cherry pie filling

Umm... why does it feel like this list should be WAY longer?

What are you preserving right now? Have you every canned pie fillings? What berries are in season where you live?


Everydaywoman said...

My goodness, Jena, aren't you the busy bee? (I probably would have opted for one more day at the beach!)

I swear you and Abbie are related; she burns, too, if not careful!

Have you had good hay weather? After two weeks of rain in Connecticut, the guys finally cut all the fields they could and got some hay in. It's been tough finding enough sun.

I can't wait for our raspberries and wineberries to ripen. Love them fresh, and in pies, of course. But, I do have to say that both you and Abbie put me to shame with preserving all you do! My Mom did/does the same, but I'm afraid somehow it skipped a generation with me!

Captain's Wife - Jennifer said...

WOW! You are so lucky to find those cherrys!! I would have been all geeked out over them too. Sorry about the sunburn...I did good this weekend but one of my kids is a little pink...even though we kept applying the sunscreen. He's a red head. :) I have not preserved any berries...but within the next day or two I am going to do mild jalapenos and cherry peppers. My plants have a ton ready. Wish me luck...this will be my first time!

Anonymous said...

Our cherries are about ripe here as well. I see lots of hours pitting ahead of me. We use Netflix too. Have you ever watched Good Neighbors? It's an older British series about a couple that starts homesteading in the burbs, it's really good, and it's available to watch instantly.

angie said...

Hi Jena,

I'm impressed. And, I love the photos of your pie!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the pie filling recipe! I would love to try it!! I've never done a pie filling recipe before...

I know what you mean about feeling like the list should be much longer! You did a great job, though!

Farmer's Daughter said...

I'd love to get your blueberry pie filling recipe!!! That sounds great! So far I've only made strawberry jelly this year, but I plan to can a whole lot of peaches and some apple pie filling. I'd love to do blueberry too!