July 31st, 2017

Prep and preservation

I had the best intentions of spending the whole weekend cleaning. Once I started on the kitchen, though, I realized that I had a lot of garden produce building up and not a lot of freezer space left. So I turned to harvesting whatever was ready and canning it for shelf storage. I spent Saturday making 12 cups of plum/rhubarb jam and 6 cups of grape/blackberry jelly, while on Sunday I prepped my cucumbers, onions, and some parsnips for making 4 pints of pickles.

I had always avoided making jelly before, because it seemed a waste to throw so much leftover fruit pulp away. However, since my grapes all have seeds (as do the blackberries), it turned out to be a lot simpler to just let them drain the juice out in a jelly bag than to run the whole batch through a food mill to get the seeds out. I saved the leftover mass of skins and pulp, and I'm attempting to make vinegar from it. We'll see how that goes.

I'm going to have to try to squeeze in the last bits of cleaning over the next two weeks whenever I have some spare time. That's going to be in shorter supply than usual, because they designated a bunch of overtime money to the budget and want to get it spent before the end of the fiscal year. I've been working an extra 4-6 hours per week because of that. It's certainly good money, but it takes away time from doing things around the house.