Sometimes I get to feeling like the "younger generation" isn't going to take any interest in simple things, or even know how to do them if they had a spark of inclination.
Then, my faith is reaffirmed.
#1 son, the one of my three sons who has taken an active interest in preserving lost arts, sent me these pictures.
WE even just make refrigerator pickles and preserves. The whole "Preserves and Pickling" thing with the water bath, etc., is difficult for us to get worked up about. Besides we prefer fresh to canned any day. We'll put up figs and dewberries in the outside fridge and freeze peas and other veggies that lend themselves to freezing, but we haven't canned anything in years.
I'm glad my son and his wife know how to do these things.
Post by breezygardener on Jun 6, 2021 17:48:17 GMT -5
I too never got into the "preserving/pickling" thing - just freezing. Although my parents & paternal grandparents were champion picklers. Dad's pickled dill cukes, spicy "dilly" beans, & end-of-season dill-pickled green tomatoes were to die for. It was hard for me not to polish off a whole jar in one sitting.
I wish I had been more interested in making them back then & had gotten dad's recipe(s).
**My body is a temple - unfortunately it's a fixer-upper.**
We used to do it with some regularity..... but, life, kids, full time jobs... have a way of eating into those sorts of things. We'd put up some dewberry preserves and occasionally Agarita Jelly, but the old days of canning whatever, fell quickly by the wayside. Besides we had three strapping boys to feed and we didn't grow enough for that!
gardendmpls,If you are sensitive to pain, then Agarita jelly is not your thing. If you go for the berries you're gonna get stuck. Years ago I collected them by spreading a sheet under the bush and shaking it and knocking the berries off. Then I graduated to a plastic sheet. We put up some about four years ago. I used the best method yet. A small leaf rake and a plastic tub. I just raked them off into the tub. The next year that they make a lot I'm going to try using one of those blueberry shovel things.
Most of the bugs crawl out while I'm gathering. Then I winnow the berries to get the leaves and most of the debris out. Then comes the hand picking throwing out things that are not berries and the older dried ones. When there is almost no debris in them I'll wash them but not before. A lot if berries will sink in water but not agarita. They float.
Then I turn them over to the chief cook and she does her magic.
I've heard it described as being like Mayhaw jelly. I don't know, we don't have mayhaws here.
Post by gardendmpls on Jun 6, 2021 22:33:14 GMT -5
Wish I could grow agarita here. The berries were good and they would make a great fence for keeping people out of where they don't belong. Once saw one in a nursery catalog, but the soil here is more acid and Texas soil is more basic, so didn't want to chance it. Same thing with bluebonnets.
Abigail, all 9 kids grown and 23 little gardeners.
I hadn't made pickles in years since DH was convinced he didn't like them. Will only eat the Heinz sliced ones. I made lots last year and sneak them into things like potato salad. He said it was the best potato salad I'd ever made. Didn't tell him there was my pickles in it! I did the crock version and the quicker "put them in the jar and water bath them" method. I couldn't tell much difference between the two. So I won't be crocking them again.
gardendmpls, there were not enough berries to fool with this year. The dewberries didn't make either. It was too dry early and then when the rains started they had already put on whatever berries there were, which was pretty sparse. I don't know what to think about the weather this year. By June it's usually blazing hot and bone dry. Watering by this time is a chore. 6/7 and I wouldn't put a drip of water on anything.
#1 son has gone into the "homestead" thing pretty heavy. He's set up for all his meat and poultry needs. He's got layers and meat chickens and turkeys. He raises his hogs and steers and has a first rate garden. He has a walk-in cooler and smokehouse. He makes his sausage and bacon and butchers a steer once a year. Three huge freezers keep all his meat and frozen veggies. He manages to add a little fish to the mix also.
But, he is also finding out that self sufficiency in this regard is restrictive. He finds it difficult to put all of it on auto pilot for even a few days if the family wants to visit relatives. His day starts at 4:00 AM and ends after dark. Between work at work and work at home he has very little time for anything else.
He comes by all this very honestly. There's reasons why I don't do what he's doing any more...
Kudos to you armjr . Looks like you and your wife raised a fine young man!
My generation is far from the younger generation but I was the oddball who liked gardening and playing in the dirt. I did have a friend who was also into canning and preserving but she was one of two children born to older parents. Other than that none of my friends preserved food and I even had one who couldn't cook. Her and her hubby's married life consisted of eating out for every meal. Now the majority of my friends are parents and grandparents and while some have gotten into preservation, most still rely on the supermarket for all their food.