Summer Canning II

The past month has been a whirlwind of gardening, harvesting, fruit picking, canning, but most of all adjustment. Upon returning from our cruise just about a month ago, our lives were thrown into upheaval when Hubby’s work schedule went from working 24-hour shifts Tuesdays and Thursdays and 8-hour shifts Friday through Monday to working 8 o’clock Monday morning until Friday afternoon 4 p.m. straight, as well as Saturday and Sundays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. I don’t even want to figure out how many hours that is.

This new schedule is hard on the family, but mostly hard on Hubby. Because of issues with his aging parents, the relief his father used to offer him Monday thru Friday is no longer in the cards and unless Hubby sells the business or business improves so he can hire a new employee, this is what our life is going to be like until further notice.

Hubby being gone so much you’d think I’d have time to do so much more than usual, but this is just not the case. Because he is gone so much I want to have everything around the house done so when he eventually does come home, he doesn’t have anything to worry about. This means all the chores and responsibilities that were once Hubby’s are now mine. Some things can be delegated to the kids, but Grace has her summer job and Zeb has school.

Still, the garden and other summer chores/activities will not wait so we push forward making the best of it. What else can we do?

Last week the garden harvest was very good and continuous. Each day I was able to harvest either beans, peas, cucumbers, and even our first few cherry tomatoes. All this picking has meant more canning projects added to my to do list, but before I could start these, I had to clear off the counter from canning projects earlier in the week.

Here is what my counter looked like after canning raspberries, blackberries, and another batch of pickled beets.

DSCF0112

From left to right — recipes to follow:

Mixed Fruit Juice Concentrate

Blackberry Seedless Spread

Blackberry Syrup

Raspberry Seedless Spread

Layered Blackberry/Raspberry Seedless Spread

Cran-Raspberry Jam

Cran-Raspberry Syrup

Raspberry-Blueberry Preserves

Raspberry-Jalapeno Spread

Pickled Beets

With raspberries and blackberries off my Summer Canning To Do List, I was set to begin on my Garden Canning To Do List, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

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