A Weeks Worth of Canning

Whew!  After all the troublesome headaches from losing both my laptops last week, it was a godsend to have some canning to work on to relax me and keep my mind off what was lost.

This afternoon I finally finished labeling all the jars, making room on the shelves in the pantry for them, and cleaning up the pantry.  The jars alone took me six trips of going up and down the stairs.  A job that definitely needed doing though, as I have a canning project I want to work on tomorrow and had no more room for filled jars if I wanted space to work on.

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My January To Do List of Canning is off to a great start.  I finished the sweet potatoes and tomorrow I’m working on my first cranberry project.  In addition to what was on my list, I finished what I hope will be enough beans for the year and did a test run with white potatoes — posts to follow.

As much as I love to sit and admire all the filled jars of freshly canned goods on my kitchen counters, it is just as rewarding seeing them fill the empty spaces in the pantry, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

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Stocking The Pantry

After weeks of sitting in boxes and blocking access to the pantry, I finally got Hubby to finish cutting the shelves to expand the metal shelving units to accommodate more jars.  I wish I’d thought to take before pictures of the 20+ boxes of canned goods that sat on the floor, but hindsight is always 20/20.

The pantry is now organized exactly the way I want it — today.  Tomorrow might be a different story, but for now, everything has a place and there is a place for everything.

This shelving unit has vegetables:  Beets, beans, pickles, peppers, and tomatoes.

This shelving unit has vegetables: Beets, beans, pickles, peppers, and tomatoes.

This shelving unit is full of jams, jellies, preserves, and spreads.

This shelving unit is full of jams, jellies, preserves, and spreads.

This shelving unit has all syrups and canned fruit.

This shelving unit has all syrups and canned fruit.

This unit, which needs another shelf added to the top, has all pie filling.

This unit, which needs another shelf added to the top, has all pie filling.

This unit, the only one not full yet, contains juice and concentrates.

This unit, the only one not full yet, contains juice and concentrates.

Can you believe someone was throwing this bin out?  Found it in the garbage a week ago and knew it'd be perfect for my potatoes.

Can you believe someone was throwing this bin out? Found it in the garbage a week ago and knew it’d be perfect for my potatoes.

These two units hold any store-bought stock as well as home-canned dehydrated food, relishes, sauces for cooking, granola, and stewed tomatoes.

These two units hold any store-bought stock as well as home-canned dehydrated food, relishes, sauces for cooking, granola, canned cakes and stewed tomatoes.

With all the jars organized and put on their respective shelves, it makes using them all that much easier.  Today I used home-canned jalapenos, green chili peppers, and cut tomatoes to make some salsa.  I found them quickly and easily.  Four empty jars to add to the ever accumulating surplus of jars out in the garage.  That’s my next project — organize all the jars and make them accessible.

I am still going to need at least one more shelving unit for sweet potatoes, more pickles, more peppers, more tomatoes, pumpkin, and whatever else fall brings.  When I find that unit, hopefully in someone’s trash, I’ll no doubt have to reorganize again, but for now, the pantry is up-to-date.

Being organized is a great thing.  It leaves me feeling accomplished and for this I am — Simply Grateful.