It sure makes one feel better when the sun comes out after a long period of rain! Yesterday I went out and pulled some nice rutabagas and began washing, peeling, and getting them ready to can. They were so nice I asked Will if he’d go down and pull some more. We do love rutabagas, not only as a side dish but in our favorite pasties (that’s a pie crust folded in half over stewing meat, carrots, potatoes, onions, and rutabagas — not what strippers wear!), stews, roasts, and soups. Although I’m being careful of what I put up, as canning jars are non-existent on store shelves, I wanted to can up a whole bunch. So I did some quarts, a lot of pints, and half-pints. There are still lots left over too! I think I’ll be going through my pantry to see what older, not so favorite stuff I can dump out in the chicken pen to reuse the jars for more tasty foods.

I love canning up rutabagas when they’re nice and crispy fresh.
Here’s the first batch of canned rutabagas, cut into larger dices. I also do small dices and slices for variety.

Our friend, Heather, who is kind of a part-time apprentice, came over and while I pulled our last carrots, helped Will take the tomato cages and stakes off dead plants in the Sand garden. Out of one 25-foot row of Kuroda carrots, I got two five-gallon buckets, chuck full of very big and beautiful sweet carrots. Our other row was Scarlet Nantes and they, also, were excellent this year. I can’t wait to get to canning them up starting this afternoon. We love our carrots and I fix them in so many different ways I like to have lots canned up.

I pulled a whole crate of super nice Scarlet Nantes, nice and straight as well as thick and sweet.
The Kurodas were excellent as well. Even the cores are tender and sweet, plus you get a lot of bang for the buck — they’re huge!

Will is busy getting the firewood in he’s been cutting up in the big yard by the sawmill into the woodshed. With sunny and dry weather, the woodpile out there has dried up so the wood will be put in nice and dry. Wet wood in the woodshed, even though it’s very dry, just doesn’t burn as well as does dry, dry wood. And it seems like it never dries out when stacked inside. So we like to get it in dry and keep it that way. We’ve been having cold nights, so a wood fire sure feels great in the evenings! Even our dog, Hondo, loves the fire. He lies down right in front of the stove and watches the fire, just like we do. Hey, dogs are smart! — Jackie

11 COMMENTS

  1. I learned to can from my grandma, using paraffin wax. It has changed a LOT since then. And my husband bought me a pressure caner and he helps me to not be intimidated by it. We actually can together and he is so cute when he acts proud of our accomplishments. I guess this is pandemic making us foodies from the small kitchen garden we built together. Who knew something so good could come from something so bad?!

  2. I canned 12 quarts of tomatoes this year even though I had a lot more tomatoes which I gave away. I have a back issue and wasn’t physically able to do more canning. I probably will not be canning again unless a miracle happens and I am much better next year. I have strawberries and asparagus planted which we will
    eat fresh next spring. I really enjoy reading your blog Jackie which I have read for maybe 10 years or more if that were possible.

  3. One possible source for 20oz Atlas jars is Barilla spaghetti sauce. I don’t use it anymore but I have neighbors who save them for me. The company says they aren’t canning grade but I’ve never had one break. Auctions used to be a good source, too, but Covid has cut down on auctions. Too bad mayonnaise comes in plastic now. Lack of canning supplies may encourage learning the old ways like drying, curing, etc. Keep sharing your knowledge and experience, Jackie. They are indispensable.

  4. I just read about a company in New Brunswick, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/BriggsMaples1) that is selling the Euro jars for canning. It’s the one lid jar that supposedly can be reused. Have you ever tried that method? He has a Maple Syrup business, but because of Covid he is now selling those jars also to help the company.
    Also, I just checked out this company in Lancaster, Pennsylvania: https://www.fillmorecontainer.com/
    Thank you for all of your sharing, interesting reading material.

  5. I have never tried rutabagas before . Thank you for giving such a good description of what you think of them . I am going to have to try them .

  6. Thank you so much for explaining how and why you can rutabagas. I just might have to try that next year. I’m an advid canner 😊

  7. I was looking the other day at some stuff to maybe dump to the pigs, but Praise be to God my mother found brand new jars and lids at a store that just opened up. I had her pick me up some and she showed up with 13 cases. I am debating whether I want her to get more as I have already used 3 cases for pickled beets and have about another 4 cases to do. I am thrilled I don’t have to use up my lids now. So much more to can, but feeling blessed. I know what you’re saying about stacking wood and it doesn’t dry. My husband likes to leave it out in the sun before we stack it. We have an outdoor wood boiler so we have been burning all year.

  8. I love your rutabagas!! Ok that is on my list to try next year. Yes the jar and lid situation is here too. Someone said that The parent company of Kerr and Ball has said March! So we’ll see.

    We too have had the wood fires. I still am digging potatoes. This year they are smaller but we went a long time without rain this summer.

    thank you for sharing!!!

  9. I know what you mean about canning jars being scarce. I did the same thing that you did – dumping out older stuff in my pantry that we didn’t eat so I could reuse the jars. I was lucky though because I had a lot of jars in
    storage. Just had to dig them out and clean them. I did can more stuff in quart jars than I usually do because I had more of those jars. Usually I buy jars and lids on sale after the canning season but this year – I don’t think that is going to be an option. It makes me happy to know that more people are preserving the old ways, maybe 2020 will produce a new generation of home canners.

  10. Jars And lids were one area of my preps that I learned I needed to improve during this crisis. I have also been buying more seeds to have on hand. What “non canning” glass jars have you all found work well for canning? Looking for alternatives if I can’t find jars in the spring next year.

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