Thursday, August 23, 2012

#LMDConnector The Fruits of Our Labour


As many of you already know, I live on a farm.  Being a city girl who married a farm boy, I had to learn  how to make things from scratch.  I had to learn quickly too!  Hubby's mother has made his family's food, clothing, and basically everything from scratch.  She made their butter, yogourt, bread, salad dressings (yes, she even made homemade mayonnaise!) and she made their clothes, quilts, etc.

Those are some pretty big shoes to fill!

Hubby, having not grown up with anything pre-made, from a box, from a can, or from the frozen section in the grocery store, has had to learn that though I love cooking, I have no time to make sure there are freshly baked desserts at every meal.  I know it's what he's accustomed to, but we certainly don't need it! At least our waistlines don't!

I did pick up a few tricks of the trade from my mother-in-law.  She has taught me how to cultivate and harvest all our produce and preserve them for Winter use.  Yes, that's right.  You work at the garden in the Summer and come Winter, you won't go hungry.

I've been married to a farmer for six years, and I've been having fun learning all about things farmers' wives do. Ummm...like make jams and preserves!
Cucumbers from the garden are great in cucumber sandwiches or cucumber salad, but they can also be pickled. Beets can be pickled. Tomatoes, green peppers, onions, and other veg can be made into a sauce that my mother-in-law calls Borden Sauce (the jar on the far right in above photo).

The only thing I'm not too keen on about making preserves is the amount of salt or sugar that needs to go into the recipes in order to properly "preserve" fruits and  veg.  Though I do some preserving and jam making, I prefer freezing our produce for Winter use.  Most of the prep just requires blanching, ice bath, and freezing.  With our corn, I blanch, cut the corn off the cobs, store in freezer-safe baggies or containers, and freeze.  Some produce, like berries can be frozen as is.
We have three large chest freezers.  This one is for mainly produce from the garden.  I have everything from beans to raspberries in there! The above photo is from the other year, but our freezers pretty much look like this every year!

Amazing to think all of the above started out like the plants in the photo  below!
We have a lot of apple trees on our farm.  Every year, we get tons and tons of apples.  One of the things I love to do is to make apple sauce.  I make huge batches of apple sauce, store them in ice cream containers and freeze them until I need to use them.  All I do is thaw the apple sauce and it's ready when I need it. I use it in my baking, and sometimes when I'm making homemade BBQ sauce.  It's great with pork.  Most of the time, Little One just wants to have apple sauce for dessert or for a snack.  We always have it handy in the freezer.
 HOMEMADE APPLE SAUCE

  • Wash apples
  • Cut in quarters
  • Place in big pot and add water so that it covers apples
  • Cook until tender (not mushy or falling apart)
  • Drain water
  • Place a few apple quarters into colander/fruit press like the one below
  • Press apples through colander to make the apple sauce
  • After you've made filled a medium sized mixing bowl, if you wish, you can add sugar.  Many of the ladies here add about a cup of sugar for a medium sized bowl. Sometimes they even use more!  I don't like Little One to have much sugar, so I generally omit the sugar.  Doing this makes the apple sauce pretty tart.  If you must have sugar, you can use a natural sugar replacement.  I've used raw sugar cane or Demerara at times.
  • If you like,  you can also add cinnamon for flavour.


  •  Bottle up your apple sauce and freeze it for later use, or eat it as is! It's delish!
You may notice that the apple sauce in the two photos above are different colours.  The top is from a variety of apply that is yellow and the second is a pinkish colour.  To get that lovely colour, I leave the skins on when I cook down the apples.  With the peel on and pressing the apples through the colander/press, you get that lovely hint of colour.  You wouldn't get that if you peeled the apple skins off.

I have to say that there's a huge sense of accomplishment making your own food...from the garden to the table.  Love it!


Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious Blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

13 comments:

Randa said...

You need to teach me the ways to garden. I did a tiny one and not having much luck.

Krystal @ Uh Oh Mom! said...

:O I want a garden and three large chest freezers full of food :) That's pretty awesome.

& totally random, but I have family up that way on Manitoulin island

Annie Brown said...

I miss my garden... I miss my cold storage full of canning... have to find new ways to accommodate it here in our new home.

Elizabeth FrugalMomEh said...

Yum! I love freezing berries and making preserves too. Unfortunately my garden is all shade so I doubt any fruits and vegetables would grow well here!

Torviewtoronto said...

lovely post looks fabulous

Nolie said...

Kudos to you and all other farmers and people who have gardens. I could never do it. Bugs and sun are my enemy.

Paula Schuck said...

I love to make apple sauce! Not sure the apples will be any good this year given the rotten weather. Kind of worried.

Paula

Tammy inRdream said...

Nothing beats homemade! YUMMY

caninecologne said...

you are amazing C! I admire how you learned how to do all that!

OrangeHeroMama said...

WOW girl. I need to come spend a week with you and learn how to do all this. It's something i desperately want to learn!
Also, jealous you have apples on your trees! SW Ontario got hit hard, so no apples :(

Christine said...

Randa
Ours is pretty big! We got lots of peppers, zucchini, corn, and other veg this year, but I was so busy that I fell behind with maintaining. My Dad is the serious green thumb in our fam! You should see his garden! Way more impressive than mine!!

Krystal
Whaaaaat!?!?! REALLY! Where abouts!? Small world!

Annie
When I lived in an apartment in Toronto, I had a little patio garden. You can grow lots of veg on your patio in pots and planter boxes! :)

Christine said...

Elizabeth
Frozen berries are awesome. You can just pull 'em out of the freezer when you need them! Love it!
Are you making your little one's baby food from scratch too?

Torview
Thanks so much! I enjoyed yours too!

Nolie
LOL! Nolie, I know what you mean! Ummm...I try not to let my daughter know (I don't want to pass on my fears to her), but I am scared of bugs! ALL bugs! LOL!

Christine said...

Elizabeth
Frozen berries are awesome. You can just pull 'em out of the freezer when you need them! Love it!
Are you making your little one's baby food from scratch too?

Torview
Thanks so much! I enjoyed yours too!

Nolie
LOL! Nolie, I know what you mean! Ummm...I try not to let my daughter know (I don't want to pass on my fears to her), but I am scared of bugs! ALL bugs! LOL!

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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