Monday, August 15, 2011

Losing Pip, a Preserving List, and a Little Garden Clarity

I haven't been blogging because I am depressed, devastated, bereft, and forlorn.  I lost my partner in crime, my travel companion, my sweet little doggie, Pip.  My angel went peacefully to sleep in my arms over two months ago.  I didn't sleep for 9 days.  I want my dog back.

Let's move on, shall we?

Here is a list of what I have put up so far this year:

 Mandarin oranges in Spiced Syrup - (6) 1/2 pints (These are bitter and horrible!)
Peaches - 7 qts.
Pinto Beans - 14 qts.
Strawberry Preserves - (11) 12 oz. jars
Strawberry/Fig Jam (so good!) - (9) 1/2 pints
Bread and Butter pickles - 6 pints  (I grew the cukes!)
Beef/Vegetable soup - 7 qts.

I'm forgetting something, I think.

Not really canning but I did 2 jars of fridge pickles, also with cukes I grew.

2 gallons whole strawberries
1/2 gallon sliced strawberries in sugar
6 c peas (Almost my entire harvest. Need to put in way more peas next time.)
1/2 gallon peaches in sugar
3 cups tomatoes (The first of the Romas)
1 pint of tomato juice


From the garden and patio, I have harvested peas, lots of cucumbers, potatoes, tomatoes, and carrots.  A lot of the garden in South Carolina just up and died. The weirdest thing is that the red cabbage I  planted in February is just now making heads!  That's just wrong, right?

I learned a lot about gardening this year.  Most notably, I learned that you cannot successfully have a garden in another state.  Life intrudes, and it became impossible to get there, sometimes for a month or longer.  I plan to go exploring in that jungle soon to see if I can find my onions in all that mess.   Fortunately, we had to cut a big tree down in our front yard at home in Atlanta, and suddenly my greedy gardener's eye sees potential for a garden in right in my own front yard.  Raised beds are about to be built for the fall garden. Hopefully I won't be the next Julie Bass. Hey, if a garden in the yard is ok at the White House...

 The best surprise for me this year was to find that we have a prolific pear tree in our yard in South Carolina. That  thing is huge and so laden with pears some of the branches have broken.  I plan to do a lot of canning with those pears.  Fruit cocktail, salted caramel pear butter, pear sauce, canned pear crisp filling, just pears in syrup, oh my!  We also have a fig tree I didn't know about.  FROG Jam and more Strawberry/Fig Jam coming up as soon as they are ready!

I want to put up a lot more soup, more veggies, lots more meat (I did pork last year and it was wonderful!), more beans because the pinto beans are so delicious and easy to make something from.  I want to do some kidneys, limas, and white beans, at least.  I still haven't done my tomato canning for this year.  My tomatoes are not producing so well, so I'm going to have to buy them, but I need to have tomatoes in my pantry, especially my mom's recipe for stewed tomatoes. I need to remember to get a new gasket for my pressure canner!

How goes your gardening and preserving this year?



  1. Grace, I'm so sorry about your beloved Pip. :(

    Great job on food preservation. And I love that you're going to turn your front yard into a garden!

  2. Thank you, Leigh. They are all special, and I know moms aren't supposed to have favorites, but he was the sweetest, most loving dog I've ever known. Everything that he was shone out of his amazingly expressive little bug eyes. I will always miss him.

    I've been canning like a crazy person since my last post. The stewed tomatoes and Roasted Garlic Spaghetti Sauce are in the pantry at long last. Yay! That just makes me happy.

    I've started canning a few less useful but more entertaining things (like Gingered Cranberry-Pear Chutney) with Christmas gifts in mind.

    More on my fall garden in the next post.

  3. Thank you, Justina. He was really special and I know that you know exactly how I feel, having had your own horrible loss this year.

  4. I know I'm late...but so sorry about your dog. They are so hard to loose, we lost one last year. Course they are our babies, since we wern't blessed with any of our own. Hope you have been able to get another one...not to replace our furbaby, but help you heal...and share the love you had for your last one. :)

  5. Thank you, Deb. Same with us, the pets are our only children. I still can't sleep much, but life does go on...10 days after Pip died, two pitiful walking dog skeletons showed up at our front door. I will do a post about those two soon.