Do you keep a canning journal?

Discussion in 'Food Preservation and Storage' started by Netty, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    While this was not my first year with a vegetable garden, it was the first year that I am canning and trying to put up enough to get through the winter. It occurred to me today, while canning carrots from the garden, that I should be writing down what I am canning so that I know what to plant more/less of next year. I really don't know how much of anything I should be canning! Does anyone out there keep a canning journal? How do you keep track of what you grow/put up/use? My thoughts were using a 3 ring binder and writing in what I preserve each time, adding amounts, techniques and other notes. What works for you?
     
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  3. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    I write on my kitchen calendar what I canned that day (June 10, 12 pints tomatoes). At the end of the canning season, I transfer all my notes to a page on the computer. That page also has the date and amount of what was planted. I find this to be efficient for me since I can go back and add notes if needed. I don't bother with lettuces, radishes, etc. that I don't can/preserve/dry.
    I print out the page at the end of the year when I'm making out my seed orders so I know what seeds and what quantity is needed. That print-out goes into my gardening book (three ring binder) for future reference. The print-out is needed in case of (gasp!) a computer crash.
     
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  4. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    I don't as much as I should. I do write on the lid what year I canned it, though... and what it is. Trust me, you won't remember what is in the jar in a few more months. I have things in the cabinet I don't remember what they are... oops. I did for a few years write what I canned and how much I canned in columns, but when I am canning for my inlaws and me I generally forget to keep track for each of us. I used to do about 100 quarts of applesauce until I smarted up... we don't eat it. My inlaws ate lots of it, but not us. When we canned together I did what she thought we needed:eek: for us or we kept canning for we had lots of apples to use up. So I then started making apple butter for my markets instead of applesauce for us to eat. so, I do say try to keep track of what you put up and then what or how much do you actually eat of it from one year to the next so you kind of have an idea of how much and what you actually eat of it.
    Carrots? not me! I did them one year when we had a nice crop of them and no one wanted them. So I learned we would do better to insulate the area where they were planted to eat them fresh for a good part of late Fall.
    Greenbeans... 69 quarts this year. we eat them, but I will share some of them with my sister since she helped me cleaned them.
    beets: 12 pints to share, no one but me would eat them....
    pears? I had my mom help me with them last year and we haven't eaten them. no one really is delighted with them and they are still mostly in the cabinet..Peaches.... those would have been gone by now, But I don't have time for them when they are ripe.
    Soups? those are great if your family eats soup, mine doesn't so I quit making them
     
  5. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    So far, I have been labeling each jar after it has cooled and been washed with the date and what is inside. I haven't been writing it down or writing it on the calendar. We have already started eating the canned goods and so I don't even have a count of how many jars there were of each item. I can already see that I will have to make more garlic dill pickles next year! There are many jars of canned green beans, carrots and lots of frozen peas ... which we eat a lot of. The carrots have been the most work (peeling and chopping) but we eat the most of them and so I think that one row of carrots will be sufficient again for next year AND I already have the seed for next years garden. I guess I will just have to write down what I have and see what is left in the spring and modify from there.
     



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  6. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Netty, garlic dill pickles? If I beg on bended knees, would you post your recipe? I make the worst dill pickles in the world, but I have the utmost faith in your pickles.
     
  7. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    Jane, I just watched a video on fermenting and the one comment in the whole instructional part of it was to make sure you trim off the blossom end because there is an enzyme that is in the flesh that makes the "pickle" soft. I have never made pickles and I would have been most disappointed in the results if that is indeed true.
     
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  8. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Carolyn, I never knew that! I have the feeling that between you and Netty, next year may be my year for edible dill pickles!
     
  9. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    I would think the simplest journal notes would be best. A count of how many of each that you canned, and then the date when you opened the last jar of each. That would let you know how many more you need to can the next year...if you run out in early, plant more...if you still have some to get through the next growing season then either cut back or keep the amount planted the same.

    I only make sliced pickles, putting the cuke ends in the compost. My sweet pickle recipe calls for letting the slices set in Pickling Lime for 24 hours, then rinsing and continuing with the process, that keeps them nice and crisp.
     
  10. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    I've only been making pickles for 2 seasons now MG, so I'm sure that I would have THAT much faith in my pickles!
    I do cut the ends off my cucumbers before I put them in jars, and I use grape leaves rather than alum or pickle crisp. Grape leaves contain tannins that inhibit enzymes that makes pickles soft.
    I add to each (sterilized) jar a clove or two of garlic, a grape leaf, a sprig of dill and a bit of pickling spice. I then stuff each jar full of pickling cucumbers and fill with brine, wipe the rims, and put on the lids.
    The brine is made of 4 cups water, 4 cups pickling vinegar, 1/2 cup pickling salt, 1/2 cup sugar (you may need more per batch)
    Water bath process for 15 minutes. They are best if left to 'sit' for 6 weeks or more. The best pickles are always the last jar (the ones that have sat the longest!)
    Good luck! :)
    **edited to add - combine and bring the brine ingredients to a boil to dissolve salt and sugar before filling jars**
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015
  11. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Netty, thank you so very much! When I can the pickles I'll put the date on the lid so I won't be tempted to "sample" before they are ready. We have a grape vine, so I have the leaves, we have dill and garlic, and I'll get pickling spice. This sounds doable!
     
  12. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    Good luck MG. I have edited the above post - make sure the brine is hot when you add it to the jars :)
     
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  13. waretrop

    waretrop Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    I keep an inventory of all that is in my pantry. I add newly canned things and cross off as they are used. every Monday, I move up all holes and move them toward the front as they are being used. In January I look at that I have used and crossed off my inventory and that tells me what to plant the next spring. I can start them early or pick up the plants at the garden center. It gives me plenty of time to decide what I am going to do by checking my inventory in January and starting a new one...
     
  14. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Barb, you are SOOOO organized! Your method is admirable, but lesser mortals might not be able to do all that. Do you hire out? No, scratch that, you'd faint dead away if you saw my pantry!:eek:
     
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  15. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    here, too. then you would probably hit your head on some object that should be put away but isn't in the midst of my remodeling project and I would have to explain to everyone what really happened... "Um, yeah, Barb... she fell and smacked her head on the kitchen sink sitting where it didn't belong and needed to go to rehab to get her head back on straight" uh huh, I can see here getting hurt here. MAYBE when I get done here I will take a picture for her to see and that is it. That way I can't claim responsibility for her falling down over my mess in disbelief.
     
  16. waretrop

    waretrop Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    LOL You guys are so funny. I get my pantry a mess sometimes.Especially when I am in the middle of something. I do just have to clean and reorganize after I am done...It's the OCD part of me..LOL
     

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