Four Moms Allegedly Discuss Food Preservation

July 12, 2023

I think I’m more embarrassed about this topic than I have been about any other. The only food preservation I’ve done is:

Some jams- I’ve done strawberry jam, blackberry jam, and apple butter- hard work, but the high sugar content makes jam safe enough for a water bath canner, and thus not too worrisome when it comes to concerns about poisoning your entire family with your inept efforts at canning. Not that I ever go to such extremes when imagining worst case scenarios, of course. Who are we kidding? I can go from 0 to 60 in worst case scenarios in less time than it takes to say ‘worst ca-’

Once I made 8 quarts of applesauce and 10 pints of spiced apple rings in the water bath canner. Then I read that if they are canned, when you tap the lid with a spoon there is a clear, ringing tone, if not properly, the spoon just makes a dull thud. Well, it didn’t sound very ‘ringing’ to me. It sounded distinctly thuddish. Then somebody else told me it wasn’t the sound, it was whether or nto you picked up the cooled jars gently by the ringless lids, gave a shake, and the jar and lid stayed attached. They all stayed attached, and we ate the product of my labors and nobody died (YAYS!)- but I felt like we were taking our lives in our hands every time we had spiced apple rings.

I also still had questions after making all that plus dozens of jars of blackberry jam- questions like,

“how do you do this without trashing two rooms and three aprons, for example? How do your organize your work? Is there a better way to peel and core apples? One that doesn’t involve peels all over the floor, juice on the table, and specks on the walls?

I felt like a little baby, just learning the way the world works, and that you can’t put the toothepaste back in the tube as nicely as you can get out…

And, of course, there was the big question:


Frozen stuff- jams, corn on the cob (not doing that again, ever), berries (easy peasy), peppers (likewise, shmikewise), tomato sauces.

For the berries and peppers, I just flash froze them , that is, put the berries whole on trays and freeze, than put straight into ziplock bags. You shouldn’t even rinse the blueberries. For peppers, I diced them or cut them in strips.

For tomato sauce, I just put a bunch of tomatoes through the blender- skins and all, and simmered with spices, then froze the sauce in bags.

Dried- I use my dehydrator probably more than anything else, it’s fairly easy, doesn’t make much mess and I don’t run the risk of scalding myself and spilling broken jars of jam all over the floor. I’ve dehydrated cherry tomatoes, berries of all kinds, herbs, carrots, peppers, and a few other vegetables, even cooked beans for reconstituting on a camping trip. But then, because of that worst case scenario thing that doesn’t even need a warm up- just comes with an instant ‘full speed ahead’ button, I tend to put the dried stuff in containers in the freezer.

Just in case.

UPdated to add a link to this post which has some free kindle books on the topic.

The Four Moms are- Connie at Smockity Frocks, married 25 years, mom to 8. We were blog buddies for a year or two before we realized that we had very dear mutual friends in real life. How cool is that?!

This week she has some gorgeous pictures of strawberries and jam she made- check it out.

Life in a Shoe
Kim at Life in a Shoe, homeschool grad, mama to a family of 12,… and just moved into a new house last night, and thought she was in labor but wasn’t, and her food preservation story is similar to mine- dispelling myths about mamas of large families every week, that’s our job.=)

raising olives button Raising Olives, married 15 years, mama to 11, homeschooling graduate herself- has a far more useful and comprehensive post on this topic

Me, DeputyHeadmistress and former Zookeeper (I gave up keeping a zoo when coyotes and coons killed our chickens) of this blog, The Common Room and our cooking blog, The Common Kitchen; married 30 years, mom to seven plus unofficial foster mom to two little boys, Mama-in-Law to two, and Grandmama to four blessings under 3, with number 5 on the way, and yes we are very proud.=)

We four moms also wrote a book together:

Buy the Four Moms parenting book, which you can get as a Kindle or as an e-book document:

Here’s where to get more information on how to buy our parenting ebook! or become an affiliate, which is another way of making some extra income.

See my other Kindle books, too:

101 Answers to the Summertime, “Mom, I’m Bored” Blues; help your kids use their free time creatively and productively. Give them ideas that will help them use their time and energy to create, to learn, to grow- to contribute. This is not your average ‘keep the kids out of your hair’ book.

Required Poems for Reading and Memorizing (annotated); Charming collection of older poems that you and the kids just might love.

Ten Low-Carb Snacks and Quick Meals Okay, actually, there’s a little more than ten, and they aren’t merely low-carb, they are also sugar-