Blueberries, butter and zucchini…oh my

My need to can has been fulfilled. Today was one of those days that I really treasure. I’m not one who likes to sit still and I definitely am happiest when I’m outside. Today was a great blend of time outside and being busy.

I took my youngest daughter blueberry picking this morning before the storms came. The temperature here wasn’t really that hot (77 degrees) but oh the humidity…welcome back summer in Maryland. We went to the orchard where we like to pick and got busy. The picking is still great for this time of year and it was easy picking. Sophie and I picked 10 pounds of blueberries in about an hour. She is a great helper!

I have a love affair with blueberries, bordering on obsession. Anyone that knows me well knows that I can’t even talk about these little blue beauties without saying how much I love them.

10 pounds of blueberries...never enough!

10 pounds of blueberries…never enough!

Not a bad morning. Froze 6 quarts of berries and have some to eat. Bonus…going back this week with a friend for more picking!

After taking care of the blueberries it was on to canning some zucchini. I mentioned in a previous post that canning zucchini is a bit controversial. Some folks believe that you can’t achieve a high enough temperature to safely can it. I don’t agree and have canned in up in a garden spaghetti sauce for years with no ill effects.

Today, I decided to follow a recipe I saw online to can shredded zucchini that can be used in breads or other recipes. I had three giant zucchini that had hidden under some leaves of the plants before we found them. One of these giants weighed 4 pounds!

Giant zucchini!

Giant zucchini!

To process them I washed them and cut them lengthwise to seed them. Then shredded them and packed them tightly into jars. Added a pinch of salt to each jar, boiling water topped them off. Removed air bubbles and then processed at 10 pounds of pressure for 35 minutes (these were pint jars).

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Into the pressure canner

Into the pressure canner

8 pints of zucchini out of the canner and lids are sealing….happiness in jars!

Happiness in jars

Happiness in jars

My last project I wanted to get done today was to make my own butter. I’ll admit it’s so cool to do – I had made some as a kid in elementary school and never forgot it. Today I tried making it in my KitchenAid mixer. I found a recipe that warned me of the mess but holy cow…this was one of the messiest things I’ve ever made in my kitchen!

Getting ready to make butter!

Getting ready to make butter!

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Even covering the mixer with a clean dish towel didn’t keep all the splashing contained! It is such a cool process from cream to whipped cream to butter and buttermilk separating. I drained off the buttermilk and pressed the remaining liquid out under cold running water in a colander. Then I got to use my new butter molds…the only issue I had was that it didn’t make a pound of butter as I had expected. I’ll have to figure out where I went wrong – I was a quarter pound short 😦

3/4 of a pound of butter...not too bad

3/4 of a pound of butter…not too bad

Now the dinner dishes are all cleaned up and it’s relax time….sort of – it’s time to snap green beans to can tomorrow!

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