Country Living Series

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Meat and canning and Lydia, oh my!

We got the meat back from butchering our bull calf, Beefy. He was a small guy but still managed to pack a wallop of 222 lbs. of meat:

On top of the meat from the steer we butchered last December, this meant our freezer is packed. We had to sort through and prioritize what was in it. I removed anything I could possibly can up, in order to make room. This meant that for the last three days I've been canning my brains out. My tally: 33 pints of mixed vegetables, 25 1/2 quarts (the "1/2" is an extra pint's worth) of corn, and 18 quarts of chicken breasts:

Yesterday (Saturday) was my big canning day - I literally canned from 5 am until 9 pm. The corn was defrosting and I had to get everything done before it went bad. I can only fit 7 quarts at a time into the canner, so it was nonstop. Talk about pooped!

Obligatory cute Lydia picture. Can you believe she's already a year old? And she still fits in her favorite chair. She is the most seriously awesome watchdog you'll ever meet.

My folks came over for dinner on Saturday, and my mom brought this big beautiful bouquet of lilacs and other flowers. Then later in the evening I went and gathered some eggs and set them on the table. It wasn't until dusk that I noticed it made for a rather pretty tableau:

Nice sunset.


  1. Wow, I don't know what impresses me more. ALL those jars of canned veggies, or 222lbs of meat from that little Dexter calf!! Amazing! I bet you are very satisfied...and tired!

  2. Patrice,
    I saw your blog linked yesterday on Survival blog ( it should generate a lot more traffic to your blog.
    I am amazed at how much meat you got from that little calf.

  3. Awesome job! What do you recommend as the best way or tool to get corn off the cob for canning? Got my pressure canner last season and a bit of experience, so I'm looking forward to doing a lot more this summer. Now the my kiddos have experienced home canned tomatoes, applesauce and green beans, they think regular tinned "tastes and smells funny".

  4. Becbeq, try looking at this post:

    I just use a knife to cut the corn from the cob. The knife is serrated, and I take about five downward slices per cob, if that's any help. Once you get into the rhythm it goes pretty quick.

    Once upon a time I bought one of those circular corn de-cobbers, and it was a piece of junk. It broke after two cobs, literally. I've used a knife ever since.

    - Patrice