Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's HARVEST time...

I don't know what it is about fall that makes me want to bake, cook, and store up food for the winter. I have been acting like a squirrel! It has been all about FOOD around here lately. We discovered our local Cannery (a place to go can food), so my neighbor, Coral, and my oldest son, Paul, have joined me in canning pearbutter (like applebutter) and pear preserves. I also made grape juice the easy way (see recipe below), and put up some vegetable beef soup. If you have not been to a cannery - check and see if there is one near you. It will save you so much time and effort in canning - and you will meet a lot of really nice folks that will be glad to give you tips on putting up food.

The boys hauling pears through the path
in the woods after we picked them from the neighbor's yard

Adding honey to our Pearbutter... YUM!
We also added brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

Today we tried out a new Homemade Granola Bar recipe - it is a keeper. It is a good basic recipe that can be adapted to your tastes and needs. This is going to replace the ones we have been buying every week from the store!

Homemade Granola Bars
(I adapted this recipe from a few different ones and we liked the result)
4 1/2 c rolled oats (can also substitute some Rice Crispies)
1 c whole wheat flour
1 t baking soda
1 t vanilla
1 c melted butter (you can substitute some applesauce for the butter and some of the honey)
1 c honey
2 c additions (mini choc chips, raisins, sunflower seeds, dried apricots, craisens, dried cherries, etc..)

Preheat oven 325 degrees. Lightly grease or line with parchment paper cookie sheet.
In a large mixing bowl combine oats, flour, baking soda, vanilla, butter, and honey. Stir in the addtions.
Press the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees until golden brown - about 20 min. Take out of the oven and use a spatula to firmly press into the pan further (this will help it not crumble). Let cool for 10 min then cut into bars. Let bars cool completely in pan before removing or serving.You can wrap individually and then store in a freezer bag in the freezer.

Easy Grape Juice (my parents made this when I was a kid - we loved it)
Into each 1/2 gallon sterilized jar, add 2 cups grapes (we used muscadines that we gathered from the woods) and 1 cup sugar. Fill the jar with hot water and stir it up a bit to disolve the sugar. Put on your lids and process for 30 minutes. Let sit for 6 weeks. When ready to drink, just strain your grapes and seeds.


  1. YUM! Thanks for the recipes. That pear butter sounds delicious.

  2. Thanks for the info on the pear butter Michelle! I'm sitting here eating ours on my morning toast and it's delicious! We worked on it all weekend and made enough to give to all of our family for Christmas gifts!