Monday, October 8, 2012
Although I did have a harvest this week:
1.17 lbs of bell peppers (harvested because they were getting sunburned, had turned red, or the limp had broken off the plant); this week was about sweet potatoes.
Earlier this year, we harvested about 42 lbs of sweet potatoes. That was mid-August. Since then, we have been fighting a battle to try to keep them from sprouting. It has been a little too warm here for storing potatoes. We don’t have basements here in Texas and even the inside of the house is too warm (apparently).
Our freezer is stuffed. Fortunately, my mom has a pressure canner; so all we needed was more quart-sized jars. I really wanted to store these fresh, but canning them is the only way to save them. Now that I think about it, now is about the perfect time to harvest them. We have a few more weeks of 80’s to help them cure and after that, it will be much cooler in the garage to store them there or even the house will be 10 degrees cooler. So. next time we grow sweet potatoes, we will plant them about 6-8 weeks later.
We began the process by washing them. This was fun!
Next we boiled them for about 15 minutes to soften them so that we could cut the up into pieces. As we cut them, we placed them in water to keep them from browning. This is a turkey pan full of cubed potatoes; we ended up with 3.5 of these.
After all the chopping we called it a night. The next day, we reheated the sweet potatoes in the oven for about 15 minutes. We then heated the jars and lids and boiled some water. We placed the slightly cooked sweet potatoes in the jars and covered with boiling water (we decided against sugar water or salt water).
We placed the jars in the pressure canner so that none of the jars were touching anything. The canner held 7 quart-sized jars.
Now, I didn’t realize that pressure canning was such a long process. First you bring the water to a boil. Then you put the lid on and close it; but not the gauge. You have to wait for the steam to be released first and allow it to steam for 10 minutes. After that, you put the gauge on and wait for the pressure to build up to the desired level (10PSI). This takes another 10 or so minutes. Once the pressure has built up……now, you can start the 90 minute timer. After 90 minutes, you have to let the pressure fall naturally which can take 30 minutes or so. So what we thought was a 90 minute process, was actually 150 minute process. And we’ve got to do this 4 times before we’re done.
We’ll here’s a look at our first batch.
Only 3 more batches to go…..atleast the smell was nice and it warms up the house on these cool days we're having. We’ll probably have about 25 quarts of sweet potatoes when done.
Head over to Daphne’s Dandelions Harvest Monday to check out more harvests from around the globe.