Friday, June 23, 2017


We have two freezers, one quite large and the other medium-sized, a legacy of the days when we grew lots and lots of veggies and fruit.  We've cut way down on the amount of veggies we grow--a lot because the deer ate almost everything we grew last year.  I'm not interested in providing a buffet for the overgrown deer population!  But also because we are away part of the year now and just don't eat as much over the winter months as we used to.

The freezer in the house was the large one and held everything we were currently using, including the meat and fish we buy in "family sized trays," a good supply of frozen vegetables and all the done-ahead baking of bread, buns and muffins.  That freezer was running almost empty lately.  The freezer in the garage held the processed veggies from the garden, lots of quarts of frozen applesauce, and several ice cream pails of fruit--raspberries, cherries (two varieties), red currants, black currants and Saskatoons.

On Sunday our neighbours called and asked if we had some freezer space they could use.  Their freezer had started sparking and smoking.  The yanked it away from the wall and unplugged it.  But what to do with all the frozen food?  Fortunately I had a lot of space they could use.

I had been thinking of selling the larger freezer and using the smaller one in the house instead.  So when they came I mentioned selling the freezer.  Just what they needed!  So the deal was made.  This worked out very well for us because he would come with some of his hired men and do all the transferring.

But in the meantime the garage freezer had to be emptied, ready to come inside.  There were at least 12 gallon ice-cream pails of frozen fruits in there, so I got busy Monday morning with the steam juicer transforming the frozen fruit into fruit juice in canning jars.  That was a timely thing as our supply of canned fruit juices (all home canned) was getting low.

The Steam Juicer has four parts: a large bottom section to hold boiling water, a middle section that allows steam up through the center and has a spout to pour out the collected juice, a sieve-like upper section that holds the washed fruit, and a lid.

I've set a scalded quart jar under the spout and will drain off a quart of extremely hot juice.  Then a scalded snap lid is laid on top and the screw ring screwed on finger tight, the jar set aside to cool.  The loud snap when it seals itself is such an encouraging sound!

Here's a sieve full of Evans cherries ready to be steamed.  The colander section is on top of the lid for now, to prevent juice leaking on the counter.

Every now and then I lift up that section to see how much juice has collected.  There needs to be about 1" in the pot to fill a quart jar.

Here's the bounty so far: 19 quart jars of pure, home-made fruit juice.  At this point that's all that's in the jars.  When I use the juice I can add some sweetening, thin it with water or 7Up, make syrup for pancakes or jelly for toast.  Jim drinks some juice every day, so this will store nicely in the downstairs closet and be ready for use at any time!  No additives, no "flavourings," no aspartame, just plain good fruit juice!

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