Gratituesday: Hard Work Tastes Good

Remember all the abundance of produce that I was tripping over last fall and trying very hard to appreciate? All the canning and preserving we do during August and September (in the midst of soccer season) is overwhelming at times. We know we’re doing it for our family’s health and to save money…but it really is a lot of hard work!

But now that it’s (almost) February? Now THIS is why we work so hard in the fall!!

Everytime we run out of applesauce, we go to the pantry. Each time I decide to make spaghetti or pizza? We get out a jar of sauce. We’ve enjoyed many a grilled cheese sandwich with homemade tomato soup. We’ve got a great supply of salsa left. We have canned peaches to eat in cottage cheese for a quick and easy snack. Our supply of frozen green beans and corn is holding up just fine, and we haven’t been holding back.

Healthy food doesn’t get much easier than this.

All that hard work back in the fall? It was SO worth it.

Remind me of this post in September when I’m again overwhelmed and tripping over boxes of apples and tomatoes.

What are you thankful for this Gratituesday? Write about it on your blog, then come link up with us here. If you don’t have a blog, be sure to leave a comment letting us know what you’re grateful for!

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please copy and paste the following sentence into your post! Thanks!

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!


  1. says

    I’m so jealous!!! I’ve done so many different homemaking things, but canning scares the crap outta me! I’m worried that I’ll go to all of that work and end up not doing something right…so that I’ll end up with jars or stuff that needs to be tossed.

    If you ever wanted to do an actual canning lesson….with real live people, I’d love to learn!!!


    Heather T. Reply:

    Canning is easy just get your feet wet, start simple with tomatoes or
    applesauce, really its soo rewarding and easy and come winter it is
    great to have.


  2. Gina says

    I canned applesauce for the first time shortly after discovering your blog a couple months ago. I am down to only one jar now and my little guy is the only one who eats it. Guess I need to beef up the supply next time so it will last a little longer!


  3. says

    I know exactly what you mean. Right now I am tripping over oranges. Yep, have to squeeze and freeze…yep, squeeze and freeze. …Did I mention squeeze and freeze?

    However, I still have a hefty supply of applesauce from last year whoo hoo!


  4. Melodya says

    Sounds heavenly. :)

    We still live in a town house w/o a yard to call our own. Someday (soon I hope!) we will be able to do all this wonderful stuff too. Stopped by the store tonight to pick up a few essentials, only to find ourselves in the midst of a mob mentality of the coming blizzard…LOL Oh how I wish I had some canning to fall back on!

    Thankful though that while people were diving for the boxes of macaroni-cheese, pop, and canned soups, we had the good sense to get things like beans, bananas, buttermilk & orange juice among other things. Things that will nourish and endure us if some tragic weather would occur. We do what we can, He blesses that and does the rest. :)


    Jessica Reply:

    I love the last few line of your post. This is so important to remember!



  5. Amy C. says

    Dearest Laura, could you post an entry on canning? Maybe with a short video? I was taught when I was younger, but have really forgotten some key points. Do you do hot water bath vs pressure canning? And how do you do both? Your faithful reader, Amy


    Char Reply:

    I’m not Laura, but I know she has written some great posts
    about canning. :-) Here is one of them:

    If you click on the Gardening and Preserving link in the top link bar
    there is a link to all the canning posts she has made.

    Hope that helps!!


    Char Reply:

    Oops, actually that link was the canning and preserving archives.
    Here is the link to the Canning 101 post:


  6. Martha says

    I can’t agree more. In the fall I took your directions on making and canning applesauce. Delicious! It was the first time I had made applesauce. It was easy. As I sat down yesterday to a bowl I thought to myself how thankful I was to have this delicious food. I also froze spaghetti/pizza sauce this past year. Every time I go to the freeze I am thankful. I was just thinking to myself the other day. I need to plant more tomato plants because I need more sauce for next year. I can’t wait until the next growing season. Thank you very much for your lessons in the kitchen and life. I enjoy your blog very much and have learned a lot.


  7. says

    I totally agree. It is such hard work in the fall but such a blessing the rest of the year. With canning, since the jars are good for 3 years (or more), I try to focus on canning LOTS of certain items each year rather than trying to can lesser amounts of everything each year.

    For the people who are asking for canning tips, I would highly recommend buying a book that will give you all of the information you need – you need to blanch some veggies before freezing them and the amounts of time differ. Same with canning – every food item requires a slightly different amount of time boiling depending on acid content. I have a book called “Stocking Up: The Classic Preserving Guide” by Carol Hupping that has always contained all of the information I’ve needed and more…


  8. says

    Ah, yes, I share your sentiments!! I *love* having the freezers full of produce and my shelves full of canned peaches and canned tomato stuff, but man is it hard to remember that when you have peach juice dripping off your elbows, corn splattered… and green beans that need snapped and it’s almost midnight… :D But, I am still excited for this coming growing season and refilling our stores :)


  9. says

    Oh yum, Laura! I’m going to try to do this more this summer/fall when I get some fresh tomatoes. I’m sure it’s so nice not to have to buy the jarred stuff from the store!


  10. says

    Laura- Could you please delete my two fumbled attempts at linking? We are in the midst of a crazy ice storm and my computer keeps going crazy on me… Thanks buddy! And sorry for messing up your list!


  11. Jessica says

    This morning it is very gray outside. Given my distaste for winter, of course, that is the first thing I noticed. But sitting here at my computer, with my coffee, I happened to notice all kinds of birds chirping outside. It made the day seem a little less gloomy. I am grateful this morning for those birds’ reminder that the gray skies won’t last forever.


  12. Laurie Plath says

    I totally agree. Sometimes it overwhelming when you’re in the middle of canning and freezing, but it sure is worth it.


  13. Lori says

    I just wanted to say that I love your gratituesday posts. I too was just thinking this week how good it is to have my homemade tomato sauce. I didn’t think it would last this long but it has and I use it pretty much once a week. I also have many plan canned tomatoes (cause I got sick of making sauce) for when the sauce does run out. Seeing how awsesome it is to have my own canned food I am very excited about harvest time this year and I hope to put up much more than I did last year.


  14. says

    Laura– What a great reminder of things to be thankful for! We, too, are enjoying homemade applesauce, red cabbage and our salsa on a regular basis!


  15. McKinsey says

    Laura, I came across your blog last summer and was just getting into eating real food and getting the junk out of my life. I’m thankful for your blog. My husband is in construction and had no work from thanksgiving until january. By putting up as much food as I could, buying beef from a friend who had just gotten a whole order and buying tons of grain to make all of our bread things, we got through those really rough 6 weeks with very little income. And we ate well! In winters before, it would be the cheapest junk I could get at the grocery store. Next year I am planning on canning double what I did this year. It makes such a difference in our health and our food bill! God is so good and I thank Him for His abundant blessings!


  16. says

    I agree!! It’s hard work but worth it come winter. I just pulled out a jar of pears and applesauce yesterday. I gave my sister a few jars of pears and my brother-in-law won’t let the kids eat them. He said to save them for winter, winter is here, eat them.


  17. Heather T. says

    Love me some canned goods, it is soo nice to walk downstairs and get what I need vers going outside, getting in my car, shopping and so forth, and it tastes so good, and you know its good for you. It can seem like hard work, I grew up canning and it makes me feel at ease, I never get too much stuff that I am overwhelmed. we have a nice sized back yard so we have a garden and we supplement from a nice Amish family that sells produce along the road. I really enjoy your blog and look forward to reading it.


  18. says

    I don’t can as much as you, but I, too, am thankful for the work we did last summer/fall that we are able to enjoy the results of now. Like you though, I may need a reminder of how thankful I am for all of it next summer/fall when I’m overwhelmed with produce and trying to keep it from being wasted. It is such a blessing, really!


  19. says

    I was going to skip this today, but it’s so good to stop and remember what we’re grateful for. Thanks again.

    Oh, and I made applesauce yesterday for my sick kids. :)


  20. Brenda says

    I agree so much! Each time I run to the pantry for canned tomatoes or more applesauce, I am glad I did it and so is my grocery bill!!

    We even ate sweet potatoes this week from the ones we grew and dug up in the fall.

    I wondered about all of your “Green” Tomatoes… I finally fed the last of my green tomatoes that had ripen on the counter to and finally started going bad to the Chickens just this week. They were in heaven!

    Thanks for the inspiration and step by step lessons in canning tomatoes… that’s how I found you!


  21. Samantha says

    Between the neighbors dogs getting into our trash and stringing diapers and chicken across the yard and my 13 month old ripping her diaper to shreds during a nap I was having a hard time thinking of what I was grateful for today. But then the awful snow storm died down and hubby got home for lunch in one piece. God is good! =]


  22. says

    I’ve been keeping a list for several years now. It is amazing to me how learning the art of being grateful gets us through the difficult trials the Lord allows in our lives.


  23. says

    One of my favorite memories is going to my g’ma’s basement in the winter & seeing the beautiful jars of vegies on shelves. Her food was always the best when we went to visit. Now I am working on doing the same. We have plenty of canned tomatoes this year. More next year. . . Thanks for putting up the link each week.


  24. Sara says

    So grateful for so many things right now. My Heavenly father who knows what I need before I ask Him, a warm shelter in a big snow, children enjoying eachother’s company and a sweet and wonderful husband who loves the Lord and his family. And by the way even though i ran out of freshly canned tomatoes I still have yummy fruit and salsa to enjoy! :)


  25. Teri says

    Laura, I, too, am very thankful for all the canned and frozen foods I have in my pantry/freezer. :) We moved last year and I didn’t think I would be putting food by but the Lord truly blessed our family and we were able to fill many jars. Today, I just made 6 pts of applesauce (tucked away in my freezer now) from apples I bought in the fall. How thankful I am to the Lord for richly blessing my family’s life and for parents and grandparents who showed me the way.

    Another great reference book for canning/preserving is The Ball Blue book. I use it for everything I can/freeze. I also dehydrate lots of food and this has good info for that too.


  26. says

    After 3 moves in less than 2 years we have not had the opportunity to can. But I have all the supplies I need, now I just need a garden this year :)


  27. D says

    Our family is also enjoying what seemed like so much work last fall. I will remind you if you remind me come August and September. God Bless


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