Did you use any of your home canned foods for holiday meals?

kathy_in_washington(Zone 8 Sequim,WA)December 25, 2013

I'm curious about this. The only food I used was some Spiced Peaches. Of course, I cooked fresh food, but I didn't use any of the jams, jellies, chutneys, relishes, or jars of fruit.

What all did you use? It would be interesting to hear from others.

Kathy in Sequim, Washington

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dirtguy50 SW MO z6a(6a)

Hi Kathy and Merry Christmas to you and your family. Funny but my kids were over Monday after everyone worked and requested chili of all things. I did use my canned chunked tomatoes, canned tomato sauce, frozen carrots, braided garlic, frozen mild peppers, frozen onions, and canned beef broth in the chili. I though I cooked about twice too much and it was almost all gone. That is always a good feeling when your family enjoys the meal that much. BTW, are you part of the Back to Eden folk?

    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 11:34PM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

Just some frozen onions in the dressing and canned cranberry sauce. I was planning to have canned green beans, but ended up with only about half the expected guests and waaayyy too much food, so decided not to serve the extra veggie. I did cook a "stored" butternut squash to replace the sweet potatoes. That went over really well. Nice to have them a little less starchy!


    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 9:44AM
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We used 3 qts of green beans and 2 qts of carrots for Thanksgiving. We will be using 2 more qts of carrots for Christmas dinner. The carrots were canned special for those dinners. Most of all of our canned goods are in pints, since there is only 2 of us.

It's amazing how many jars of produce that we've went thru this year so far. We have decided to eat more of our canned food versus store product this year. I had LOTS of canned goods from previous years and am almost out of all of the older items and starting on this year's canned goods.

We are on a fixed income and am hoping to eat healthier.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 11:10AM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

We used apple butter when making rugelach and it was wonderful. I need to get more production out of the garden to be able to use more things in the holiday meals.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 1:32PM
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I was going to use some raspberry jam to make thumbprint cookies but no time to make sugar cookie dough to roll out. I made 3 batches (13 breads of varying sizes) of stollen on Xmas Eve, DD and I had made snickerdoodles the day before and also dough for molasses snaps (which got baked yesterday AM). Storebought tub sugar cookie dough was too soft to roll so just did all 3 kinds of cookies as balls rolled in cinnamon or colored sugar.

We heated a Smithfield spiral ham for dinner, man that was good with some Hickory Farms Honey Pineapple Mustard DB sent my parents. Website is out of stock but if anyone has the recipe I'd like to make some. I usually don't eat mustard or horseradish on warm ham (just ham sandwiches) but tried a little dab and then yesterday put some on cold ham and biscuit - yum!

We did have some homecanned pickles and I found another package of frozen green beans but not enough for all of us so my mom bought fresh washed and trimmed at the store.

We've been eating a LOT of canned tomatoes in sauces and soups this past month - nice to take a break. But chili season is starting. DD took some of her Red Hot jelly (and made mint to go with it - green food coloring) to school party, kids didn't eat a lot but she's been eating cream cheese and jelly sandwiches for weeks. Gave a jar of each to her teacher. I forgot to bring some to my parents' but will today or later this week since she wants her aunt and cousin to try it.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 9:50AM
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At Thanksgiving I used canned chicken stock in the stuffing and the gravy.

I was going to use my strawberry jam in the thumbprint cookies, but it was my first time with pomona pectin and it didn't /doesn't set up like regular jam. I also cut way back on the sugar, so its not nearly as sweet as most people expect. In the end I used Smuckers raspberry.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 2:13PM
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For the holidays, I used:
Frozen Brodo (a poultry/beef stock, reduced) for the cornbread dressing and to supplement the turkey gravy.

Chili mango jam glazed the ham.

Potatoes, onions and garlic from the cellar.

Bread and Butter pickles

Cumin pickled beets

For New Year's Day, I'll use the Brodo, onions, dried chilies and canned tomatoes in the Hoppin John, and five pepper jelly on the cornbread.

I would also like to attempt a Hubbard squash pie, which I read somewhere on here is as good as pumpkin pie. (Maybe Reading Lady was the source.)

Mostly, at Christmas, my use of preserved food is for gifts. A couple of years ago my husband and I decided to limit gifts primarily to homemade things such as liqueurs, jams, jellies, salsas, etc.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 4:53PM
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Hubbard squash, or any squash can be used as a sub for pumpkin. Pumpkins for the most part are squash, very few true pumpkins are grown now.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 2:55PM
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If frozen counts, we used a lot of homemade stuff.

Sunday was a homemade brined/smoked cottage ham (made from part of a pork butt leftover from venison butchering), canned cranberry chutney, frozen green beans and a home-grown butternut squash.

Monday was Venison Salisbury Steak over homemade egg noodles. Only bought mushrooms and onions for the gravy. Next year, we are definitely growing onions.

Christmas Eve was pan fried bass from our lake with french fries (sorry, I did buy frozen Ore-Ida fries :-) Not exactly a feast of seven fishes, but we thought one type of fish might do.

Christmas dinner was Venison Wellington with home canned beets, roasted carrots (store-bought), frozen Brussel sprouts, and a Peach-Raspberry Cobbler made with home canned peaches, frozen wild raspberries and a 1/2 pint of peach jam instead of sugar in the batter.

Didn't have company - just the two of us plus an orphaned neighbor or two - but we eat pretty well by "shopping" the pantry and the freezers :-)

Been eating leftovers, but tonight is ground venison and a pint of homemade chili sauce aka Manwich sandwiches. Need a quick meal - just butchered our fourth deer this year. Someone harvested it and didn't want the meat (don't get me started on that topic) so we'll use it rather than see it go to waste.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 5:01PM
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kathy_in_washington(Zone 8 Sequim,WA)

OK, OK, OK. I admit it. I'm in last place! I'm super-proud and in awe of all of you. But then, that's how I feel all year long when I read about all that you've prepared. Amazing job by so many of you!

I've been gone from the large home with the orchard for 2.5 years now (moved to a senior condominium because husband's health was really waning, and he was worried about being in the big house) but we didn't sell it, thank goodness. Well, Ken passed away (he was 23 years older than I) 1.5 years ago, and I've just decided to move back to the home (with the separate canning kitchen, my sewing studio and the 150 fruit trees). I'm very pleased with this decision, but am a little apprehensive, too.

I can barely keep up with the fruit from the trees in the summer. I usually try to have several oak barrels and some Earth Boxes with tomatoes, beans, squash. Years ago (and I mean YEARS AGO -- back in my hippie dippy days) I had a vegetable garden and enjoyed that. I'm not sure I could really manage a vegetable garden now, too, but I haven't given up the idea.

In answer to the question from "dirtguy50", No, I am not part of the "Back to Eden" folk. I've read about and heard very good, interesting things about it ... and, of course, it's a "local boy does good" that we're all proud of. Perhaps the day will come that I can start some organic gardening in raised beds. It's most certainly a worthwhile way to grow, eat, and live.

I visited my daughter this afternoon and she was reading her new, very thick(!) catalog of non-GMO seeds (Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.) ... and drooling over the pictures. I guess that time of year will be upon us soon.

Thank you for sharing stories of your contributions to holiday meals. I think next year I might invite myself to your homes!

Kathy in Sequim, Washington

Here is a link that might be useful: Sequim's Back to Eden organization/film

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 7:20PM
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I didn't cook the Christmas meal, but did the Thanksgiving meal......alternating the holiday meals with my DIL so each one of us gets a break from cooking every other holiday. I used lots of food I put by. I had candied sweet potatoes I made from my canned sweets. Green bean casserole from my canned green beans. Spiced crab apples I put up in tiny jars for garnish. Pumpkin pie from home canned pumpkin chunks. Noodles cooked in broth I'd frozen. Cole slaw made with late season fresh cabbage harvested shortly before Thanksgiving.

I used two to three jars of canned food every day, actually and some meals are totally home-grown all the way from the entree to the desert.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 7:50PM
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Funny we haven't used any of our canned food in the past week, but tonight we had chicken soup made with broth from storebought chicken I cooked last week (just made the broth last night), my parents (sister's family still there) made turkey noodle soup with bones frozen from Thanksgiving, DD has spent a couple of nights there and said the soup reminded her of mine and made her homesick so I had to go pick her up after supper!

Those fully-homegrown meals happen in the summer for us, not so much this time of year. I have put up some beef chunks (raw pack) for emergencies since I got the PC, but it's mostly still the same old tomatoes and pickles (some tomatoes with squash since I got the PC before the first frost). Next year I will expand into more PCing - I still haven't canned broth since I haven't made a batch larger than 3 quarts, so it just gets stuck in the fridge and eaten later that week!

We also have to grow a lot more green beans next year - maybe potatoes again too.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 10:13PM
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I didn't cook much of anything for Christmas this year, due to my work scheduleâ¦had dinner at SIL's and she graciously did all the work :-)

My contribution was roasted red pepper veggie dip, made with some roasted red peppers I'd canned last season. Yummy stuff, and a family favorite.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 7:39PM
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naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan(5B SW Michigan)

Christmas dinner was at my daughter's this year. She had saved enough of her frozen green beans and peppers for our large group. She used them to made green bean packets with her homegrown beans and peppers. Even tied them up with homegrown leek leaves. I found this dish very meaningful since she has only been gardening for a few years. It was great to see that she felt her home grown produce was special and deserved a unique presentation at a family celebration.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 12:03PM
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We had Christmas at the DIL. For Thanksgiving, we used home canned green beans for the green bean casserole. For Christmas, she used store canned, and I could really tell the difference. We won't be going back to store, unless absolutely have to. We buy the beans from local growers, instead of gardening ourselves. We aren't able to do the garden anymore.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 1:36PM
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I was just here checking to see if anyone was still canning anything, since I canned beef broth today.

I raised the heritage Blue Slate turkey that we had at Thanksgiving, along with the fingerling potatoes which store very well in the cellar. Pumpkin pie was made from home canned pumpkin and an appetizer of a savory cheesecake was topped with my Habanero Gold. Mulled cider from cider we pressed and I had in the freezer stayed warm in the crockpot.

Christmas thumbprint cookies contained homecanned jam and the green beans were from my basement "store" and my stepson roasted another one of those turkeys. The guys all doused theirs with my home canned hot sauce. All the Christmas baking was done with eggs from the freezer too, and the pie was made with homecanned apple pie filling. Throughout the holidays we snacked on fresh tortilla chips and salsa that I had canned (Yes, I'm THAT Annie). Oh, I made the ricotta for the lemon ricotta pancakes too, as well as the yogurt. Enchiladas made with leftover turkey were topped with tomatillo sauce that I made and froze when the last of my tomatillos vines were threatened by frost.

My kids are coming over tomorrow and we're having beef roulades, with the onions in the rolled beef coming from the root cellar and the beef from my barnyard, good organic grassfed beef, a Hereford/Highland cross. Sweet and sour kale from our bumper crop of greens this year, home canned green beans with bacon for the grandkids and the cheesecake will be topped with homecanned blueberry topping. Appetizers will be venison sausage and homemade liverwurst from that same grassfed beef, pickled beets and Linda Lou's 10 day sweet pickles

So, yeah, I use a lot of my canned goods.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 11:46PM
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My sister didn't want to feed her youngest (then 9 months) my homemade applesauce this summer b/c I cooked it with the skins on (though I did put it through a food mill after cooking). Last week she commented that "No wonder (the 8-yr old) likes (brand my mom buys) - it's got HFCS!" (she buys organic at home in CA). I didn't offer any apple-pear sauce that I'd made since the applesauce was rejected this summer, the canned apples also were when I brought them over with some frozen streusel on Xmas Day. She was going to make an apple crumble of sorts but was too tired to prep the (conventionally-grown) apples my mom had bought. So we had a frozen cheesecake and Mrs. Smith's bake-and-serve pumpkin pie that my mom had bought. Took over an hour to bake the frozen pie and it wasn't seasoned well - would have taken less time to bake a pie using one of the cans of pumpkin I have in my pantry.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 3:35PM
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We used some canned green beans for thanksgiving and again for Christmas. The rest of T-day was done by my DIL at their house. Since I have had to go gluten free, I also made my own cream of mushroom soup for the casseroles.
I used a quart of collard greens for New Years and we are on a pint of homemade apple butter from our first orchard harvest this year. We've gone thru one pint of blueberry syrup on pancakes and have gone thru' several quarts of home canned soups [I have started canning my own soups to make sure they are gluten free] altho' that was not for the holidays. I made a batch of cranberry sauce from a bag of cranberries and dehydrated it - we had some with the Christmas ham and it was delicious so I think we've started a new tradition there.
I also used a quart of tomatoes for the hamshank 15 bean soup made from the Christmas ham. I too, am gathering quite a collection of empty jars as we are now using more canned goods from our garden than ever before due to my husband losing his job last year. I have found I really like canning soups - so nice to have something we can just open, heat and eat. Before the jars of separate ingredients would just sit but now we are actually using more of what we can.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 2:01PM
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Just had some friends over & I opened a jar of Habanero Gold jelly & served it over cream cheese. Yum. My last jar too, so I expect I'll be making some more soon.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 10:08PM
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Tried some tomato jam on a cracker with Laughing Cow light Swiss and yum! I had thought it too sweet on turkey sandwich, may still cut down on the sugar when I make it again. Can't beat the HG (or version using other chiles) but still good. Also enjoying cranberry jal jam on cream cheese, and DD took PB and grape jelly today. We tend to use our canned goods (mostly preserves and tomatoes) for regular meals and not the holidays (except for the jellies that go well with cream cheese).

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 5:09PM
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