It doesn’t feel like Fall today, and yet today it officially begins. The temperature is suppose to climb to the 90’s this afternoon and yet I get an unexplainable itch every year at this time to stock my cupboards and prepare for old man winter.

To date, my cupboards are stocked with the following:

  • 10 quarts marinara sauce
  • 2 quarts canned tomatoes
  • 8 pints blackberry preserves
  • 2 pints raspberry preserves
  • 10 pints pear-ginger preserves
  • 3 pints asian pear chutney
  • 2 quarts peaches
  • 2 quarts break & butter pickles
  • 1 quart honey vinegar carrots
  • 10 pints zucchini relish
  • 1 ziplock bag frozen roasted red peppers
  • 1 ziplock dehydrated tomatoes
  • 1 ziplock dehydrated zucchini

Despite this list, I feel like I haven’t really “seriously” started to preserve for winter. I have put up small batches here and there this summer when there was enough to justify a small canning and it has all added up. There is so much produce left before winter really sets in – it’s time to get serious.

My plan is to take advantage of more peaches, tomatoes, green beans, and corn that are still in season. I want to experiment with salsa, pie filling, a pickled veggie medley, etc. Some day I hope to own a pressure canner, which means I could can all kinds of vegetables without worrying about the acid content, but today is not that day. So I am looking for ideas on useful water-bath canner recipes to keep me warm this winter.

Have any great ideas? What is your pantry filled with? What has been your favorite wintertime treat from the pantry?

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Written by Renee Wilkinson