RSS Feed

Tag Archives: preserving

Preserve Us

Everything is ripe all at once. Peaches on Sunday, now tomatoes, Chantrelles, and applesauce in the next week. If I miss some of my regular posts it’s because of a canning onslaught taking over my kitchen.

Keep your eye of the Canning Count in the sidebar there if you want to know what I’m up to…


Cherries in the Canning Pot

Posted on

Two weeks ago my dad and his sweetie picked pie cherries. Their season is so very short that it is important to get them at once, or else there will be no cherry pie in the winter. Or, more accuarately, we would have to buy pre-made cherry pie filling. Anyway, the cherries were picked and pitted, then frozen until there was time to deal with them. We got them right as we were getting home from Faire and dealing with head colds and laundry mountian. Not a good time for canning.

We also added a flat of bing cherries to the freezer – some frozen for eating and smoothies and whatnot, some dried, and some saved for cherry jam.

I looked at the calendar and realized that today was cherry canning day. So we defrosted the cherries and  got to work.

Pot o’ Cherries

There were too many cherries for the usual pot. We had to get out the five-gallon brewing kettle.

Brother-Bug stirring in the sugar.

I reduced the amount of sugar reccommended by 1/2 cup per quart of cherries. I figure that you can always add more sugar later, but it’s really hard to take sugar out.

Cherry pie filling going into jars.
We ended up with 7 quarts of pie filling. One I saved out to make into pie immediately. The rest went into the water bath canner. Then it was time to move onto the jam!
Jam in the jam pot.

The jam is approximately 1/2 pie cherries, 1/2 bing cherries, sugar to taste, a dash of lemon, and some pectin. I whizzed the cherries up in the food processor before I put them in the pot.

Sister-Bug eating the skimmed foam from the jam. She approves.

The jam went into jars and into the water bath as well. I saved some cherries out for making some fruit leather, but that is a project for another day.

The day’s bounty

At the end I have 7 quarts of pie cherries and 10 1/2-pints of cherry jam. And a dream of cherry pie on a dull day in mid-winter.

And one of my favorite things about a can of cherries? I think they look like I’ve been pickling the hearts of evil gnomes. Macabre, but true. And so tasty.

In the Pantry

Posted on
These are some of my jars.

I love to can. There’s an art to it, a rythem, and when I stack shelves of broth and jams I feel good. I know what is in those jars, I usually know who grew it.

I like knowing that the food I feed my family is made by me. I like knowing that we have food stored away. I like the alchemy of jellies and pickles, and the way jars of tomatoes and pears look on the shelf. I love the taste of home canned peaches.

Today I organized my shelves of canned goods – jams on one shelf, pickles on another, broths on another. Empty jars kept together, organized more or less by size and neck width.

I discovered that we are set for pickles, probably for several years. We need peaches, possibly some apple sauce, certainly more apple and grape juice. We are completely out of beef broth and fish broth, fine for chicken, and have lots of veggie broth.

So now we can strike into canning season, with its sticky jam pots, jewel colored jars, rich smells, and long days of hard work. Maybe some cherry jam and cherry pie filling this weekend. We will have to see. Maybe some strawberry jam. And I noticed I have only one jar of blueberry jam left…

A Sip of Gold

Posted on

Last fall, in the excitement of high canning season I tried making some Pear Liqueur. I had grabbed Classic Liqueurs from our local home brew shop and finally had a chance to try it. I made the Golden Pear Liqueur (page 39). With one thing and another, it took me forever to get around to the final step – just straining it a couple of times. I did it, FINALLY, the other day. It took five minutes.

Immediately I was shocked that I had waited SO long to strain this amazing and delectable goodness. I could have been sipping this for the last 5 months! It’s sweet. It’s syrupy (maybe too syrupy…I need to experiment a little more). It tastes of sun-warmed Bartlet Pears. It’s amazing.

I’m going to need to make some more liqueurs. Strawberry? My own amaretto? Milk liqueur? Who knows? It’s going to be yet another food making adventure in our home.