Saturday, June 18, 2005

Now that's a bit of canning!

And it was just peachy.
 Posted by Hello

I'm putting my feet up after a bunch of hours in the kitchen. Pleasant hours, actually, and I wish I had the stamina and the fruit to can MORE!

To my delight, I found my water-bath canner box in the garage very quickly last night, and next to it my box of pint jelly jars. Some years ago when I packed up the canner I had very neatly packed some quart jars with and in it, as well as the jar rack and the jar lifter. Yay! I ran those jars through the dishwasher last night and washed the canner itself this morning. Before I headed to bed last night I also printed various tip sheets from cooperative extension Web sites around the country. There was also a visit to the store early today to get pectin, ascorbic acid, more sugar, lids, and rings, and some pickling supplies.

Because... today I wanted to tackle the case (about 25 pounds) of peach "seconds" that I bought through the local food co-op. Here's what I got done:

1. Got reacquainted with the process.
2. Canned seven pints of peach jam cooked on the stove with pectin.
3. Canned four pints of peach jam or syrup -- we'll see! -- cooked in the oven without pectin. Also a plastic pint-plus container for the freezer, and two quart jars for the fridge (can we say "she ran out of jars that had canning-appropriate lids"?!?).
4. Tried the ascorbic acid/citric acid powder on the last four peeled peaches, sliced -- it definitely prevents them from turning brown.
5. Learned that jam-making and canning are soooo easy, and I want to do more, more, more. Hehehe.

I think tomorrow I'm going to peel-and-slice-and-prep-and-freeze the rest of the peaches, reserving about 10 for two peach pies. I would bake just one pie, but it's the perfect thing to take to the Sunday evening Holy Eucharist-and-grill-your-dinner service. Way more interesting than baked beans or a green salad, and... it's what I have, so it's what I should take. That keeps life simple.

I'm already laying plans to buy another couple dozen pint jars and a dozen or more quart jars for later this summer (blackberries are in already). Hmmm. Looking through my cookbooks I remembered with pleasure that once upon a time, a decade or so ago, I made a purple plum jam with orange liqueur, and a peach jam with brown sugar and rum. I just might have to buy a little rum...

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