Let the insanity begin — it’s canning season!

Saturday August 25th 2012, AT 11:23AM   Leave a comment

I don’t even know where to begin, except to say that NO, I did not learn my lesson last year!! Remember those sometimes funny, sometimes exasperated posts from last fall, the ones where I asked myself the question “What have I gotten myself into?!” at least once or twice? If not, here are some links to them:
What to do with 220+ lbs of produce – Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5

I promised to blog more about canning season after Day 5, but I don’t think I had the energy or wherewithal to do so! However, I have had a solid year to recover from the epic efforts and I am about to jump in with both feet once again.

This is what I put up last year:
peaches: 60lbs
apples: 50lbs
tomatoes: 50lbs
nectarines: 40lbs
pears: 20lbs
We also made a sh*tload of pickles.

And this year, I have decided to go without pears and nectarines, get fewer apples, the same amount of peaches, and more tomatoes. Plus some plums. Those will come in a week or two from my local organic connection, Farmer Sarah. I can’t wait, though. I’ve just put together a very long list of small batch jams and sauces I’m itching to get started on, and am off to get the fruit now. Here’s what I am going to try to get to:

Italian plum jam with star anise
Plum apple jelly
Blueberry plum basil jam

honey sweetened skillet stone fruit jam
Peach lavender jam
Peach butter
Peach skin jelly

blueberry ginger jam

small batch strawberry vanilla jam
Strawberry balsamic sauce
Apple strawberry sauce

Grapes: grape catchup

no recipe cherry jam

I’m also going to experiment with some fruit sauces and stewed fruits. I’ve written about the Bircher Muesli that my family is in love with, and I will want to continue making it through the fall and winter, when local fruit is no longer in season. I’ll need a really good selection of sauces to layer in with the muesli and greek yogurt.

I didn’t know how I would feel about canning as fall approached…my garden is quite lacking this year, as I planned it to be. Our three weeks in Europe came right at the beginning of the growing season, and I didn’t want to bother any friends with taking care of new seedlings at their most delicate period, so I pretty much went without planting anything but carrots, a few peas and lettuce.

But here it is again, the need to can. It’s like a call from deep within my cells.
Browsing recipes online and in cookbooks this morning, I started to get that old familiar longing. I gotta can!!

Make (and can) everything with love,

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