Aug252012

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:

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

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

Blueberries:
blueberry ginger jam

Strawberries:
small batch strawberry vanilla jam
Strawberry balsamic sauce
Apple strawberry sauce

Grapes: grape catchup

Cherries:
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,
Tamara

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