Sunday, August 12, 2012

Adventures in Canning

I'm one step closer to checking something off my bucket list.  :-D

One of my goals is to be a wife and mother who cans fruits and vegetables... and anything else I can learn to can.

Jars sanitized - Check!
Growing up, my mom canned every summer and fall -- tomatoes, applesauce, mincemeat, green beans, strawberry jam, yellow-wax beans, raspberry jam... and I'm sure there were more.  We had cabinets FULL of canned fruits and vegetables in our basement, and I always knew if something happened that we had to hide in the basement (tornado, nuclear attack), we had plenty of food.

20 lbs of fresh, ripe Colorado peaches - Check!
My true goal would be to have a garden someday where I grow my own veggies, and then can them -- but so far, Lexie (my kitty) and I have killed every plant in our care.  Thankfully, life is long and I have many things to learn.

Sugar, Pectin, Wax, Space, Motivation - Check!
Yesterday, I took my first step toward becoming a canning wife.  I have canned with my mom, in my mom's kitchen, but yesterday was my first time canning by myself and in my own kitchen with my own materials.

20lbs of Colorado Peaches
6 batches of peach jam
6 hours of work
24 12oz jars of jam
12 8oz jars of jam
First canning endeavor -- SUCCESS!

36 jars of peach jam! Whew!
To be honest, we don't use a lot of jam, but Hubby and I both really liked the idea of having jars of jam on hand for gifts.  We tasted the jam, and we agreed it is worth sharing.  (I won't give away baked goods that I don't think taste good).  The jam tasted great! :-D

First canning adventure completed!
My favorite part of canning: The knife cuts don't matter!

I am horrible at chopping, slicing, dicing, mincing... anything you can do with a knife and a cutting board.  I try so hard to make even cuts to have my veggies the same size, but so far, I am hopeless!  When I was chopping the peaches, the knife cuts didn't matter!!  The chopped peaches were going into a big kettle and mixed all around and turned in to jam -- no one cars about the different size of the chopped peaches!  YAY!

Lexie tried to help in any way she could... luckily when the jars with hot jam started coming out, she made herself scarce.

"Mom, you don't need a highlighter to can... let me get this out of your way!"
"Behind these jars, no one can see me!"

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