Monday, July 4, 2011
Are You Ready To Can?
My canning season officially started today with none other than peaches. Most of the peaches on the tree are still hard, and I am not 100% squirrel-free, contrary to my previous post, so it's really a race for the peaches between us and the squirrels. So, after breakfast, Nate and I picked the peaches we felt were ripe enough for canning. They really could have spent another day or two on the tree, but I'm not taking any chances with the tree rats.
(Disclaimer: Sometimes I sub things in canning recipes. That's a no-no since you can alter the acid content. You can take inspiration, but don't necessarily do what I do.)
I started with the Summer Salsa recipe in my Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving book. It called for 2 cups of chopped peaches and 2 cups of chopped pears, but I used all peaches. It was supposed to yield approximately 6 pints, but I got 4 pints exactly with none left over. I used the wide mouth jars, and I think they hold more than the regular mouth jars so I know the yield is probably off in that regard.
Next, I made some Peach Cardamom Jam. It's basically the peach jam recipe found in the Sure Jell Less or No Sugar Needed pectin box with cardamom and vanilla extract added. I didn't have an vanilla extract, so I used almond extract. I love cardamom, and I think it turned out quite tasty. Although it doesn't seem like it's setting up that well. I seem to be hit or miss with the low sugar pectin. Regardless, it will be eaten and savored. We can certainly use it as pancake syrup or an ice cream topping.
I'm saving my peelings and pits to try this recipe. Hopefully I'll accumulate enough to give it a go.
(There is a warning from a reviewer about using the pits as pits contain cyanide. So, use your best judgment if you decide to try this recipe.)
If you haven't checked out http://www.food.com/, you should. It's loaded with hundreds of canning recipes, and what I love is reading the reviews from other canners.
I hope to harvest enough peaches every few days to can some additional salsa and jam, and I want to try the Zesty Peach Barbeque Sauce recipe in my canning book as well.
So, peaches, pumpkin, apple pie, if you're ready, holler I!