Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Canning Week!

Canning week has begun! It all started on Sunday at the Farmer's market here. I usually wait until the end of the day when good deals can be struck on overruns of produce that cannot be sold in time for the market to end. This time I got strawberries, apricots, and peaches for canning. I am doing mostly jam this week, with one exception. I am a lover of banana splits, and I just cannot justify the expensive toppings in the grocery store. I decided this year to embark on making my own toppings from one of my canning books. In April, I made pineapple sauce from left over Easter brunch pineapple. It has been awaiting the partner sauce of strawberry, and now I have made it.

I have to say that this sauce is not set as hard as the pineapple, which I feel is a good thing. The pineapple was really stiff. This is much more saucy. The flavor is amazing, and the secret ingredients really do bring out the strawberry flavors while not distracting or detracting from them. In fact, I cannot taste them what so ever! It was a big surprise. We made banana splits last night for dessert, and while I did not make the ice cream or the hot fudge, the two sauces I made were phenomenal! It makes me want to make more sauce to ensure we have enough for the whole year! I am not sure that the five half pints will be enough after tasting the left over half a jar from the day I made it!

I also made my fist batch of strawberry jam. This seems to be really popular with my friends, and I am noticing more "orders" for this one. I think that I may have to make another batch, so there will be enough to go around. This year I got a lot of foam on the jam, and I am not quite sure why. Perhaps I needed more lemon juice to cut it down. I am unsure. I ended up canning the jam with out skimming, and while it is not quite as "pretty" as skimmed jam, I still think it tastes pretty darn good. That is what matters in the end is taste, right?

Canning has been quite odd this year as we are in a winter like weather pattern here in Oakland. This morning's jog was done in the misty and almost drizzly fog and cold. It seems odd to be preserving summer's bounty when it does not look or feel summer like at all. Today I am going to work on the apricot I could not do yesterday due to a lack of lemons. I am also thinking about diving headlong into the peach if there is time. The peaches look like they are getting ripe, and I do not want them to go bad on me before I can jam them up. If there is time before I head off to the Cub's game I will also work on finishing up a sewing project I hope to share at a future date. Well the motivation is here, so I am going to seize it and set of to some canning.

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