Saturday, August 06, 2005

We Can Can the Beans and the Fruit

(That's a line from a silly song I learned at 4-H camp years ago. Don't ask. It just seemed relevant.)

I spent a good part of today slaving over a hot stove. Yep, must be summertime if I've got the canner working at full blast!

First up, more hot dill pickles: My garden is kicking into gear where cucumbers are concerned, and though I only picked about eight or nine of them, most of them were big and fat and perfect for making straight, long pickle spears. Another 4 1/2 pints made (and the half pint has extra garlic... a special jar for a special guy, Mitch Heat).

And then I had to decide what to do with the remaining fresh Red Globe peaches... and I settled on making a batch of baked spiced peach butter (laced with cinnamon and cardamom, and sweetened with honey and maple syrup). I only got 2 1/2 pints out of that, but still, it was worth the effort.

I'm slowly working through my stash of pint canning jars, so once the tomatoes ripen, I'll probably be canning them in quart jars. Not a problem, as I have plenty of those to use, but that will mean planning meals carefully come winter when I need to open one jar!

(Any of you out there who live nearby and have empty jars from my previous gifts of pickles and jam? I'm happy to recycle!)

I expect there will be more of the same next week!


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