Can It Forward Day

11 Aug

I have been reading about canning a lot lately.  It seems that everywhere I turn someone is writing an article or telling story about it in the media.  The Yoga Journal even recently published an article about it online.

In the spirit of becoming more sustainable as a family (seeing as we planted a few fruit trees and hopefully within a few years will have a surplus of apples and peaches), I decided to give it a whirl.  Everyone says it’s a super easy way to enjoy fresh summer fruits all winter long!

Just like everything else I dabble in, I started with research.  I Googled canning.  I went on You Tube and watched videos of people doing it (they make it look so easy)!  I asked people I knew about it, whether they had ever tried it, whether it was worth it.

My cousin, Megan Homan, who writes an all encompassing blog (personalmap.wordpress.com) suggested a book The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.  She’s become my human go-to guide for all things cooking.

The book turned out to be a really good resource; the best I found, in fact.  The book gives great information on everything you need to know.  What supplies you need, how to shop for the food you’re going to can, how to clean it and make sure it’s safe, a variety of mouth watering recipes, and of course, how to actually process the cans.

This weekend I gave it my all.  I went to the local Farmer’s Market and picked out some peaches.  I decided to use an all natural recipe, which called for Granny Smith apples as a source of natural pectin.  I got home, and got to business (I should note that I had previously sterilized all of the cans/equipment, so canning time does not include that process).

I started by chopping the apples (5) and lemons (2).  I then put them in a pot to boil, adding just enough water so the fruit wouldn’t stick.  When it was nice and saucy, I removed it from the heat and in batches, strained the apple sauce (I didn’t have a sieve as recommended, but found that a colander worked just as well).  I then transferred the applesauce into another pot, added 5 ½ cups of sugar, as well as 6 cups of chopped peaches.  The book indicated it would take about 20 minutes of boiling to start to jell.  For me, it took more like an hour.  It’s a rather tedious job too, stirring frequently, and ensuring the jam doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

Once the jam is thickened and stick tested, it can be put into cans and processed.  The recipe indicated it would yield 7 8oz jars.  I got 6 ½, so I left one unprocessed and we used it the following morning on toast.  All in all, the entire process from beginning to end took me about 6 hours, so it’s definitely not something I’m planning on doing with any frequency.  The jam is the best I’ve ever tasted though, so it was definitely worth the effort!

Whether you decide to join in the Can It Forward movement http://www.freshpreserving.com/community/events/can-it-forward.aspx on August 13th, it’s definitely a skill I’m glad I now know.  You never know when you may need to be able to make your own food and make it last!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: