Monday, September 3, 2012

Canning Fool

If you were smarter/less busy than I this past spring and planted a garden, you should have been faced with abundance the past month or so.  Since the weather has been so mild here in Southern Ontario, you are probably still in the midst of abundance.

Abundance, to me, also equals preserving some of it for later enjoyment.

Since I was not really in any position to get a garden going this past spring, I'm mostly relying on farmer's market/local produce from the grocery store to get my preserves restocked.  Due to the munchkin, I'm doing it sort of piecemeal, since I need to have someone else on hand to watch her.  I also need to plan it around her feeding schedule since I'm nursing.

Yesterday I managed to get some Red Onion Jelly and some Garlic & Sweet Pepper Jelly made in one afternoon!  This is in addition to the Peach-Blueberry freezer jam, Zesty Dill Pickle Slices and Ginger Carrot & Daikon pickles I've already made.

I don't have any photos of the pickles, but here's some photographic evidence of the jellies!

The Red Onion Jelly comes out in a lovely pink hue. 

You can sort of see the flecks of red pepper of the garlic jelly in the above photo.

My two favourite sources for water-bath canning (the kind for which you don't need any special equipment) are the Bernardin cookbooks and a book I picked up called The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving

Canning is one of those food-related things where I generally follow a recipe fairly closely, since there is a risk of food poisoning if it goes wrong.

Still on the preserving list for me:
  • Strawberry Jam (from berries I stashed in the freezer last summer during first trimester pregnancy nausea)
  • Salsa (I use a recipe from the Small Batch book for this, but replace parsley with cilantro in my version)
  • Plum sauce (I haven't actually made plum sauce before, so I'm still deciding on a base recipe.  If you have a favourite, please let me know!)
  • Ketchup (maybe.  If tomatoes are a good price, and I don't get distracted)
Have you done any preserving yet this season?  What will you be making?

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