Friday, June 15, 2012

Home Canning for the first time!

A little continuation of "Blessings on the Table".

I sit here and I am just beaming with warmth from the generosity my landlord keeps giving. When we had to move in 08', we were thoroughly blessed to find this place and to have such a wonderful couple to rent the lot from.

In the last month he has given me bags of zucchini, squash, tomatoes and plums. The first batch of zucchini and squash he gave us was mostly all eaten but sadly I did have to throw some away cause they were starting to spoil. The bag of cherry tomatoes he gave to hubby were nearly all eaten but again some spoiled. This bothered me...alot. I hate throwing away food especially in these hard times. Most of the time we eat what was prepared till it is gone, even if it means eating the same thing for a couple days. That is how much I hate wasting food!

Another bag of zucchini was left on the gate and yes I do love zucchini but I was burnt out on them by this point. Soo...

I figured it was high time to get over my fear and ignorance and learn how to do Home Canning. I'd been talking about it, thinking on it and wishing I knew where or how to begin. With some help from my friends pointing me in the right direction and sharing some cool links, I figured out what all I was going to need and where to get it. Hubby then surprised me with a shopping trip to get supplies for canning, I guess that was his way of saying "Stop talking about it and just do it already!"  Fear is a big thing...I let the supplies sit there for a day just trying to muster up the courage. I was so afraid I was going to ruin the zucchini and then it would have been all wasted...we all know how much I hate wasting food! I had to remind myself that if I don't at least try they are gonna go bad anyway.

Bravery on a Saturday afternoon! I turned the second batch of zucchini into Bread and Butter zucchini pickles! 

 I was soo excited when I finally started hearing the pops of the lids sealing, I was high 5'ing the air and doing a little dance! A success! Now my brain was working...what can I do next? (personally I think canning may be addicting)

The next day I decided to make jam with the wild blackberries (some folks call them Dewberries) I picked earlier this year and froze in quart bags. It was even simpler than the pickles (honestly I was surprised how easy but I did mess with the recipe a bit cause OMGoodness it called for ALOT of sugar) and yes I was again dancing in excitement at each lid popping. Mostly I was grinning from ear to ear cause, I mean..LOOK, I did this!!

The following day the landlord dropped of some plums. Now I am not a big fan of plums, matter of a fact I have never bought any and hadn't eaten one since I was still living with my parents (mom loves them).  I had NO idea what to do with them.

I wanted to make some plum butter butter after reviewing the recipes and realizing I don't have the spices and the recipes are nearly exactly like jam I opted to go with jam instead.

Let me tell ya the mashing of the plums through a strainer was kinda time consuming but I managed to get'r done! I wanted to make some plum butter butter after reviewing the recipes and realizing I don't have the spices and the recipes are nearly exactly like jam I opted to go with jam instead.

I just love the taste! Some of the plums weren't completely ripe so the jam as a sweet and slightly tarty taste...yumm! We have already gone through a jar! I gave the landlord and his wife a jar of each and received a call last night from them giving me rave reviews and in return I got another bag of plums! LOL! Hmmm...any suggestions???

 Let me give a shout out to Jen over at All Because 2 People Fell In Love. She was my inspiration to really get on the Ball and do it. (sorry about the pun, I couldn't help myself..LOL!)


SueBee said... [Reply to comment]

A job well done is always a good feeling! I too never wsste food if I can at all help it....think it stems from our upbringing....wish I was around the corner to bring the muffins so that I could taste that awesome plum jam...I incidently, love plums!!! x

Lucy said... [Reply to comment]

All looks so good. I have canned some, but not much. My mom canned and pickled and I loved her bread and butter pickles.