Sunday, April 22, 2012

Canning Day!

Two weeks ago my friend Rae and I had a canning day! Not familiar with Canning? It should probably be called's a method of preserving food (in my case, cooked food in a jar). We made a lot of things, since we only worked for about 3 hours once we got started.  We're planning another canning day this Sunday (fingers crossed).

So, I figured, why not walk you through some canning points while using pictures to illustrate?

First off, you need a lot of stuff to can. What I've shown to the side are some of the ingredients we used.

For this past experiment in preserving, we had strawberries (which we didn't use), cans (jars), lids, honey, blueberries, lemons, sugar, cloves, cinnamon, allspice, oranges, limes, jalepenos, get the picture.  What this all adds up to is a lot of shopping (or fruit picking if you're lucky) and some good time spent organizing and planning.

You also end up spending a lot of time in food prep. What I'm showing here are some pictures of the work. Those green things? Those are jalepenos. I learned a few things while working with fresh jalepenos - one of those things is that even if you wash your hands a few times, you still shouldn't touch your eyes or your face. You will still be in horrible pain hours later - and yes, it gets worse if you wash your face......
 And yes, canning involves a need for acid. Although you end up using a lot of sweets and fruit, you also end up using really sour fruits, like lemons, for more citric acid. Here are just a few of the ones that we used to make some lemon-blueberry marmalade. And you know what? I didn't think that lemon-blueberry would taste very good, but it's delicious! I wish I hadn't canned it into such large jars, since I would rather have had a multitude of little jars that I could give away and open at different times. Now I have 1 big jar (the person who canned with me has the other) and I'm hesistating on opening it becuase I don't want to have to use up the whole damn thing!

 And this to the right is what heaven looks like while it's still cooking. What's heaven? Heaven is whole orange slices which are boiled into submission in an ooze of honey and melted granulated sugar -  with a spice bag of cinnamon sticks, cloves, and allspice. This is a super simple recipe out of one of my two canning books. It's simply called "orange slices in honey" and that's exactly what it is. Before this, I didn't think that you could eat whole orange slices -  but you totally can. Lots of people were leery, but they found out that if you put a little of this on a piece of bread with a nice soft cheese - goat being our favorite, it's heaven.

But enough in-proceess pics, here are the finished products for you to ogle.

2 Hugemongous jars of blueberry lemon marmalade
6 jars of jalepeno jam 


4 and 1/2 jars of orange slices in honey.

My haul was half of the canning we did that day, plus the half jar of oranges.

One thing I love about canning (besides how much fun it is to share) is how beautiful it looks!

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