Thursday, July 12, 2012

~The Start of Canning Season~

Ah, canning season! I ♥ canning. It is, admittedly, labor-intensive. But it is so rewarding to step back and see all those gleaming jars full of  delicious food. Last summer, I canned many, many jars of tomatoes, salsas, green beans, jams, and applesauce. By the last apple I was ready to be done. But now I'm ready to start! It's funny how that works!

So far, from our garden produce, I have canned one pint of pickled peppers (a mix of three types of peppers) and three pints of garlic dill pickles:

We have seven cucumber plants this year, and they are really taking off. If they all continue producing well, I will be up to my ears in cucumbers!
The last time I made pickles, it was the summer of 2005. I used one recipe, and made them all in one day (I purchased my cucumbers). And then, much to my complete disappointment, they didn't turn out very tasty. Neither of us really cared for them, and only a few of the many jars were even opened. Eventually I just emptied the jars. I don't want that to happen again! So I'm going to be trying out a lot of recipes this year! I'm going to copy or print the recipes and keep them in a binder, marking the jars to correspond with the recipes. Then when we open a new pickle we can decide if the recipe is a keeper or not. It seems like a lot of extra hassle, but I think it will pay off in the end! And at least if there is a recipe or two that we don't really like, it won't be too many jars!

On Monday I went blueberry picking, and yesterday I made blueberry spread with no/low-sugar pectin. I ended up sweetening the batch with one cup of sugar, as the jam without it was on the tart side. I would have had five half-pint jars, but I bumped one of my jars as I was cleaning the top, and it spilled across the counter. That was disappointing!

We have a few tomatoes that are starting to ripen. And we've gotten a few green beans here and there. I'm going to be slammed with tomatoes and green beans later in the month and through August, so to that end I've been reading my canning book like a novel, picking out recipes to try with my (hopefully!) bumper crop!


Charity said...

I love pickles!! Looks so yummy!!! I've never really gotten into canning. My grandmother used to can a LOT, but my mom never got into it. I think pickles would be fun... and the blueberries look really yummy too! I have several bags of those in my freezer. :)

Tammy said...

Charity, I have 4 quarts of blueberries in the freezer and would like to pick and freeze some more. I need to get out blueberry picking soon because our growing season has bumped up this year because of our hot weather.