Sunday, September 12, 2010
Sunday Night Special: Canning
I thought about calling this post "What I Did On My Summer Vacation," but I actually only had two weeks off. Ah, but no, I didn't amass this many jars of delicious things in just two weeks. If you don't count the meyer lemon marmalade I made in January (citrus season: the highlight of the colder months), I starting canning in earnest in May with pickled asparagus, which we'll eat with hardboiled eggs like before or maybe as part of an antipasto platter.
In June I kept the momentum going with dilly beans, which we have already eaten a jar of, with cheese and crackers during a night of card games. July was the month for jam: apricot, plum, and blueberry (we picked the blueberries ourselves and added lemon verbena from our garden). We've been eating the jam on toast, and as part of a delicious pastry that I have yet to tell you about, and I've got my eye on this jam tart recipe, too. We also made a kosher-style dill cucumber pickle in July, using a method from the new-this-year canning book Canning for a New Generation. I want to make every single thing in this book, but I'm running out of pantry space. Oh and if I run out of ways to use all this jam, here's a great list of ideas.
In August I made one more batch of jam (peach) and I made jalapeno jelly for the first time. It was also my first time using commercial pectin. My dad just emailed me to say he's enjoying the jar I sent up to Maine on crackers with goat cheese, so I'm going to call it a success. Speaking of spicy, we also put up sixteen pints of salsa in August.
September has been tomato month so far: 8 quarts of whole peeled tomatoes, 9 pints of crushed tomatoes, and three pints of tomato juice as a byproduct of the crushed tomatoes. We'll eat the tomatoes as sauce or on pizza or in any of the many, many things we eat that call for a can of tomatoes. I bet the tomato juice will show up as in a bloody mary for our New Year's Day brunch party if not before. Last week I made my first ever batch of mixed pickles using cauliflower, celery, carrots, pearl onions, cucumbers and hot and sweet peppers. We like these spicy pickles in salad or with cheese and crackers like the dilly beans.
I took this photo the other day mostly to remember what I've canned this year. I'll probably still do a batch of peach chutney since we enjoyed that so much last year, and I can always find room for more salsa in the cupboard. It was also fun to get it all out and see how productive we've been all season! So, what have you put up this year? And how are you going to use it?