It's canning season. Every week, I survey my counter and all the baskets and bowls of fruit, veggies from our garden and local farms, spices, and various sizes of canning jars to preserve it all in. At times it seems daunting, but when approached with a "Yes we can" attitude, those pantry shelves fill up quickly with rows of good, wholesome food for the year ahead. Last year we had so much canned food left from my late night canning frenzies of 2012, that I only canned pickled dilly beans. This year, we were out of just about everything, so I pulled Corey in on the fun for a crash course in canning.
We discovered our gas range wasn't very efficient for heating the boiling water bath, and after tearing through a tank of propane making the pickled dilly beans, we picked up a Bayou gas burner for dual purpose home brewing and canning. It turned out to be much more efficient and allowed us to keep the boiling water bath out on the back porch and not with us in the already hot kitchen.
Every time we've had a canning morning, the farm cats have come around to help supervise.
They took the job seriously, from corn relish to peaches as we canned our way through all the colors of the rainbow.
Red raspberry jam with lavender.
Farm fresh peaches in honey syrup.
Golden corn relish.
Bread and butter pickles in vintage style green glass jars.
Applesauce from our tree in blue vintage style canning jars.
We like to eat it in the winter on lattkes.
Homemade orange marmalade.
I had always wanted to make this, and decided it looked easy enough on the Pomona's Pectin recipe sheet for me to give it a whirl. My double recipe only used 8 oranges, 1 grapefruit and 2 lemons, and was so simple I wondered why I had never made it before. I'm looking forward to some cheerful looking toast on dark winter mornings.
When the last jar of jam was cooling on the back step, we took a cue from the cats, and sat back for some well deserved rest. In our preparations for winter, firewood and fruit drying are up next on the agenda, and with each task we check off the list, I look forward more and more to cold days and cozy times in our farmhouse.