Monday, September 7, 2009

First day of canning complete!

Photo by Flickr user cafemama

I am unreasonably tired for 11pm. My feet are sore and sticky. My t-shirt and sweats have various fruit syrups spattered all over them. And I am ridiculously happy.

I set out today to confront head-on my first experience with canning. Inspired by a Seattle-based movement of foodies and bloggers called Canvolution, I bought everything I needed on Saturday from a Craigslist ad: a waterbath canner, jars, a Ball Blue Book of Preserving (aka, the canning bible), and various accessories--all for only $75. Lee and I went to the Ballard farmers market yesterday and lugged home more produce than I knew what to do with, and today Torian and I canned it all from 1pm until now, 10 hours later. (I have once again misplaced my camera cord, so bear with me on the lack of pictures for the time being.)

We made:
5 pints raspberry jam
2 pints raspberry/blueberry jam (which I think I like even better!)
2 quarts blueberries in syrup
3 pints pomegranate champagne sauce (which was supposed to be jelly but didn't get enough pectin and will now make a great mixer for alcohol)
8 quarts spiced peaches
2 quarts crushed heirloom tomatoes
2 pints peach butter (Oh. My. God. I have found my weakness.)

For a grand total of four and a half gallons of summery goodness put up for the winter! Woohoo!

I really loved canning. I don't know what I would have done without Torian there helping me and teaching me, but good lord was it fun. I'm already envisioning all the amazing things I could make and give as Hannukah/Christmas presents in a few months. Not to mention I haven't yet tapped the bounty of our backyard: apples, asian pears, yellow plums, and green figs all await me! Mwah ha ha. I have to admit, canning feels a little bit like being a mad scientist in a delicious, delicious laboratory. And now I'll get to enjoy summer produce throughout the winter! It might have been a lot of work, but it will be more than worth it when I open up a jar of August in January. I can't wait.


  1. Hey! My name is Rachel and Ive been following your blog for a couple of months. I love your array of fun blogs on all sorts of domestic arts and your pug pics!

    Anyway, what on earth is peach butter? I love peaches and I love butter, so I must know!


  2. Hi Rachel,

    Peach butter doesn't actually contain butter. Fruit "butters" are just fruit pulp slowly cooked down with a lot of sugar and sometimes spices. (Apple butter is the most common one.) The resulting goo is thick, sweet, fruity, and delicious on everything from toast to ice cream. I licked all my spatulas and bowls clean when I made it last night, but I'm going to be good a wait a few months to open a full can.

    Just google a recipe--they're all pretty similar and just vary by spices. Enjoy!



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