This summer the canning addiction has hit in full force.
It started with that dinner in the orchard. There was a silent auction and we won a preserving class for four. In August, three friends and I drove over to Brentwood and had a great day learning all about canning and preserving.
We started with peaches. None of us knew that you could make really delicious peach jam without peeling the peaches first! Seriously, that alone was worth the price of admission. No more pots of boiling water and scalding fruit to peel off the skins.
We also sliced up plums and set them aside with some lavender to make another batch of jam.
Finally we learned to make preserved figs by first cooking them in syrup.
After a long morning of work we were ready for a break and a chance to enjoy what we had made. We had a delicious lunch outside with scones and bread and cheese to go with our preserves and jam.
We finished off our day with a tour of the orchard and the packing plant.
Then we loaded up the car with cases of fruit. What can I say? We’d been inspired.
My cases of fruit were cooked up into more of that delicious peach jam and will be given out for Christmas gifts.
But I couldn’t stop there.
I ordered a case of pears and bottled them in a light syrup.
I ordered a case of tomatoes and we made tomato puree to last us through the winter.
Then another case of tomatoes became tomato soup for the freezer and chipotle ketchup from this book.
Two cases of apples were turned into dehydrated apple slices, and just as quickly eaten.
Then came the pickles. A friend brought over an excess of cucumbers and my husband found this great refrigerator pickle recipe.
Those delicious pickles inspired us to try some pickled onions. So delicious with a sandwich, on a burger, in potato salad, off a fork!
Really, I’m going to stop soon. Honest! But not until after today.
A friend is coming over to make more varieties of ketchup. She planted something crazy like 75 tomato plants this year and needs to do something with the excess. I suspect it will be a long, sticky but delicious day.
Then, for sure, I’m stopping for this year.
Oh, except I have those beets in the fridge. Wouldn’t pickled beets be good? After that, really, I’ll stop.
– – m