As you can tell by the title, I have been busy canning things that are now in season.
My garden is not big enough to let me do all the canning from what it produces, so I go to a couple small gardeners who sell the produce in their yards.
It tastes so good fresh and I usually buy too much to use it quickly. It just looks so good that I buy a lot of things and then we have it for several meals in a row. Not a good idea as by the third day it is not a fresh and tasty.
This year I started with rhubarb. Now usually it is done by the middle of July but this year for some strange reason my patch keeps on growing. Everyone else in town is saying their rhubarb is a dream but mine is still pretty healthy so I keep picking it.
I have made rhubarb jam, stewed rhubarb and an experiment that turned out well is a mix of rhubarb and crab apples cooked down a small box of strawberry jello and sugar or splenda to taste. The skins on the apples were sort of tough so I used my stick blender to get rid of them. Wow! success it makes a great sauce to go with chicken fingers or with pork instead of the usual apple sauce.
Now it is cucumber and tomatoe season. The tomatoes I bought were green and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them so back to the internet and I found a recipe for, Green tomatoe relish. I made the first batch with sugar since that is what the recipe called for and since I had never made or tasted it before I figured I would stick with the recipe. Usually I don’t follow them too closely.
Well it turned out great so I made more with splenda so my husband could have it. Somebody has to eat my efforts and he is diabetic.
I have made mixed sweet pickles some dill pickles which are slices not the whole cucumber. I like them on sandwiches and this way just pull a couple from the jar and not have to cut them when I am in a hurry.
I made beet pickles and they sure are nice. I do not care for cloves and the store bought ones seem to use a lot of cloves so my home canned ones have no cloves. That is the nice thing about doing your own canning. You can pick and choose what you add or subtract from the recipes.
Now when I am talking canning do not think that I spend days and days getting this done.
What I am doing is using a recipe that can be done in about an hour or less and they only fill 4 pint size jars or 2 of the larger ones. In this way I can have the jars ready for shelves in about 2 hours and have the rest of the day for other things.
The only one that was more time consuming was the sweet mixed pickles. I had to peel those tiny white pearl onions and then put all the vegetables into a brine and leave it for 8 hours. To solve this I put it to soak at night and then in the morning when Don left for work I made up the vinegar solution and jarred them. So even before breakfast I had about 6 jars of pickles.
I said before breakfast but not before a couple cups of coffee. Have to fit in the important things as well when doing a chore.
I am not done with the things I want to do and the next big items that will be available are plums, pears and peaches.
Today I will make a peach nectarine chutney. I bought a basket of each and they are really ripe so I want to use them up and Don will eat a few this week as he is night shift but most will be canned.
But another thing that happened was I ran out of convenient places to put the jars. I have been asking to have some shelves put up in the basement and when Don saw what I was doing he decided that yesterday was a good day to get it done. It took all afternoon which was strange for us since we work quickly but the house is old and nothing was square so it took some work after the major cutting was done with the jig saw to make the boards fit nice and flat so the jars didn’t slide.
But they are done and now I have an empty cupboard that I was using for a pantry and I can put some of my appliances there instead of on the counter top and in boxes in the basement. Much easier for me to get to so they may get used a bit more.
I have very little counter space in the kitchen so when we got rid of the dish washer Don put up a pine shelf right under the window and a bit higher than the counter top I already have and it is now the perfect height for me. Plus it is by the window so the light is better and I get to see outside while working there.
My son the life coach is always telling people to get a hobby. Well I listened this time and I find that my hobby may turn into a bit of a money maker. Who doesn’t like home canned food and since a lot of what I am making is diabetic friendly it would sell and I might take it to a fall craft fair we have in town every year. Put a ribbon around the lids and they can be Christmas gifts or gifts for what ever parties during the winter.
Next post will contain some of the recipes for preserves and also some for the flavoured vinegars I am also making.
So hobbies are great to keep you active and keep your brain working when you are housebound for what ever the reason.
Have a good day and please if you have a recipe that you enjoy please feel free to post it here. I might change it around but if I do I will let you know the results.