Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Yes I Can!

Reading the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is rather intimidating. They (rightly so) hammer home the importance of sterility and proper techniques, so you know, you avoid botulism and other nasty contaminations. But I'll be honest, the book frankly scared me out of canning for more than a year. It just made it seem like canning was something I just wasn't cut out to do.

But two weekends a go, I went to a canning demonstration at Surfas, put on by the people behind the Saving the Season blog. And despite almost going postal on a woman who got on my case because Vivian was crying, it was very helpful, if only because it showed me that canning is not, in fact, rocket science.

Fast forward to this last weekend. We went up to Kingsburg to visit the family, and while there, we took a side trip to the Fresno State Farmers Market. While there, I picked up 8 lbs of fresh peaches to can. Monday night, I finally decided it was time. I followed the rustic peach jam recipe on StS, and added 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and 1 tsp of ginger. And after much tribulation and swearing (the darn skins would not slip off the peaches!), here is what I ended up with:

No, not the cans of PBR. Six pints of jam! I didn't add pectin, and frankly some websites scared me about cooking the jam past the jell point, so it's rather loose. More like chunks of peaches in a thick syrup. But I think it tastes divine!

Hearing the jar lids pop to signal that they are properly sealed was like music to my ears!

Now I just have to think about what I want to put up next. Hmm, plums are in season...

6 comments:

Annika said...

I am planning to get this book (http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Book-Year-Round-Small-Batch-Preserving/dp/1552094898) and give canning a try myself. It seems far less intimidating than the Ball book (hee hee, ball) and I've heard wonderful things about it on other crafty blogs.

woolanthropy said...

Congratulations on the peaches. They look yummy. I want to do some canning too. What fun.

Ellen Bloom said...

Oh! You're such a Sara-Suzy Homemaker! Congrats. The peaches look delicious.

Allison said...

Your jam looks delicious! I love the orangey color. The Ball Canning book scared me a little, too. I was convinced I was going to give all my friends and family food poisoning, but I found that using the no sugar required pectin eased my fears a little. It gives you a little more room for creativity in the kitchen. That sound of the sealing jars is marvelous!

Kelli B said...

You peached look lovely - and so do those cans of PBR ;). I have only canned jam, marmalade and apple butter and I am still not certain I am doing it right. However, I should give it a try again because I bring home several pounds of green beans from my garden every week. The Ball book sounds like a great reference. I recently saw a review for "Preserved" by Nick Sandler - a supposedly less scary, up to date guide to canning; might be worth looking into.

dobco said...

Looks absolutely yummy. Peaches are my favorite. I bet it would be good over vanilla ice cream too! I just canned salsa...it is not a sweet treat but good just the same.