I Can Can!

Hello everyone! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted here, but I think I might start up again.

Since the last time I wrote, we have moved, took a break from my fiber business, prepped for a deployment that fortunately passed us by, started making jewelry, dabbled in polymer clay, started my fiber business up again and took it to the next level, and now I’m canning!
About a month or so ago I became involved in a wonderful little food co-op called “Bountiful Baskets.” Participating would be a great motivator for me to cook up something different, and expand on my current use of vegetables. Or so I thought. What ended up happening however, was a frenzied cooking spree that never seemed to end so that I could use up all the fresh fruits and veggies before they spoiled, and even then some things were wasted and went bad anyways.

Which brings me to canning. After my first batch of Strawberries liquified on me because I failed to use them in a timely manner (and neglected to refrigerate them immediately), I knew I had to make some changes and find something to do with all this food! I talked hubby into buying me a waterbath canner, and I scoured the internet for recipes I could use for my 8lbs of Strawberries and 40lbs of Oranges (yes, FORTY pounds of Oranges).

What followed was a very long and very messy week in the kitchen, of which my husband complained multiple times about how often he had to run the dishwasher. But the result, in my opinion, was well worth the effort and the extra mess. Together we made 7 pints of orange slices, 6 pints of Strawberry Honey Apple Jam, 3.5 half pints of chocolate sauce, 7 half pints of orange marmalade, 5 half pints of orange jelly, 3.5 half pints of Watermelon jelly, and 3 pints of dill pickle slices. I also made 2 loaves of banana nut bread, 2 loaves of strawberry bread, and 1 loaf of orange bread. Plus 1 decadent orange cheesecake with chocolate sauce.

My waterbath canning success, prompted me to further investigate canning and I came to the conclusion that I needed a $200 All American pressure canner. I had to compromise with hubby though, so I am starting out with this affordable canner by Presto. If my pressure canning is as productive as my waterbath canning, and if I feel I need the heavy duty canner, then he’s agreed to let me “upgrade” in the future. Ain’t he a swell guy? 🙂

That pretty much wraps everything up for now. I’m going to be busy updating the blog and re-activating the Facebook page tonight. Take care everyone!

-Sam