Thursday, July 30, 2009

Adventures in Canning

Last night I took care of something that I simply had to do because I couldn't let fresh carrots go to waste.
So I cut up those carrots, cut up some pears, and then I added pineapple, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
Can't you just smell the cloves?

After it boiled for 20 minutes I added powdered pectin and sugar:

A lot of sugar.
Can you guess what it is?
You've had plenty of hints.
Give up?
Okay, I'll show you.
This is the final product:

It's Carrot Cake Jam!
Well, and Carrot Cake Conserve too.
Do you know what a conserve is?
It's a jam with nuts in it, that's the only difference.
Pretty simple, eh?
I'm excited to try this, but I'm also dreading finding room for it.
One of the reasons I haven't been blogging much this summer is because I've found a new summer obsession: canning.
Here's a list of all I've created so far this summer:
Danish Cherry Sauce - Cherries in sugar syrup with cinnamon and almond extract
Spirited Apricots - sliced apricots in sugar syrup with rum
Raspberry jam
Old-Fashioned Strawberry jam - no pectin, just sugar and fruit (took Hours to do but it is the best, by far)
Summer Solstice Preserves - blueberries and cherries
Victorian Barbecue Sauce - rhubarb, raisins, brown sugar-based sauce
Black Forest Preserves - cherries, sugar, and chocolate
Blueberry Pie Filling
Crushed Tomatoes
Strawberry Freezer Jam
Raspberry Blackberry Freezer Jam
Carrot Cake Jam - carrots, pears, pineapple, spices
Carrot Cake Conserve - same as above but with walnuts

You know this has meant hours of labor in the kitchen, but I think the end product is worth it.
Well here, I'll show you:

For some people this might not be a lot, but you have to realize that I have never canned before, so this whole process is totally new to me.
My mother gave me all her canning supplies, as well as her jars, so that has helped, but it's all been one big food experiment, and I love it!
(I don't know how it all tastes, but we live in hope that come December when we open a jar the taste will remind us of the rainy summer day on which it was made when all the ingredients were fresh from the market. And yeah, rainy, because that's ALL it's done this summer.)
The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving has been my guide throughout this process.
And just think, it's only July - apples haven't even been harvested yet!

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Look at you! You're a true renaissance woman. Want to swap preserves? I'll send you a jar of my homemade apple butter for your favorite gift jar. Mmmmm. Canning is so wonderful.