Monday, July 5, 2010
July OAMC: Uhh...well not quite...
*Laugh* because seriously, this week is just going to be about "canning" not doing freezer cooking (I have no room in my freezer, dear Liza, dear Liza...). My husband is working on getting me a bigger freezer (old one that my father-in-law doesn't want anymore that needs a little weather stripping work done it from the sounds of it), which is just so super mega thrilling to me I can hardly stand it, but in the meantime, I'm stuck with my little block freezer and two loafs of bread, some hamburger buns, free lunch meat, a couple of boxes of frozen Resers entrees and free ice cream are currently taking up about 90% of the freezer and the rest is filled with meat. So, logically, I figured I'd just get my peaches canned this month and work on doing some other more "experimental canning" later in the week (if I can dig up all the ingredients :).
I managed to get one quart and two pints (so basically two quarts *laugh*) of peaches out of the ones I had bought and the ones my neighbor gave me. The ones my neighbor gave me were actually a little too ripe to use and I ended up with a lot of peach juice all over me and my kitchen when the peaches just mushed around the pit instead of twisting open. It was pretty messy, although I ended up eating a lot of yummy ripe, albiet mushy, peaches ;). But, hey, 3.00 for two quarts of peaches...I'm happy with those numbers :).
Once I got my kids to leave me alone for a little bit I was able to get the peaches canned. Notice the floating/non-picturesque look of the fruit? This happens to me EVERY SINGLE TIME I can fruit. I don't know why. I have tried every single trick in the book to make the fruit sit nice and pretty in the jar and I still end up with floating fruit *le sigh*. This time I tried "hot packing" the fruit (you sort of par cook it before shoving it into the jars) and all I got out of it was burned hands from the sugar water. Next time, to heck with it, if I end up with fruit float, fine, but I'm going to cold pack it. At least that way I know I won't get burns from it. If this ever happens to you and you are new to canning, though, don't panic. Floating fruit doesn't mean your seal is bad, isn't going to make your fruit spoil quicker or anything like that. You might end up with some discoloring of the fruit above the juice in the jar, but that's it. Everything else is just fine with it, so long as your seals hold and don't pop on you within 6 to 12 hours (mine are fine *laugh*). Resist the urge to store your jars upside down when this happens. You'll never know if your seal goes bad if you do...that and your jars will just out and out look silly.
Later in the week I'm hoping to try my hand at making things like some apple jelly and some maple flavored syrup (I love real maple syrup, but shelling out 8.00 for a jar of it right now is so not in my budget) and jarring that for later use (I'll just jar the maple flavored syrup and then fill up the old Mrs. Butterworth container when it gets low...works for me ;).
There is NOTHING worth reporting that I can find going on in the blogging world today so far, so I just thought I'd post up an update so people knew I was still alive. I'm hoping to take the kids outside after their nap (wind and all, but the sun is out...the SUUUUNNNN!!!), so I'd better get some laundry folded. Enjoy your afternoon!