Wednesday, July 7, 2010
OAMC July: More canning :)
Well, if you are wondering what I've been up to the last couple of days, this is it *laugh*. I've been working on my "more creative" canning, since the weather has been...well so-so in the afternoons and so I figured I'd get some stuff done around the house. My goal for this winter is to look through my cabinets, figure out pretty much everything that I can that I'll buy canned for convience's sake and can it myself if I figure it will be cost effective.
So, last night I made Pancake Syrup (I love the site this came off of by the way...they have TONS of stuff from OAMC, to other domestic skill types of things, to canning, to disaster preparedness...it's an impressive amount of stuff once you start looking around). The syrup turned out pretty good. Using imitation maple flavoring I pretty much doubled the amount of maple flavoring called for. As my husband put it so well last night though, "Well...it looks like syrup". That made me laugh :). I got 4 pints out of the recipe used, so that was definitely cost effective to do.
Today I made Bluberry Syrup. Blueberry syrup is like my husband's all time favorite thing to have on pancakes and I had a bag of blueberries in the freezer that I knew I wasn't going to make into muffins before they got freezer tasting. So, I made syrup out of them. I omitted the lemon peel, though, and just added 2 tablespoons (about) of prepared lemon juice to give the blueberry syrup good "tang" :).
And I also made Grape Jelly from some of my cheap Welch's juice (the kids were even drinking it, so talk about nice and easy ;).
The Blueberry Syrup recipe made 3 pints of syrup with one bag of blue berries from the freezer and the Grape Jelly recipe filled up five 8 oz. jelly jars. Not bad for 3 cups of grape juice and a bag of blueberries that were going to go bad :).
The best part? Once you have your "assembly line" system down for canning in a hot water bath canner session it goes by FAST! I had the grape jelly and the blueberry syrup done in two hours pat and half of that was waiting for the blueberries to strain (I used a dark dish cloth instead of cheese cloth) and cool enough to handle so I could squeeze out the excess juice (and no I didn't bother with the candy thermometer either...I just slapped on a lid and waited ten minutes, which will thicken the syrup and the condensation will stop any crystalization from taking place...stirring after about three minutes occasionally to stop the sugar from burning :).
Next up on my "oddball" canning lists are going to definitely be greens (I have chard in my garden that will hopefully be ready to harvest in a couple of week), cabbage (since I have like five cabbages in my garden that are growing at the same rate...I want to freeze some, but I think I'll can some to make into cabbage and noodles later), strawberry rhubarb jam and whatever else strikes my fancy.
In the meantime I'm definitely going to have to can more chili and some more soups and stews. So, I'm feeling good about what I have accomplished so far and I'm excited about what I have yet to do :).