I have been a canning maniac this month. Not that I've had time for any of it. I've stayed up until the wee hours of the night washing, skinning, slicing, boiling. . . Sometimes I forget how much work canning really is when I'm ordering huge boxes of summer fruit. Usually the deal through our group buy is just too good to pass up. Like 25 lbs. of peaches for $7.50. Seriously, how could I not can this year? It's been a marathon push, but with only 24 lbs. of pears to go, I think I can can a little more!
Out of this crazy canning spree the Three Birdies have collectively canned cherry pie filling, apricots, raspberry jam, strawberry jam, plum sauce, peaches, peach pie filling, salsa, pizza sauce, and more. And Jessica even used her dehydrator to make some yummy fruit leather! As tired as I get of spending countless hours on my feet in a steamy kitchen, you can't beat the taste of home-canned fruits in the dead of winter. That's really why I do it. It really makes me and my family happy.
This simple fresh veggie salsa was really good, but it would've been a lot easier if I had a food processor (what a great Christmas gift that would make--hint, hint, Christian). Chopping all those vegetables by hand took for-ever!
These are my half-pints of pizza sauce. I found the recipe at recipezaar.com. This was really easy and the half pints are just the right size for two homemade pizzas! I'm also loving the new silver lids and rings from Ball. Look how cute the design is on the top of the lids!
And these new jar shapes (also from Ball brand) are so cute for jam. Just add a ribbon and a tag and they're ready for gifting!
I'll be canning these sweeties tonight. I mostly just do quarts, but last year I also tried Ball's recipe for pear butter. It's yummy on toast or English muffins.
Last year we told you about Stacy's awesome peach pie filling, but she couldn't find the recipe! It disappeared for a while, but we finally found a copy of it online and can finally share it with you. I made up a batch and prettied-up the jar for a thank-you gift. Super easy and sweet. Just layer patterned paper on coordinating card stock and wrap it around the jar. I used Tacky Tape or Glue Dots to secure it. Then tie a pretty bow and attach a coordinating tag. I also traced the inside of the ring on patterned paper and cut it out and adhered it to the top.
So, without further ado, here is a link our beloved peach pie filling recipe. It comes to you from PickYourOwn.org, a wonderful pick-your-own produce guide and canning resource. They are wonderful--so much good info on their site. I made pie-in-a-jar with this filling this week, and man was it delish! So good that my husband and I each had a half-pint of pie for breakfast. (I know, we're terrible, but it was THAT good.)
Canning is a wonderful skill to have--it helps us to be self-sufficient and frugal. We're lucky enough to have friends, family, and a church organization that have taught us these skills, but if you don't have these resources, there are tons of books and Web sites that offer step-by-step instructions for all types of canning recipes. We especially recommend the Ball Blue Book of Preserving. It's a good canning "bible." If you haven't tried canning but would like to, we suggest starting small--watch for bulk orders from your local farmers and try at just one type of fruit this year. Have any canning accomplishments you'd like to share? We're always looking for new ideas, so share it with us in the comments!
It's been a lot of work, but I love breathing a sigh of accomplishment as I stack my jars in the pantry, ready and waiting for a crisp winter day. I think I'm going to make myself a little present after the pears are done to congratulate myself on all that hard work. Can you guess what it will be?
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