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Canning Summer’s Bounty (and Making Good on a New Year’s Resolution)

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mosaic jams
One of  the things I resolved to do this year was more canning and preserving, using in season local produce purchased, and not necessarily grown by me. I had the blueberry syrup/jam attempt a few weeks ago, and this week I started stepping up the pace. Last week I made a savory Peach Jam with Caramelized Onion and Basil and Triple Ginger Nectarine Jam.  What I liked about both of these recipes was that they made a fairly small batch so I didn’t have to use my great big canner.  I also used half pint jars. I was able to fit 5 of them in my large stockpot.  Last night I opened a jar of the savory jam and had spoonfuls of it atop brie atop bread (at an Olympics viewing party!) and it was just as delicious as I’d hoped it would be.
IMG_9659
The triple ginger (fresh, ground and crystallized) jam was fantastic.  I didn’t dice the nectarines and they don’t break down the way apples do, so it was quite chunky.  We tasted the leftover bit, hot, on top of vanilla ice cream and it was DEE-licious.
Verdict: Delicious

Today I made that same jam, but with a few changes:

  • less sugar: because I was too lazy to go refill the canister and the full sugar batch was rather sweet
  • peaches instead of nectarines: because they looked best at the store
  • no fresh ginger: because I didn’t have any
  • a touch more candied ginger: because I like it
  • 1/3 of a grated gala apple: because you won’t taste it and the apple pectin will enhance the gelling of it (neither recipe called for pectin and both set up just fine)
  • food process the peaches to get a really fine mince with a few big chunks

Since I’m the main picture taker in the family there actually aren’t too many pics of me.  I asked Clark to take some pictures of me canning so that fifty years from now he can find a snapshot in a box in the basement and either have a laugh or feel sentimental at remembering me canning in the kitchen. This is not too bad:

IMG_9671

It smelled great cooking and drew Clark into the kitchen.  We tasted the leftover on toast and he immediately wanted more and said it was the best jam he ever had.
Tasting the jam on toast

I also made sage pesto, which I freeze in little muffin cups or ice cup trays, and then keep in a freezer bag.
Sage Pesto
Wondering how it holds up? I found some in a bag labeled August 2006 and had it on a sandwich last weekend. It was fresh and tasty!
Next up will be corn salsa.  I don’t have enough tomatoes of my own to use in this recipe, so I bought some at the store today.  I am getting lovely handfuls of gold and red cherry tomatoes.  These I will be preserving by roasting with olive oil and garlic, tossing with lots of fresh basil and then freezing.

Cherry TomatoesI’m very pleased that with regard to this New Year’s Resolution I’m actually doing ok.  I definitely want to do lots more because you can’t help but feel a bit hoard-y about the jars and, yet, they make wonderful gifts. Wouldn’t a teacher or friend like to receive a jar of homemade jam with a little loaf of bread at Christmas time? Wouldn’t a jar of homemade and home canned corn salsa and a bag of chips be a great little hostess gift? Yes, yes they would.

 

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About Sarah

I'm a librarian living with my lovely family in a gorgeous spot of New Jersey, where we raise chickens and love the outdoors. I try to find enough time to indulge all my hobbies-cooking, photography, gardening, sewing, and I write about it all on my book blog & personal blog.

One response »

  1. Those jam recipes both sound seriously awesome. I am adding them to my must-make-one-day list.

    Reply

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