Thursday, June 5, 2008

Why's it called Canning and not Jarring?

Well today was a day largely spent in the kitchen. If I hadn't had to sweep, mop, scrub bathrooms, and do a bit of laundry, I might have called it the perfect day. it was great though! While the kids and Daddy spent their time swimming I got quiet, uninterrupted kitchen of my favorite things!!! This morning when my friend from high school, Ryan, called he asked what we were up to today & I was just starting my venture. He laughed that I was getting brave and awfully domestic or something like that...ha ha!! So true. But for some reason, I have always wanted to try canning. My parents and grandparents used to do it, so why not, right?!
Yesterday we ran to the farm for milk and eggs. When we dropped them by the house before running some more errands, the kids ate a popsicle & I picked up the laptop. I happened to just quickly check the strawberry farms website. Mostly to see if he had listed what veggies he would have at the Marietta Square's farmers market this weekend. Only to see that the s'berry season was coming to an end. So on a whim the kids and I headed out in the heat to pick some more berries with the goal of making some strawberry jam. Thanks to my parents locating and lending me their old canner, I now have 14 jars of strawberry jam sealed and resting. The kids have decided tomorrow night for dinner we will have "Aunt Sally's buttermilk biscuits" (Sally Ray from biscuit social days for those of you Arlington Alum) for dinner and try out the new jam. JohnMark has already made me promise to try it first...he's a bit unsure of this whole thing.

Fresh from the farm berries don't last long AT ALL (many had spoiled overnight) I dipped a few in dark chocolate for an after dinner snack tonight, and sliced the few that were left and put them in the freezer to have on hand for smoothies.
I have to admit there is something about canning that makes me feel empowered. How silly is that? It makes me feel like a "real cook" like my grandmother who was an amazing cook. Like I should be living on the farm or something...ha ha! When hubby and and the kids got home from the pool he started flipping through the old Ball canning book I had borrowed from my Mom and he's now intrigued and amazed at what all you could put in a jar for a quick meal...with no preservatives ..... When did we get away from that and move toward chef boyardee and Campbell's?boiling with the sugar -SEVEN CUPS to be exact...this is not light jam!

a peek while they first begin their water bathStill boiling hot, but cooling - it has to rest undisturbed for 12-24 hours - I'm just hoping it actually firms up and sets

I know real fancy serving tray huh? I had slid them in the fridge on the cookie sheet and everyone was so ready for them I just set it on the table instead of dirtying another dish. I know some are tiny...those are Mommy's...since I'm not really supposed to eat hardly any fresh fruit I dipped some tiny ones for a special treat for me! YUMMY! I don't eat but a very few (like 6-7) fresh strawberries a year so it was a real treat!

the kids are enjoying our neighborhood pool this summer! We try to go just about every day. John Mark learned today how to run and flip into the pool...I can't believe he tried it, but his competitive spirit got him. Our neighbor's son could do it and John Mark was determined.


Emily said...

The canning/jarring question keeps me up at night! I've always wanted to try it, but I'll have to start with tomatoes - fruit doesn't last long around here.

The Unlikely Homeschooler said...

Ha ha!! Here fact the rush to get back was because the first batch we picked I planned to make some jam with and they were all eaten! I was just telling hubby tomatoes might be next. I have 4 bushes and none of us eat them, I just love to watch them grow and my neighbors usually reap the harvest! I want to stew them with peppers and onions...we'll see how adventurous I get