Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Canning I Will Go

The first frost is probably right around the corner.  And so I've been trying to can as much as possible.  Canning is not my favorite thing ever.  It is tedious.  It feels like it takes forever.  Things I can have a tendency to be temperamental and not set up right (you may remember the TWO flopped strawberry jam attempts last spring).  But I adore the beautiful food lined up in jars, and the sense of accomplishment when it turns out right.  Plus, I just hate letting food go to waste.

I broke out my Mennonite Community Cookbook (no I'm not Mennonite, but I am a big fan of their cooking, particularly this cookbook which has a great selection of simple, old school recipes) and found a recipe for Green Tomato Jam.  I figured I could adapt this for my tomatillos.

This jam turned out well.  It has an unusual flavor.  I like the toasted flavor of the seeds in the jam.  I'd never tried green tomato jam before this.

Next up, I googled a recipe for Persimmon jam.  I spent a good deal of time Saturday morning removing seeds from persimmons and processing the bunch of them.  Sadly, I seem to have canned a persimmon or two that was not completely ripe.  If you've ever had an unripe persimmon, you will know that they are just about the bitterest fruit on earth.  The whole batch is going to have to be tossed.  Sob.

On  happier note, Sunday I broke out the Mennonite cookbook again and tried their recipe for watermelon preserves.  You actually use the rind of the watermelon, with just a ribbon of the pink mixed in for color.
Not only did it turn out pretty in the jars, but the flavor is wonderful (definitely a repeat for next summer) -

After all that canning do you know what happened?
All night Sunday night I dreamed of canning more.  And more and more.
The apple trees are ready and apparently my conscious is feeling a little guilty - because I couldn't get away from the canning - even in my dreams!
Apple jelly, you're up next!

41 comments:

JDaniel4's Mom said...

You have been so busy. I wish all the jellies had turned out. The watermelon looks yummy!

A Quiet Corner said...

Holy Jams and Jellies you have been a busy bee! Never heard of watermelon jelly...the deer eat our persimmons, one particular mom and her fawn are here every day!...:)JP

Gone Country said...

Good for you! That is quite a job to can all that but seeing them lined up in your pantry is SO worth it!

Good luck with the apple jelly. We made some last summer and it was delish!

My Journey With Candida said...

Ha!!! Apple is the KEY word.

Once a month, I give an apron to those that leave comments on my blog. I have one apple apron left... It is yours if you want it.

My email is terrylee5151 at aol dot com. I will need your address if you accept it.

By the way... your jelly looks GREAT!!

Mary said...

You really have been busy but when winter comes and you can have your toast with a homemade spread, it will be really great. This is my first visit to your blog and I've spent some time browsing through your earlier posts. You've created a great spot for your readers to visit and I really enjoyed the time I spent here. I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

You are industrious! I have never had watermelon jelly, but I love watermelon rind pickles. When I was a kid we used to dare each other to bite into a persimmon. They can make yor mouth pucker up.

Meredith said...

looks good. I have a love/hate relationship with canning too...doesn't always work out and it's a lot of work to waste! I rarely seed my peppers anymore...burned my fingers and eyes before and would rather have the heat in the salsa!! Hope your apple jelly is great! Have you ever made apple butter? That's something I would like to try.

TexWisGirl said...

pretty bad when you start dreaming about it! :)

Loretta said...

Wow! You have been a busy mom! All your Jars are sooo pretty. I noticed you mentioned 'first frost' and we still have temps 104 degrees with no let up in sight...and with out of control wild fires. We pray for rain.
Thank you for sharing your post. Needed something pretty to see! Hugs!

Valerie said...

I agree about the tedious part-and every year when I am in the middle of canning a batch of whatever it is I'm canning, I feel overwhelmed. But every year I am excited all over again at the prospect of doing it all over again!
Right now I have about 25 pounds of pears in my kitchen that I got for fifty cents a pound. I love the look of the jars on my shelves, I love having fruit in the winter, and I hate wasting food too. I'll let you know if canning fills my dreams, too:)

Jo said...

Great day Lisa you been busy.And these jars of foodie goodness look sensational.
~JO

Samantha said...

I love that full pantry feeling..but getting there is enough to drive me to drink!

Everything looks gorgeous!

Sandy said...

I don't like tomatoes and the thought of green tomato jam just sounds horrible to me. On the other hand though...watermelon preserves?! I have never heard of that nor have I had it but it sound divine!

It may be a hassle now, but this winter when you bring out something that you canned it will bring back just a little bit of summer for the entire family.

Wendy said...

I thought I was the only one that felt like canning takes forever, glad to know it's not just me!

So sorry about the persimmons. Glad everything else turned out well (the watermelon looks lovely!)

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

Wow these are so pretty. It looks like hard work to me....My dad cans pickled green tomatoes but I have not heard of the jam.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I swear, canning is the BEST productive feeling, isn't it?

Ginny said...

The watermelon is definitely the prettiest!!! Just the thought of canning makes my blood run cold and I have to run for the bed!! You get extra points for all this canning with three little children, I don't know how you find the time or the energy!

Mary said...

Lisa, thank you for returning my visit. You should be able to find potato starch in your grocery store. Ask a clerk to help you find it. It has the same consistency as corn starch. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Misty said...

Lovely... me too! canning and canning!

AudreyO said...

I have never canned anything. I've been the lucky recipient of others hard work on many occasions, I've just never learned to can.

Jill said...

You kicked butt girl!

I'm so sorry about the persimmon jelly. What a bummer. Everything else looks wonderful though!

Mary said...

That's so cool! I wish I had a garnen so I could do some canning. Maybe next year :)

laughwithusblog said...

Oh they are so beautiful! I hate food to go to waste too. The heat and lack of water killed all the pears on my pear tree. :(

Chatty Crone said...

I read their site too - the food looks great.

And way to go - all that canning is awesome.

sandie

KAT said...

wow that is great I wish you were my neighbor and I could drop by and help you and then taste a little
KAT

Amish Stories said...

Who ever invented canning is my hero. I love to eat and now i can even stare at my food through a glass jar, priceless. Richard

warren said...

I have ditched 2 batches of persimmon jelly and have vowed never to touch the stuff again! It's horrible when you get a bite of it!

blueviolet said...

That happens to me too when I do something a lot. It won't leave my dreams! I'm glad at least some of the things you tried worked out!

Jen said...

Wow!! You've been busy! We had our first frost here last night, already! I've never had a persimmon.

Marissa @Life On Our Side Of The Mountain said...

Whew! You have been one busy mama!

All your canned goodies look yummy!

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

You've been busy! I'm hoping to get some salsa canned this year, but just thinking about it overwhelms me a bit. I'd like to try your watermelon preserves too.

Together We Save said...

Oh wow - all that jam looks wonderful!!

GardenofDaisies said...

Oh my, LIsa, look at all that wonderful goodness!! My daughter learned to can last summer when she spent time on a sustainable farm in West Virginia. It was quite the adventure for her and she LOVED every second of it.

camp and cottage living said...

OMG, I can see why you're dreaming of canning, Lisa.
One has to wonder if you'll ever get out of the kitchen.
You're not barefoot and pregnant are you? Just joking!! You may have to ask your mother what that one means.
Seriously, I envy you for having all those 'goodies' to can. I'm still dreaming of next years garden!

Greenacresmama said...

Looks great! Sorry about the persimmons. :( I'm eager for my canning binge to be over, too.

Mom of 12 said...

There is just something about seeing all those jars lined up...you can't duplicate it, but I know you know what I mean. We've been doing pears and green beans this week.
Sandy

Chicken Wrangler said...

Love the photos - wish I had the time to do some of the canning you've done this year! Yummy goodness in the months to come!

(Florida) Girl said...

This is something I really want to learn how to do.

I have a beginners set...just have to roll up my sleeves.

Lexie Loo, Little Lily, and Dylan Too! said...

The watermelon preserves sounds good! Have you ever made apple butter? My husband's grandma makes it and it is so good!

Laura @ Laura Williams Musings said...

Carnival of Home Preserving #13 – Come Link Up!

Laura @ Laura Williams Musings said...

I apologize if this came through twice. My computer hiccuped and I wasn't sure if it went through.

Inviting you the Carnival of Home Preserving on my blog today and every Friday. Hope to see you there. Laura Williams’ Musings http://laurawilliamsmusings.blogspot.com