Can You Can-Can?

Ah, the changing of the seasons.  Everyone is talking about it: moaning and groaning about the coming rains; remembering what cozy items of clothing we squirreled away last Spring (this would be me); lamenting the loss of sweet Summer fruits.  It is the perfect time to can.

Peaches and Aprons, Oh My!

Last weekend boyfriend and I realized that almost exactly one year ago we decided to give our first shot at canning a 'go'.  We tailored our CSA Veggie Box to our canning recipe of choice; we waited for our cute CSA peaches and nectarines to ripen to sweet succulence; we carefully chose perfectly ripe peaches at the grocery to fill in what we needed to complete the recipe; we read and re-read (and re-re-read) the directions in our new canning book, spine uncracked, pages unstained.  We painstakingly followed the directions and peeled and chopped and simmered until it was time to squish the cooked peaches through the food mill and back into the pot to continue simmering...

Perfect Peachiness

A certain curly-haired and over-excited resident of this pokey little household (ssh, that would be me, don't tell) reached for a plastic utensil in the drying rack above the sink...knives dislodged and fell into our (ah, this hurts me) 8 cup Pyrex measuring cup, full of hot peachy goodness...and the whole thing cracked into pieces, flinging broken glass and sticky, gooey peachiness all over our pokey little kitchen.  (And my toes.  Ow, hot.)

Bubble and Squeak

Tears were shed, feet were stomped, backs were patted.  But perseverance won.  The canning continued with what little peach mixture (and pride) we had left, only because we had to know how this whole thing worked.  Jars were filled, processed and put away.  Hopes of peachy nectarine butter in Christmas parcels were dashed.  The jars sat in the cupboard for months, while I had nightmares about family members opening up a delicious jar of home-canned peach butter, slathering it on their morning toast, and shards of glass slicing open their esophagus.  Not pretty.

Food Mills are Fun

Sometime after the fourth or fifth nightmare, I insisted that boyfriend open up the jars, take a tiny nibble to see how it tasted, and then pour it all out.  I simply couldn't bring myself to do it.  It was too sad.  I was convinced to take my own tiny nibble, just so I could see for myself how it turned out.  And.  Oh.  Late Summer in a jar never tasted so good. 

Pokey Little Kitchen Wins, Yet Again!

Back to present day.  Last weekend's lament brought us back to reality and we puffed up our chests, put on our canning faces (yes, we have canning faces, all that steam requires some sort of tough face) and walked ourselves to the grocery for 4 pounds of sweet peaches.  Peach butter was happening.

Now, we have done our fair share of canning in the past year.  Quite successful canning, I might add: mustards, dipping sauces, pickled garlic, roasted peppers, strawberry lemonade concentrate.  But the peach butter, oh the peach butter.  It taunts us every time we open the book; it just falls right open to the recipe.  It wants us to fail.  Okay, so maybe it doesn't.  Maybe that's just me.  But in my head...

Voila

So take that, peach butter recipe!  Ha!  We came.  We canned.  We conquered.  Enough said.

(We also made taco sauce, which wasn't nearly as pretty, but is oh-so-delectable.)

3 comments:

  1. Canning is so much fun, minus the possibility of shattered glass in your jars :) So many people think it's hard and old-fashioned but they're wrong...I love the flavor of fresh canned peaches and pears and jams in the dead of winter. My husband and I are headed out of town for Labor Day weekend but canned pears and pear butter and applesauce are on the agenda for next week!

    PS. The Ball canning book is the best!

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  2. An unpaid testimonial: mustards, dipping sauces, strawberry lemonade concentrate. YUMMM!!! The "pokey little kitchen" produces some mighty fine treats.

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