Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I think I have gone totally insane


I am 47 years old and have never 'successfully' canned anything in my life.
Until now.

In the last month I have canned over 100 jars of jam.
I made Blackberry Jam,
Strawberry Rhubarb (good strawberry flavor, a little sweet)
~~then after altering the recipe for my taste~~
Rhubarb Strawberry (more rhubarb than strawberry and not too sweet)

Outside of strawberry rhubarb pie, I never really had any use for rhubarb

(You may have guessed that I have an excess of rhubarb.
When we bought the house, it came with rhubarb;~)
Anyway until now I always considered rhubarb to be pretty much sour celery,
but the rhubarb butter is AWESOME.
I've made two batches...so far.
(FYI:   If you try it, it calls for 4# of rhubarb, the research I did says that
 1 pound equals approx. 3 cups, she says you'll end up with about 15 -16 cups.
I settled on 14 cups and called it good.)

Then after getting a case of apricots from these very sweet people.
I made several batches of Apricot Pineapple Jam
and a couple batches of Apricot Blueberry Jam.

Apricot Pineapple Jam, Apricot Blueberry Jam

I had a lot of apricots and I had blueberries in the freezer so I 'made up'
the Apricot Blueberry recipe and I think it is KILLER.
I was kinda worried while it was cooking cuz it kept changing color☺
but when it was finished and we tasted it I was SO glad I tried it!
And the color turned out pretty too,
 as you can see by the nice wine colored jars in the back there.
(If you want to try it I'd be glad to send you the recipe,
just be warned that every recipe I have tried for jam,
I have had to cut the amount of sugar called for pretty much in half.
So my taste in jam isn't overly sweet)

Even after the many batches of Apricot and *insert fruit here* Jam I made, I still
had enough apricots to can 7 pints for later.
~Note to self:  A CASE of fruit is a LOT of fruit! ~

The only thing my Honey said after seeing the massive amount of jam
we have accumulated is ~

 "I hope you are planning on giving some of that away."

Luckily that is the whole idea behind this canning craze.
Instead of making candy and baking like crazy, (cookies, applesauce cake etc, etc)  during the last two weeks before Christmas this year, (like I have the last several years),
I will be lazily plunking jars of homemade jam into baskets.
Oh and now that I am finished messing with the 'fruit stuff',
pickling can begin!

The Christmas baskets will also contain one or more of the following:
Pickled Beets
Pickled Cauliflower
Pickled Asparagus
Pickled Green Beans
(If I can wrestle them out of Honey's grasp, he does love pickled stuff)

Oh and I thought I would try my hand at liqueur while I was messing with fruit.
Raspberry, Blueberry, Blackberry Liqueur in the works
It is crazy simple, the recipe is here and so far it's going great.
The recipe is for Blackberry,
but I figured I would give it a try with raspberry and blueberry too.
You can use fresh or frozen fruit, so you can make this pretty much any time.
(I think I'm in love.)

In gardening news, I have a ton of blossoms on the tomato plants
I have strawberries growing on my strawberry plants
(I only have 5 plants, so I don't exactly have a bumper crop,
but Scoobie and I get a little snack every couple of days)

I have some of the cutest little teeny tiny cucumbers ever!
The perennials are doing great, the rabbit repellant seems to be working great.
(I still have rabbits and I still have plants☺)

And the flower in the pic at the beginning of this post is growing right next to this:

Hen with chicks?

That one ( up there)  looked just like this one ( down there) when I bought it.

Hen with chicks
The only difference was the color. Now there is a big difference.
(Both of these pics were taken today. The reddish one still looks like it did when I bought it,
the other one; not so much)
It makes me think about the Alien movies everytime I look at it,
 but I'm excited to see what the flowers look like when they finally 'hatch' LOL!

Soon, all too soon,  the weather will turn crappy and I will be stuck indoors
and the clay and jewelry will begin again.
But until then I hope I don't bore you too much with the summer activities☺

Oh yea, I need to mention that I just recently found out that my Mom has started
reading my blog, ("to find out what's happening in my life", obviously I don't call enough)

HI  MOM!
LOVE YOU!


 

4 comments:

  1. OMGOSH! I'm 46 and I need to LEARN to can :)
    Wow, I am inspired.. it all looks and sounds wonderful and what a wonderful Christmas gift they would make.
    I better give it a try :)

    ~Diane


    p.s thank you for the inspiration :)

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  2. How awesome are you!? Thanks for sharing these fantastic photos and letting us know what you've been up to. Missed ya!!

    I'm bookmarking a couple of those recipes, and the liqueur once TWICE. ;~)

    Enjoy that summer, girl!

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  3. Boy, you sure have been busy, but they will make great gifts come the holidays. Thanks for sharing the great recipes!

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  4. 1. Blackberry brandy....mmm.
    2. Call your mom.
    3. You are the queen of canning- I am impressed! Now, we all know that the best jam is homemade jam!

    ReplyDelete