Summer 2012 Canning – Day 1


Now that we had all those peaches and tomatoes, I needed to do something with them.  As much as we love peaches, 1 1/2 bushels is a lot to just eat.  We have frozen them in the past, and they come in handy for smoothies (also, my little sister loves to eat frozen peaches right out of the freezer).  I have also canned peach raspberry jam, which most people in our home liked.  This year I wanted to try just canning peaches (like whole peaches).

On Saturday I canned 7 pints of peaches and 3 quarts of tomatoes.  I reduced the amount of sugar in the peaches from 3 c. to 1 1/4 c.  When Drake ate the extra peaches (there are usually some that don’t fit in a jar) he said they were good, but still on the sweet side.  Next time I will probably use even less sugar.  There isn’t much to say about the diced tomatoes.  They are not all that exciting.  But that’s three more quarts ready for winter.

Although I used 8 lbs. of peaches on Saturday, there were still plenty to can (and still are for that matter).  Mom and I had talked about doing some jam.  I had looked at some peach jam recipes, which looked good.  The past few years I have made peach raspberry jam, which is quite good.  I was thinking of making peach raspberry again, when Mom mentioned that we had blueberries in the freezer.  After thinking about it, I decided to make peach blueberry raspberry jam, using this recipe.  Again, I reduced the sugar from 3 c. to 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 c. (I can’t remember exactly how much I used).  I ran my raspberries through our KitchenAid fruit strainer so that there weren’t so many seeds.  I know in the recipe it says 2 lbs. of peaches, but I needed probably twice that many to equal 4 1/2 c. of fruit puree (and that includes the peaches, blueberries, and raspberries).  For the raspberries I used 2 six-oz. packages, and I used 1/2+ c. of blueberries.

The jam turned out wonderfully.  Everybody liked it (again, there was just a smidge extra to try).  I will probably reduce the amount of sugar even more next time, since it was a bit on the sweet side (not too over-sweet, though).  I was hoping to get 8 1/2-pint jars from the recipe since it says that it makes 8 c., but it only made 5 and 1/2 half-pint jars (plus the little extra that we ate).

Today Mom realized that, even with all the peaches we canned, we only used the half bushel of over ripes and we haven’t dipped into the bushel yet.  I also froze a cookie sheet full of peaches today, and that didn’t push us into the bushel yet.  I am planning to make some more jam tomorrow, and I will probably can some more peaches, too.  I’ll let you know how all that goes.

So how about you?  Do you can?  If so, what do you can?  Do you have a favorite jam recipe, or do you prefer pickles?  Or are you somebody that would rather not do the canning yourself?

 

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On Saturday – The peaches prepped and ready to be blanched

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Tomatoes

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The recipe said that it made 6 pints, so I only sterilized 6 pint jars.  I should know better than this since I have canned before, but I had extra peaches, enough to fill another jar.  So I had to sterilize another jar.  These were waiting to go into a jar while the others where already in the canner.

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The finished product

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Monday – some of the peaches and raspberries

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The empty jars – I found them pretty to look at

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All the fruit

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Once I start making the jam, things get a bit intense and I don’t get a whole lot of pictures.  I’ll have to try to remember tomorrow…

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There were still some peach chunks and whole blueberries in the finished jams, which gave it some lovely colors.

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