My friend was able to get a canning share through her CSA, and it finally kick started me into canning season. I wasn't feeling particularly excited about canning at all this year. I love having a friend to can with on a regular basis, so now I've even been looking for things to preserve beyond just what comes in her box. What's really funny is that Walker has been making fun of me about how many empty jars I had, but I'm actually a little worried that I won't have enough to make it through the end of the season. I guess we'd better start eating things.
The first thing we did was cherries, and a couple of herb syrups. We made brandied cherries, maraschino cherries, and cherry triple sec jam (this was too sweet, so I'm not linking to a recipe). We also made lavender and mint syrups.
Our second session was easier, because marionberries do not need to be pitted. We made marionberry jam (without a recipe, I have a ratio I use for most jams, and they always end up too sweet when I try to use other people's recipes), and marionberry cordial.
I'm glad we scaled back the plans we were making for when the cucumbers came in. We will do carrots later, possibly when the green beans come in, but originally we were going to try and do 20lbs of cucumbers and some number of carrots and pickled garlic all after dinner. That would have been a disaster. Instead, it was almost too much work, but we got it done. We made garlic dill pickles, spicy pickled garlic (we didn't use this recipe, but it's similar), bread and butter pickles (from Preserving in Today's Kitchen), and sweet and spicy pickles (with an altered version of the bread and butter pickle recipe).
I let JW try out my pressure cooker, and her husband brought me some free little yellow plums. They were a little beat up by the time they got to my house, since they came from his work via bike, but they were perfect for a batch of plum cordial, and some plum sauce
I decided that instead of buying all 4 boxes of tomatoes I want this year at one time, I'd buy them one at a time. With the first box I made salsa...
Red enchilada sauce, and pizza sauce. I also made some basil cashew pesto.
I got a box of nectarines today, and I'm hoping I can work on them while Walker (and my canning friend) is out of town, before they go bad. I made bourbon pickled nectarines today and discovered that, just like the internet has promised me, turning the jars upside down does help them seal. I wait until they cool off a little, since flipping boiling hot jars around seems like a bad idea and then I flip the ones that haven't sealed yet.
I did have one mysterious thing happen. When I took this jar out of the water bath, it started spurting bourbon everywhere. I dropped it back in the pot, but it didn't stop until all the liquid was out, and the peaches are all smushed against the bottom. My guess is that I filled it too full of liquid. And then it pressurized? This jar is in my fridge now, and I'm looking forward to trying it with vanilla ice cream tomorrow.