It’s the most wonderful time of the year

It really is, Jean. It’s the time of year when all my hard gardening work (and hard work shopping at the farmers’ market) gets rewarded with more hard work. However, all the hard work I put into preserving summer fruits and vegetables is enjoyed all year. I was going to take it easy this weekend because I have been away so much this summer, but when I saw the beautiful bag of cucumbers at the farmers market I just had to buy it and make pickles. I made bread and butter pickles, which have always been my favourite. I called my mom tonight and told her I made 7 pints of them and she replied Me too. Well actually she replied she had made several ice-cream buckets full of them. She also told me she canned 60 pints of sockeye salmon. I guess it looks like I will have to step up my canning if I want to even reach par with my mom. Do you like bread and butter pickles? If so I made a jar for you and I will bring it by sometime this week. Here is a sampler to tide you over until then.

Aside from the Nanking jelly, I also canned some peaches with a friend a week or so ago. We canned peaches in syrup and we also tried a new recipe where we canned the peaches in a honey syrup with a cinnamon stick and whole allspice. I have not tried either yet, but they are guaranteed to be delicious. The only thing I didn’t like about the latter was that the cinnamon stick tore some of the peaches when I put it in the jar. I will have to come up with a better strategy next time.

Boyfriend and I harvested all the onions from the garden and we laid them out to dry so we can store them for the winter. One more thing about harvest – I pretty much lose all access to my kitchen table. Presently it has onions and pickles on it and soon they will have hundreds of potatoes joining them.

Next weekend it’s time to pickle beets and the weekend after that it’s time to can the stewed tomatoes.

On a side note, people are always asking me what canning/preserving books are any good. I think this is because I am the only person they know who cans, aside from their grandma. My five favourites at the moment are:

Put ‘em Up

Bernardin’s Complete Book of Home Preserving

jam it, pickle it and cure it and other cooking projects

Well Preserved: Small Batch Preserving for the New Cook

The Beginner’s Guide to Preserving Food at Home

Posted by King Crabby

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