Monday, December 13, 2010

a year of canning safely...

This Can Jam year flew by, (though years mostly do that now that I am older). The year of preserving was such a wonderful focus, to pay more attention to what is growing seasonally, that knowledge that drifted away for a while, which now is becoming clearly important again, as is the idea that to enjoy seasonal bounty will necessitate preserving some of it for use during the rest of the year.

The compendium posts on Tigress's websites** will be a Useful Resource for adding variety for preserves both sweet and savory. More than anything else, this CanJam year has brought me a sense of ease with the process, and a gentle but definite stretching of my flavor comfort zone. Rather than ketchup, the remaining frozen tomatoes are destined for Awesome Sauce. There is a jar of tasty tiny homemade pickles in the fridge, and pickled beets on the pantry shelf, a surprising development for this girl who did not like pickles.

Not all the recipes from this year will end up as regular pantry guests, but there will be guest and holiday gifts for a while to come, and I learned a lot. Using apple for pectin gives a nicer (softer) set than Pomona's. Jelly is a luxury product, requiring not only much sugar, but leaving behind most of the fruit (which can, of course, be used for other preserves, but still...)

Jan - grapefruit marmalade* &tc
Feb - carrot cake conserve*
celestial carrot marmalade
Mar - roasted garlic syrup
Apr - scarborough fair jelly
May - gang of 4 jam
strawberry rhubarb jam*
Jun - easy as pie sauce
Jul - watermelon jelly
lavender blueberry jam
Aug - golden treasure drink syrup (tomato)
Sep - (meant to make plum sauce)
Oct - capsicum condiments*
awesome sauce*
Nov - spiced seckel pears
Dec - quincemeat preserves*

The starred recipes are keepers, ones that delight my tastebuds and are asked for by friends, ones that are or will become pantry staples. Will there be another year of CanJamming? Only Tigress knows... With great gratitude I thank her for the inspired year, and know that my pantry will never be the same!

** tigress in a jam & tigress in a pickle

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