Thursday, August 19, 2010

In A Jam

In A Jam
I have been knitting every day, really. The body of the yellow and white blankie is nearly finished and the wool blankie is resting until cooler weather prevails. I have to move on to other projects that are calling to me. One project that is being worked on is a baby gift. Pictures and pattern link will happen next week. I want to finish it before posting about it. It's about 75% finished, so you know it was a smallish project.

So in the mean time I have been caught up in the summer months food fest. I am such a fan of doing as much food from scratch as your time allows. Lately my time has been plentiful enough that I managed some food projects. One of which was canning. I am not a real experienced canner but I am throwing my hat into the ring and am trying everything I can right now. My favorite canned foods are fruits. I started about five years ago by making strawberry jam and blueberry jam. We picked all the fruit ourselves and I give it my best try. I was thrilled with the results but because of work I did not canned anything again for five years.

I felt inspired by a fellow knitter that it was opening up Pandora's box. I picked strawberries this year, twice. I made jam and we froze about 5 quarts of berries. There is only one bag of strawberries in the freezer and I am sad. Blueberry season has come and is nearly gone so we dashed out last week and picked four pounds of berries. We took three buckets with us but because of the heat and humidity and the fact it is the very tail end of the season, we barely filled up one bucket. My yield from the very brief picking was two batches of fresh blueberry muffins (we ate some and I froze some), froze one pound of plain berries and ended up with five half pint jars of blueberry jam. I am not a fan of jelly so all of my fruits end up and jam. I hate the thought of wasting the fruit.
The next season that is going on right now is peach. We had to drive to this place to pick peaches which ended up being a very pleasant tour of country back roads of Virginia and North Carolina. We went for the first time two weeks ago and we picked two pecks. Each bag they give you holds about 1 peck or 12 pounds. Since we were beginners, we didn't know we should have picked a bushel. When we got home I canned five quarts of my very first peaches. I made a peach cobbler and we ate some of the peaches too. I was so pleased with the results that we decided to go back and pick more the next week. So last Sunday we drove back to Knott's Island and picked three pecks. So that's 36 pounds of peaches. I have already canned six quarts and still have more to do. So today I am going to make peach jam and save some peaches for peach cobbler for a cookout this weekend.
The next season I will be looking forward to is apples.


Sharon said...

I've never been a canner, but I'm certainly a fan of canners. As a young bride my husband's grandmother apparently thought we were going to starve and provided us with all the canned stuffs we could use. Your shelf brings back nice memories.

vlb5757 said...

I loved that my DH's grandmother used to can loads of stuff. She had a great cellar and you could see it all lined up down there pretty as you please. They even had a cold box for potatoes. Sometimes I think the old ways are the best ways of taking care of our food.

rohanknitter said...

Wow, you've been very productive!! It all sounds wonderful but also a lot of work.

vlb5757 said...

I can't believe that you don't can considering what a fabulous farm you live on! I so am ready to live in the country. I think the city is taking my spirit one day at a time, so I garden, knit and can to try and fend it off. Not sure if it's working but it's been fun!

Farm Chick Paula said...

Oh my goodness- the peaches and jam made my mouth water!!! Yummy!
Blackberry jelly is the only thing I've made so far, but if I get the chance to visit an orchard soon, some apple butter is in my plans.
By the way- we're thinking of starting a small apple orchard next year- I'm so excited!!

Wool Winder said...