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[personal profile] dancingyel
So, um...it's been a while. I'm in a different part of the country, doing different things, and working a full-time job like a real adult (except without the real adult salary, but there we are). Anyways, I make no promises about the keeping of this blog, but I've discovered a new set of projects for myself, and it seems sad not to write them up. My latest thing? Canning!

I'd been thinking about learning how to can for a while, and then there was a local (to Baltimore) kickstarter for a series of canning workshops, and the rest was proverbial history. There, I learned some basics about how to can and practiced making blueberry jam (which I haven't tried yet because it seems sad to open it now). Since then, I've done peach/nectarine jam twice, and have plans to do more workshops and more canning in the fall. I want to learn how to do tomatoes and apples, and also how to pickle things.

I figured what I'd do here is write about what I've learned so far, both as a reference for myself and in case anyone else is interested. I'm keeping fairly detailed notes in a google doc (which I'm happy to share with anyone), so this will be general observations.

So, then, what have I learned about making stone fruit jam so far?

The bigger the fruit, the easier to deal with it (and then less is wasted when it's peeled and pitted)
What the recipe thinks the yield should be isn't necessarily what the yield will be. We've made the suggested amount for 10 half pints each batch, and so far, the batches were 7, 8, 7, and 7 half pints.
Peeled stone fruits are slippery buggers! Not a surprise, that, but I hadn't really thought about the logistics of chopping a peeled round thing with a pit inside. Heh.
It takes a lot of space to can! We had to be really creative in our tiny kitchen, using every possible surface to hold things. I knew, distantly, the amount of stuff necessary, but it hadn't really registered what that would look like in real life.
Although it feels like it takes a long time, it doesn't really -- we made 3 batches in about 3 hours. It's not a minor project, but we didn't actually use the whole day, either.
At this point, it's unlikely that we'll do more stone fruits this summer. We have a lot of jam as it is! I think tomatoes are next, after another workshop and some more reading. Perhaps I'll put up a list of resources I've been finding helpful, if anyone is interested.


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December 2014

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