Posts filed under ‘Preserving’

Autumns Arrival

Fall is truly here, little E had her first day of school this week. Our teacher is very calm and inviting and the other kids and parents were interesting in the best ways. I look forward to feeling inspired once again in gentle, creative parenting. We found an immediate flow of play, song and a shared snack time.

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This weekend also provided a lot of time for canning and preserving some of the richness of summer. From left to right – Apple sauce, tomatoes with basil, veggie salsa and wild blackberry/blueberry jam. I still have some pears to can and perhaps a small batch of pear ginger jam.

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September 10, 2007 at 9:26 pm 1 comment

Adventures in Canning

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In an effort to eat as local as possible and savour the bounty of summer well into winter, I’ve been picking, purchasing and preserving large amounts of my favourite fruits. I’ve made strawberry jam, blueberry/raspberry jam and today my neighbour and I canned 40 lbs of peaches (20 lbs each).

The How:

1 – You can use a “syrup” to can the peaches or you can simply use water. Sugar has no preserving qualities and is used mainly for taste. I decided to use a very light sugar syrup. To 6 cups of water add 2 cups of sugar (yes this is the light version!). Heat to simmering. Next year I would like to try a honey based syrup.

2 – Wash peaches while you boil water in a large pot, enough water to cover a the peaches. Reduce water to a simmer after it boils.

3 – Dunk the peaches in the hot water for 20 – 45 seconds. Move them into a bowl of ice water. Skins will come right off after they cool for a few more seconds.

4 – Cut and pit peaches into whatever size you would like.

5 – Hopefully you have started your canner water to boil and washed your jars. If you haven’t, now is the time. Simmer the jar lids and rings, then cover and set aside. Scald the quart jars in the boiling canner water or run them through the dish washer.

6 – Pack your peach slices into the jars as tightly as possible, leaving about 1/2 inch of space at the top.

7 – Using a ladle or large spoon, fill the jar with the syrup to ½” of the jar top.

8 – Using a small spatula, try to remove as many air bubbles as possible from the jar. Slide the spatula down the sides of the jar to remove the bubbles.

9 – Remove a ring and lid from the hot water and tighten on the jar.

10 – Place in the boiling water canner and process for 20 minutes.

11 – Remove the jars and let cool overnight. In the morning, check the seals, remove the rings, label and store in a cool dark place.

I can’t wait to open a jar on a rainy day in December and think back to summer.

August 11, 2007 at 11:45 pm 1 comment

Jamarama

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I have great memories of heading out to pick strawberries with my Mom and brothers. Mostly I remember eating the perfectly ripe berries straight off the plant. Why has it been so long since I did this?

Well yesterday we went to a local farm and proceeded to U-Pick many yummy local (unfortunately not organic) strawberries.  Today I spent 4 hours making my very first batches of jam EVER. What I learned – making jam is easy, fun, rewarding and craaaazy delicious.  My first batch didn’t thicken up as much as I would like. The second batch looks much better.  In total I made 16 jars of jam.

We followed up the strawberry picking with a visit to the Reifel Bird Sanctuary. Here we walked along the dykes, fed ducks, spotted some baby goslings and a lone heron. We made it back to the car just in time for a huge thunderstorm to roll over head. Thunder, lightening and much rain followed.

A great afternoon spent outdoors.

June 25, 2007 at 10:14 pm 2 comments


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I am passionate about reducing my impact on the environment and am learning to live simply and live green. I am learning the age old arts of home food preservation and cooking from scratch. This is yet another eco-blog and a place for me to really channel my passions for writing, photography and sustainable living.
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