So like a lot of people in 2010, I caught the canning/preserving bug. And I got it BAD. This bad:
We started with Jam, then went to Roasted Marinated Peppers, then Fruit Butters, then Pickles, then Chutneys, then Tomatoes, then Apples, and finally a few odds and ends like Pomegranate Champagne Jelly.
Food in Jars‘ method for fruit butters was awesome. I made cherry and blueberry butter this way before apple and pear butters later on. The blueberry butter was really fantastic, and I ran out of it far too quickly as I gave most of it away. Apple Butter was great, but definitely more of a pain than other fruit butters.
Lots of jam – maybe too much? Nah.
Living near Dondero Orchards made a lot of this possible. (CRFM too – especially for tomato seconds!) When in season, most of their PYO fruit is around 99 cents/lb. It helped me go a little crazy with things like peaches (Peach Jam, Jameson Ginger Peach Jam, Spiced Peach Butter, Li Hing Mui Peach Jam, Lady Grey Peach Jam…) I missed a few things like cherries and most of the strawberries (thanks, bar exam!) but I plan to change that in 2011. I also found quite a bit of late season produce on Freecycle, and made friends with some local farmers. I look forward to using all my resources to make 2011 equally as awesome.
What Didn’t Really Work
I wasn’t a huge fan of the Green Tomato Chutney. Its an ok way to use up green tomatoes – but I think next year I will try to eat them in Fried Green Tomato BLTs or make another salsa verde.
Goals for Next Year
Continue to make: Blueberry Butter, Tomato Jam, Apple Butter, Canned whole tomatoes, Jameson Ginger Peach (maybe Jameson Ginger Cherry next year?)
I made lots and lots of jam. I think I’d like to make more jellies. Maybe some more traditional “preserves” and/or fruit in syrups.
Also, fix pickle recipe – they came out delicious but waaaay too mushy. I think I need to be more exact, or process them less or something. My fridge pickles were tasty, though.
New ideas Brandied cherries (maybe with amaretto?), Maraschino cherries, More quince recipes, Salted Caramel Pear Butter, Strawberries!, Ancho Apple Butter. I looove the Apricot Amaretto Jam I made – maybe I can make a Raspberry Amaretto Jam.
As far as more immediate projects, I am flirting with spending around $50 to ship a crate of Meyer Lemons here because I’ve never had them. Not exactly local, I know, but its winter and citrus is never really local here anyway.
Oh, and I fully plan on participating in the 2011 Can Jam. Stay tuned!