Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Preserving Fruit- Canning Raspberry Jam

I almost can't believe it, but this summer is my 4th year canning- whoa.

My knowledge on canning has definitely grown since that first summer canning in my sweltering kitchen in the apartment overlooking Michigan Ave in downtown Ypsi. Since then, I've got my own canning supplies, tried my hand at pressure canning, added freezing and dehydrating to my preservation "tool kit", and even taught a few canning classes!

There's several particularly satisfying things about canning; I enjoy the time spent during the process, working with the fruit or veggie or medium of choice. Canning allows me to really focus on that product and feel like I'm truly appreciating it.

Also, as I so articulately said it 3 years ago (ha ha- first blog post ever!), canning makes me feel like a "settler", or a pioneer of sorts. What I mean by that is the feeling of connection to the seasons, to the history of canning and preserving of those that canned before me in my family. Most would say that in 2012, we don't "need" to can at home in order to survive. While I think that's true to a point, canning helps me to live a more season-oriented lifestyle, and to save costs on food year round- not only through gardening in the summer.

The Farmers' Market was overwhelming today, in the best sense possible. There were lots of "new" things to the market this week- firsts for the season. Peaches, blueberries, potatoes, as well as more raspberries and strawberries. I couldn't even let myself look at the peaches- too tempting to buy 6 quarts and go to town canning them up.

I picked 3 pints of blueberries and freeze those. I also got 2 pints of raspberries, and I was going to freeze them, but upon getting them home realized that they were melting into a messy blob.  When you're faced with such a blob, you make jam.

I didn't realize how much I missed canning until I got my first taste of it for the season today! Only 1 pint and 1 half pint of jam done today, but that's ok- there will be more to come. Lots, lots more!

Have you canned yet this summer? If so, what did you make?

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