Saturday, November 27, 2010

Conquering fear with copious cuteness

After my successful canning of a few jars of cranberry sauce I decided to gung-ho it and just can up a bunch of stuff. I went to the grocery store Wednesday which was an enormous mistake. The asiles were packed with cart weilding maniacs hunting down the last minute trimmings on their lists. I was actually quite pleasantly surprised that my kids weren't the gawd awfulest behaived in the store. Nope, that award went to the middle-aged moron wearing safety headphones hooked up to his MP3 as he yelled at people to "Move please" as he shoved his cart around the tightly packed lanes, tailgaiting and cutting people off as they reached for the cumin as if he were driving his mid-life-crisis convertable down the highway.

I wanted to trip him but I refrained. It was a pre-holiday after all.

Wednesday was also the final day of the buy one get one free bags of fresh cranberries. I bought nine bags. And forgot the sugar. So, the wild canning frenzy didn't start until today when I not only picked up the much needed sugar, I also snagged 10lbs of organic pears.

After adding too much water to the cranberries and having to boil them down for over an hour, I finally got 12 half pint jars (plus another half pint that I put in the already opened last batch pint jar). I minimized the sugar to just enough to knock down the tart of the berries but not enough to make it at all sweet. The berries have plenty of natural pectin as to not need additional through sugar. Then I wasted the 15 minute hot bath processing time by making cutesy labels for the tops.

The image is courtesy of The Lily Pad, a company I've purchased clip art from before when I made the Lacing Cards. Don't ask what a hedgehog has to do with cranberries and/or canning. It's cute and that's enough reason for me.

The Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving is a plethora of wonderous canning information and I took the time to really read the proper way to process the pears. I ended up using Florida grown honey and water to make the syrup instead of white sugar. While the jars could have been packed a bit tighter (there is a gap at the bottom where they've floated to the top) I think I did a smashing job on them and their labels. I wish I had gotten more out of the 10lbs but the chickens and rabbits loved the peels and leftovers.

Therapy Smerapy. I can conquer my own fears.

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