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Friday, July 17, 2009

So....today we're canning....

.....and the canner is canning away at the moment.  Dave has picked 5 plastic grocery sacks full of green beans in the last few days, and I am tired of snapping them!  We still have 3 more bags to go!  I'm looking foward to freezing them...much, much easier than canning...I hope.

At the moment, hearing the "pop" of the seals on the jars is exciting enough.  It's always a bad day when nothing "pops"!

A few years ago, we decided that it would be a great idea to make homemade gift baskets to give to our family at Christmas.  Included were several jams, butters, conserves and our own homemade wine (okay, it was from a kit, but whatever, WE still made it!).  Everyone loved them, well....except for the relatives that didn't drink alcohol.  They thanked us kindly for the rest as they handed the bottle of wine back.

So, it's July, and as I sit here watching Dave process green beans and hearing the seals "pop", I realized now would be perfect time to start preparing for homemade baskets.  They were very easy to make, and I really, really (way to much actually) loved making all the butters and jams.  As I type this, the Ball Blue Book of Preserving is sitting next to me, opened to the well-worn and stained pages of the jam section.  The trip to Ditzler's Orchard for fruit should be a fun one with Caris in tow.  When she's old enough, we'll go pick our own fruit from their fields.  Right now, I think I'll let them take care of it!  Peaches are in season right now, so the next thing will be to make Spiced Peach Butter.  I'm not a huge fan of peaches, but this stuff is to die for.

I'm going to experiment with jelly in a few days.  Instead of wasting actual fruit, I'm going to buy the juice and make it from that.  I've not processed fruit for juice before, but I want to make sure I can actually make jelly before messing with all that fruit!

This year, we've decided to put together bigger baskets, with more of a variety, and probably more wine than before.  Right now we have Green Apple Riesling, and we will soon have Black Raspberry Merlot and Plum wine.   I'm going to make a stop at Herbs and Heirlooms at some point to see what else they have, but for right now, that will have to do.

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