P is for Preserving Food

Quarts of home canned tomato sauce

Two summers ago I tried canning for the first time and loved it. Last year I did even more food-preservation projects.

Cherries were first. I canned some sweet and some sour, and I also made jam for the first time. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I’m still getting over how much sugar goes into jam. It’s hard to dump 6-7 cups of sugar into a pot of something I’m making.

Canned cherries and cherry jam

Later, I made blackberry jam. It was such a nice day picking these blackberries that I used some photos for my entry in the photo challenge called Good Day.

Homemade Blackberry jam

I also canned peaches. At the time, I felt like I had packed the jars full of peach halves, but after canning they kind of shrunk and floated, making it look like I could have fit more in.

Jars of home canned peaches

Throughout the summer, I was canning tomato sauce. Each week I would bring home tomatoes from the farmers market and make sauce.

Quarts of home canned tomato

Sometimes you can find tomato “seconds,” which are fruits that aren’t in perfect shape, but are still definitely edible. There may be bruises that you have to cut off, splits, or minor things like that. These are sold at a discount, or sometimes given away for free. They still make excellent sauce, so they’re good enough for me.

Chopped heirloom tomatoes in pot for tomato

In all, I think the things that I canned were: cherries, cherry jam, tomato sauce, pickled beets, spicy peppers, applesauce, picked roasted bell peppers, peaches, blackberry jam.

Canned spicy peppers

It got so hectic that I wasn’t keeping up with writing down or taking pictures of the stuff I canned, it was hard enough just to get it done and still have my tiny kitchen cleaned and ready to cook the next meal. But I really loved it. The chaos and mess were totally worth it.

I love the idea of preserving good products at the peak of freshness to enjoy later. It’s nice to have control over the process of what goes in it. I’m looking forward to doing more this summer as things come into season.

***

I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge for the month of April. The idea is to post every day, except Sundays, and end up with one post for each letter of the alphabet. It’s a good challenge to help me to blog every day.

A to Z Challenge badge

26 thoughts on “P is for Preserving Food”

  1. What a marvelous post! As you know, canning fresh fruits and veggies, and making jams and jellies are near and dear to my heart. Bravo to you for all of your hard and gorgeous work – and please share your future preserving adventures throughout this coming season.

  2. My mother was a canner. And my Dad’s mother had a five-acre garden and a root cellar where she stored all her canning efforts. The only thing I have ever placed in a jar was raspberry jam.

    1. That’s great! I didn’t know about canning until just a few years ago. I hope someday to be able to grow the food I’m canning. Have to move out of this apartment first though.

  3. Shew Cynthia, seems like you had a day of fun and hard work all in one! Funny, just this morning I noticed preserving jars at one of the local grocery stores, and it got me thinking….
    Well done, anyway, I believe it is a task so well worth it πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Lynne! Yes there were many days and nights spent canning. My canner sort of took up residence on my stove for a while there. But it was totally worth it as we’re still enjoying the food that I put up. It’s satisfying that I haven’t had to buy tomato sauce in months (although I think by now I’m on my last quart lol)

    1. Cool, we can be canning buddies πŸ™‚ As for the sugar, they do have low sugar options. Maybe I’ll try a recipe and see how it turns out. I also just have to tell myself that there’s the same amount of sugar in the store bought jam, so I just have to get over it.

      1. Absolutely πŸ˜€ It is hard to get over using that much sugar though, isn’t it? I have to pretend I am not using that much..lol I was just thinking I would like to pickle carrot slices and can them πŸ˜‰

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