Over the last few years I taught myself how to can using a hot water bath. It was one of those things where I read everything I could get my hands on and kept a book close by while I attempted my first “processing”. To hear my first pops from the seals was one of those simple little things in life that brought a smile and a whoo hoo!
I love older houses that have canning kitchens in the basements. When I was young I had no idea they were for canning, but I remember seeing a few houses with that extra kitchen in the basement. I just thought they did a lot of cooking…As an adult I came to find out how they were used and in the heat of the summer so it was cooler for canning. Resourceful and logical…gotta love it.
I will say that I have not ventured far from the tree yet; in other words, I have not canned anything but jam, marmalade’s and preserves yet. I have gone with as much homegrown as possible and if not got fruit from a local farmer’s market. My favorites have been marmalade from a friends orange tree; kumquat marmalade from fruit from a farmer’s market and blueberry jam.
I am lucky this year to be living in a house with an enormous local Idaho plum tree. I have been told by my landlady to use them up and give away whatever I can. And if I make jam to use a lot of sugar – the fruit is tart. The fruit is almost ready. The tree was gorgeous in the spring when it blossomed with with white flowers – truly a spectacle. It is my intention to use as much fruit as possible for jam and jelly….and I can’t wait. I know in the middle of it all it’s going to seem like a chore that never ends but in the end it will be lovely. Oh and I love to have jars to give away – during the holidays and whenever someone comes to visit. There is truly nothing like homemade jam.