Gettin' fresh … in Northern Nevada

Peach and Pear Preserves

Have I mentioned before that I have a serious love for jars?   And, I think food in jars just looks better than any other style of preservation.    I’ll go ahead and credit my Grammy for this one, too.   She was no stranger to a canner and I’m betting my love of jars is really just that I miss my Grammy.

This year has been my first attempt at any type of food in jars.    The refrigerator pickles have been a big success and you can use any old kind of (clean) jar for that because they stay in the fridge and only keep for a short period of time.   I went a little bit crazy with the fridge pickles.   But, to my credit, everyone keeps eating them so it can’t be all bad.

I have gone official.    I bought real jars and real lids and real canning equipment.   Old school.

The fruit subscription/box has really gotten away from me this week and I have had to throw away several peaches and pears.   This was hard for me.   (And, gross.)  So, last night, I buckled up for a mid-week canning session.   Go me!   It was a little hectic after dinner and only yielded a few jars but … tomorrow is pick-up day for a new box!   AND, these bad boys are seriously ripe.   RIPE.

My instructions for how to safely can fruit and make them shelf stable came from the National Center for Home Food Preservation.   Until a few days ago, I didn’t even know this existed.   Seems odd that there is a National Center but they do have a darn handy website with information on just about everything you would need to know to preserve.   Check it out HERE.   This is important stuff.   You don’t want to make anyone sick and you don’t want to go through all of this trouble to save something for later and have it turn out crappy.

Here’s the down-low with pictures:

Boil everything.   Clean, sanitized jars are important.     It is even important to have clean lids and jar rings.    Clean, clean, did I mention clean??

Make a simple syrup with sugar and water.   Boil that too.   But, not too much …

Clean, peal and cut the fruit.    Use the clampy things to get the jars out of the boiling hot water.   Put fruit in the screaming hot jars.   Add the screaming hot syrup.   Everything is screaming hot.

The funnel becomes really helpful at this point.    But, you will probably burn yourself anyway (just like me).

Make sure to not overstuff the jars.   You need to leave “head space.”    Then, you get to use the cool magnet stick tool to fish the screaming hot lids and rings out of the other pot of boiling water on the stove.    Tada–seal those bad boys up!   Someone told me to wait until they have cooled to tighten the rings but I didn’t read that anywhere … I don’t know why but I did it that way.    I think it is so the jar can dry and/or you can clean any sticky off before you tighten them down or put them in storage.    You don’t want icky stuff growing on the outside, do ya?

The reward is here:

They look beautiful.   And, it is quite satisfying to hear the sweet little “POP” sound when the jars cool enough for the lid to seal down on them.

7 responses

  1. Wow! Mid-week canning. I am impressed, and tired just thinking about it. Now I really feel I have no excuse to not get to pickling my peppers on Saturday. 🙂

    September 29, 2012 at 4:45 am

  2. Beautiful! I love the “pop” noise too 🙂

    October 2, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    • Uh oh. I guess that ‘pop’ wasn’t good enough … you’ll see in my next post. Gross.

      October 2, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      • Noooooooooo!!!!

        October 3, 2012 at 9:36 am

  3. Deby

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see any mention of actually processing the filled jars in a boiling water bath? Which would explain why you did not get a good seal. And could also be dangerous as the BWB is necessary to destory pathogens If I’m wrong please forgive me, but I would hate for you to have not done it correctly. Peaches in quart jars would need to be processed for 30 minutes after the jars are filled using the raw-pack method that you used. Pears should always be hot-packed and processed for 25 minutes. And only finger tight on the rings, then once they are finished and cooling on the counter don’t touch them for 12-24 hours for any reason, that could also disrupt the seal. Once they are cool then remove the rings, test the seal and wash the jars to remove the stickiness.
    Happy canning!

    October 12, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    • freshveggiesinthedesert

      Yup. All of the above. I didn’t know what I was doing. Lesson learned. 😦

      October 14, 2012 at 11:36 am

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