Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Marching into a Jelly Month
Still hot from the canner and bubbling away, like jars of jewels:
March is a funny month. It is cold and drab and wet. When the sun peeks out and you hear the robins sing for the first time, the hope of spring begins. I like it when the snow starts to melt. I like that this is when my oldest daughter has her birthday. I like getting out my seeds and deceiving what precious little plants I want to start.
This year I am happy to be doing the Food In Jars Challenge, and march is jelly and shrub month. Last week I bought a six-pound bag of imperfect apples. I wrote about that in a previous post. In my eyes, I see endless possibilities for delicious conversion into something other than just a little, tired apple. My Husband always rolls his eyes when I buy large volumes of anything and always he asks me why I buy it.
I know my daughters loves applesauce ( see below ) and I know I can can that from the pulp of the apples I cook down to make the apple juice for the apple jelly. That is exactly what I did. I followed the Ball Book of canning and the recipes are in that book. Please only use safe canning books and safe canning websites like NCFHP, just type that in as a preface and add what you want to can after, like this, NCFHP apple jelly. I don't want you to go willy nilly on the internet and just start canning things that may not be safe because there could be dire consequences. If you have a question about safe resources to follow I can help you, or you can the local extension center if you are lucky enough to live in the United States.
Jelly is a lovely place to start your canning adventures. It is water-bathed so you need a minimal investment in equipment to begin processing jeweled jars of yummy for you storage cupboard. Apple sauce is also water bathed so you can make it and store it for one year. Oh and then there is apple butter, see I get sidetracked. I have also prepped many many pounds of apples when they are cheap and in season into pie filling and either can them or freeze them for pies. It helps when you learn preservation methods of old so you can buy things when they are less expensive and safely store them for later.
I am so glad my daughters both are interested in learning these things. It is a lost art and us oldies are not getting any younger, so learn while you can. Just be sure you learn safe methods.