Doing the Can-Can

We have a new experiment going on in the kitchen — Canning!

Don’t worry – we are still maintaining and playing with our Kombucha – but we have also decided to give this preserving a try along with our fermenting.

Canning/Preserving is just another little kitchen project for us to tackle – which perhaps will lead to some good treats to save and use in the fall and winter.  Or, just saving some money on buying little side item condiment types from the grocery store – PLUS it will be less chemical based, and something we did ourselves.  Nothing wrong with any of those options, I should say!

082912FoodLede1Although I am a bit of a fan of the 1940s era, and I confess I did have Doris Day & Ella Fitzgerald songs playing on the iPod while I worked on this first canning venture; I have no delusions NOR interest in canning shelves full of food for rationing.  I would, however, just, like to have some items at the ready for desserts, condiments, and little treats.

Of all the things my family matriarchs handed down, canning was not one of them.  Luckily there are many resources in helping to learn such an activity; one of which is Jonathan’s mother, whom I have asked a few questions of and I suspect more will be asked as I continue this attempt.

peach-info0Charleston, South Carolina, has peaches a -plenty right now! It is coming on the end of the peach season and local farmers have them for sale at farmers markets, local markets, Piggly Wiggly, and even Harris Teeter are stocked with local farm peaches.

So, what’s better than beginning your home canning experience than utilizing local, fresh, sweet, delicious peaches?!

First up on our canning attempt:  Brandied Peaches

Yields: About 2 pints

Ingredients:
3 pounds ripe peaches
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup brandy

Directions:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Using the tip of a paring knife, make a shallow “X” in the bottom of each peach. Add the peaches, one at a time, to the boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Remove the peach from the water and plunge into a bowl of ice water. Repeat with the remaining peaches. Peel off the skins, then pit the fruit and quarter the flesh.

2. In another large pot, combine 3 cups water and the sugar and bring to a boil. Add the peaches and simmer until just soft.

3. Have the jars, bands and new lids scalded and ready. (To scald, dip the jars and rims in boiling water. You don’t need to sterilize the jars, as you will be processing them for more than 10 minutes.) Simmer the lids in hot water to soften the rubberized flange. Gently pack the peaches into the jars.

4. Boil the leftover syrup until it thickens slightly, then spoon it over the fruit, filling the jars ¾ full. Use a butter knife to release any air bubbles caught in the jars. Pour in enough brandy to fill the jars, leaving ¼ inch of headroom. Wipe the rims, cover with the lids and screw on the bands fingertip-tight. Place the jars on a rack in a big pot and cover with 2 to 3 inches of water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to medium and gently boil for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and then, after about 5 minutes, remove the jars. Allow them to cool, untouched, for 4 to 6 hours. Check the seals and store in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Refrigerate after opening.

 Recipe courtesy of bunkycooks.com via The New York Times

AND here is the finished product!
peachesI have strawberries to try a jam, Jon would like to try a hot pepper relish with the peppers he has grown on our porch, and I would like to try a tomato sauce and/or salsa.

With fall a little over a month away, baking will also begin again and then hunting season, and the holidays so the time is upon us for our most favorite fooding part of the year!

More to come, hopefully!

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