canning extravaganza

September 7, 2009

We’ve been putting lots of things in jars and sealing them shut lately. I used to help Mom do this when I was a kid, but didn’t retain much. Up until now canning has been a mysterious process to me which involved more sterilization and cleanliness than I felt capable of. BUT, I’ve discovered something—canning is not very hard. It’s just a series of steps, like following a recipe, and if you do them all in order then you’ll have canning down pat. And there are so many things to can! My favorites so far are apricot chutney (recipe below), canned peaches, and pepperoncini pickles. This is an overabundant time of year, so I’m indulging an ancestral squirrel relative and learning how to make the good stuff last a long time.

If you want to learn to can, pick up the Ball Blue Book (yes, that is the title), which my Mom tells me is the canning Bible. It tells you what tools you need, step-by-step how to can, and has lots of basic, classic canning recipes.

A friend here in Enterprise gave me a jar of apricot chutney that he made, and it ROCKED. I got the recipe from him and thought I’d post it, cause it definitely needs to be made more often in this world. I hear you can make it with mangoes, too. Chutney is good on pork, beef, lamb, chicken, or just veggies and rice. It’s pretty much good on everything, actually.

Apricot Chutney

1 tablespoon oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2 cinnamon sticks
4 cloves
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 lbs 4 oz fresh or frozen apricots
1 and 1/2 cups clear vineager
1 cup caster sugar

Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic and ginger and fry for 1 minute. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low and cook for 1 hour, or until the apricots are thick and pulpy like jam. It should fall in sheets off spoon when ready. Add salt to taste and more chili if you wish. Remove the whole spices.

Now it is ready to pour into canning jars.

Yum.

good til the end of time

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One Response to “canning extravaganza”

  1. tyler from alska said

    way to be productive while I’m away,
    my squirrel-friend

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