Tuesday, May 24, 2011

MY FIRST EVER CANNING EXPERIENCE

Here are some pictures of the results from my canning class.  Unfortunately, not all of the pictures taken during the class came out.  I forgot to take my camera (d'oh!) and instead relied on my phone.  The pictures weren't the best in the world so these were taken after I got home, just to show you the outcome.
The most "intimidating" thing we did, at least the thing that made me the most nervous about coming out, was the strawberry jam.  It couldn't have been easier.  Really the only thing that it requires is time.  Time to let everything simmer and cook down and thicken up.  Once it reaches that magic point, and your jars are ready, it was as simple as pouring it in, putting the lids safely on, and processing them for a few more minutes until they sealed.   

As you can see, with some of 2nd Man's homemade "farmhouse" bread, fresh out of the oven, the jam didn't last long!  Truly some of the best jam I've ever had.  This recipe had some unusual ingredients added and what they did was enhance the strawberry taste.  It just made for a rich deep taste, not like ANYTHING you would get in a grocery store.  And best of all?  No high fructose corn syrup!  100% natural and good. 



Here is a closeup of the strawberry jam.  Very thick, chunky, and the spoon doesn't sink to the bottom.  Just as jam should be!
These are all the items we made.  The large jar is the jar of sweet and spicy pickles.  They were crisp and delicious and didn't last much beyond this picture taking!  The bright reddish orange jar is homemade hot sauce.  Delicious as well, almost like a homemade buffalo wing sauce.  With a little tweaking, I could bottle this up and sell it.  The small jar is Tomato Jam, a smoky, sweet and savory condiment, I would describe it almost like a chunky BBQ sauce.
It was a fun class and I'd recommend anyone who has a chance to take a class like this do it, it's amazing how easy it really was and I look forward to doing quite a bit of canning when the gardens are producing lots of food!
I will be writing a review of the Viking Cooking School at the always amazing Hubbell & Hudson grocery store in a future post.

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