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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Can You do the Can-Can?

Greg's summer schedule has worked out to be all weekends off Whooo Hoo!!! So that's when the bulk of sh-tuff on the house can get done. Between the 'funner' summer activities like Picnics, BBQ's, Day-Trips and Festivals it's urm... not a rapid progression, so... still no Studio, but I (read: We)'ve been busy none the less!

After the loss of what little canning equipment I had in the final move to this house (chaos!) I gave-up on canning for awhile. Thanks to a find of some used Jars (FreeCycle) and the "You'll be inheriting it anyway so you might as well use it now since we're not" *loan* of my Mom's Canning Pot we've been in full all out canning mode. Summer Fruits and nummies stored away for the dull dreary winter months like Frederick from my favorite childhood book by Leo Li0nni.
Best thing is the Boyz are all old enough to help in some way or another!
Arthur has been chopping. The younger 3 stirring, though William tends to hog this job since he likes it best-est. Many little hands very happy to deliver the finished goods to their designated shelves in the coolest, darkest corner of the Basement. A job I'm more than happy to let them do since I KNOW there are spiders down there. *shudder*

First up was Nectarines in Extra Light (10%) Spiced Syrup. They were a bit of a PITA to trim because they were quite crisp. Worth it though, they do look so perty in the jars, like bright bits of sunshine. They will be a real treat come snow-time!
Next some simply aaaamazing strawberries from the pick-your-own farm we're lucky to live 'round the corner from. They're just bursting they're so juicy and sweet; red right up to the green almost no white to speak of. Simply Gorgeous and soooo fragrant they're intoxicating.
The first basket we made into a light syrup and canned in smaller jars, because it's so sweet you only need a wee taste. Did the syrup up in 2 batches. You can see the berries floating in these: We like it chunky! Since it made so much *wink* we've already sampled some on vanilla ice-cream and pancakes. Deeevine.
Made too much of the spiced syrup for the Nectarines (Oops!) so went a little crazy and raw packed some leftover Grapes. Bought a HUGE bag on markdown at the fruit store, 8+ mixed bunches for $2.99. After 3 solid days of noshing the rest would have gone to waste since everyone was sick of them. Just enough left to fill 2 jars, it's an experiment... hopefully a tasty one!
Waste Not-Want Not! :O)
Pictured here in front of the 2nd run of the Nectarines.
Second basket of Strawberries was made into Jam. Canned as much in the larger jars, family 0f 6 we don't buy small so no point in packing it small. These will be great when the never ending sandwich requirements of 'back-to-school' starts again. No floating berries here but it's still chunky!
There is still much to pack :
Almost 18 cups of Blueberries waiting to be made into Syrup and Jam... yum!
and
2 bags of markdown Mixed Citrus ($2/bag!) for Marmalade.
As more yummies come into season or superb markdowns appear we'll keep canning away. So, even if I'm not in the Studio making Art I'm still making pretties, in jars, with my Boyz.

Edible Art! What's not to love?
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