My first serious foray into canning. I know, I know, I come off as a serious Suzi-Homemaker type, and even though that is true I’ve always feared canning. I am a freezer! Not frigid mind you, well my food is frigid because it is all frozen. But, I’ve come to realize that when the chips are down, meaning when the electricity is off, which it is prone to do in these Ozark hills at times, canned food is a lot easier to feed yourself with.
I was gifted a bushel of pears a few days ago. A bushel is a lot! About 60 pounds worth to my knowledge. So there they sat, spread out all over my not too small dining table, all 7+ feet of it, along with the 7 good sized Butternut squash, a pumpkin (for eating not carving), and that 15 pound Hubbard I still have to deal with.
I have been overwhelmed with the urge to ready the Butternut first because I have this great Curried Butternut squash soup recipe I want to make; and the Hubbard seems like such a fun challenge. In all serious reality’s the pears have to be first. Spoilage. Something we don’t want to happen. The first few days I ate a lot of ripe pears. A lot. Day before yesterday I had to convince myself they were going to start tasting ugly if I didn’t get them canned in a hurry. I began my venture with some support from my Mom.
I made sure I had read the recipe and instructions about a dozen times (no exageration), and had jars, lids and rings. The canner was washed and filled, jars cleaned.
It was really difficult to get started. This from a woman who considers herself fearless (almost; city streets make me a little nervous also).
Taking the dive, I drew water and set it out in the sun to warm. I have very cold well water and Mom suggested this trick to warm it from (here’s that word again) frigid, making it quicker and more cost effective to heat. Good idea!
Long story short, I have 16 pints of pears canned and ready to put in the pantry sitting on my kitchen counter. They all sealed to my delight, because I’m really not in the mood to eat any right now. This afternoon I plan on making pear butter and / or a batch of pear jam. If I get wild and crazy I will make a batch of Brandied pears or pear mincemeat. YUM!