So IT all started with my Psych professor giving me a box and a half of oranges...and I didn't want to waste it...and I had really wanted to start learning ---
How to Can meat and make preserves...I went to the store and picked up a canner and some bottles - and the Ball Book of Preserving (only about 6 bucks)...and decided to start with the Marmalade...Marmalade is pretty much love or hate - there is no middle. But I like it and figured it wouldn't hurt to have it in our stores, because it's good on scones and cornbread.
I will tell everyone right off - it is not cheap to start this process. But after the initial cost - you can reuse the bottles, just replace lids and the pressure canners will last you years - except maybe an occasional ring replacement. The All American brand doesn't use a rubber ring on it - but it's way out of my budget right now - so I will save up for the All American one and then donate this one to some preppers later who might need it.
Of course you have to wash and dry stuff - and later soak it in boiled water. etc. Don't quote me I'm tured.tired turd. yeah you know what i mean. Get the book - follow the directions - and watch some youtube videos (i like the preppers wife and michigan pony)
I started with the marmalade because it's a series of boils with 1 rest in between. It's a bit daunting at first..but once you get rolling it's kind of addictive....
After the marmalade is done - i decided to peel back the oranges for candied orange peel
I peeled so much of them that I actually got a blister on my hand (i didn't pop it) I saved the longer parts for candied peel and the shorter bits to candy also but put in a separate jar to add to muffins and teas. My hands were really exhausted so Mr. Man had to help.
I actually had them sorted out according to thickness and chop - and started triple boiling them in the simple syrup. The simple syrup turned a nice orange color and scent - I soaked them in the original simple syrup because that could later be used for iced teas.
While the marmalade chilled I made a small batch of grape jelly - What - yeah like that - don't give me a recipe book and not think somethings gonna happen in here
the Mr. helped with the rest of it - and it was on the thick side so I made these quadruple boiled for candies for a friend.
All I have to say is I'm a chopping beast. LOL. But i got so ambitious i thought i'd do the rib part of my cabbage and OVERSTUFFED it and it leeched out the water. So I will have to repack these as pickled. So see I'm not good at everything I do - I'm just glad I make cheap mistakes instead of expensive ones.
So it's looking pretty good - to have a Wall of Yummy!!!
My strawberry jam needs help but i will repack it thicker...but it's a learning curve and not a total loss...at this point it would at least be good as ice cream topping! So I guess that's not a complete waste
And the candied orange is looking pretty tempting...but I will save it for a rainy day and the rest I will give to friends. I'm not greedy - one is enough for me.
I like learning stuff - learning new stuff. Canning is just a natural progression I can't wait to chronicle my bacon, butter and beef canning. Yummy - I always worry that we don't have enough meat. I primarily canned sweets first because they are easier and just to learn to read the dials and times and work out my own learning kinks. If you can afford it please get a pressure canner. If you cannot please learn to use a boiling canner because you will have good healthy food storage for your house.
Please believe that mental well being is also tied into eating well.
And if anyone has any questions please email me...by going to my blog profile.