The first cherries of the season arrived at my farmers market last week and it is time for me to start thinking about squirreling away the best of the summers produce.
Any good canning books youve used outside of Bell Blue Book, Atlas or "Putting Food By"? I've included Olympia Jane's excellent thread on how to can at the end of this from January.
Any websites devoted to canning?
Any good EASY canning ideas to share. The operational word being easy. Im not a cook and its unlikely that Ill be standing over a hot stove producing green beans that will kill me in a few months.
Ive been experimenting for a few years with alcoholic cherries. I have those little ½ cup jars, add cherries, liquor and sweetener and stash them in the refrigerator until those chilly rainy January days when I need a reminder of the warm summer sun. Ive tried brandy, vodka, Irish whiskey, and kirsch. For sugar Ive experimented with white, brown, none and region/flower specific honey (lavender honey, pumpkin blossom honey and Napa Valley wildflower). For cherries Ive tried sour, Bing, Queen Ann, Ranier, Brook and Tartan (or something with a T). After all that, my own taste is to go classic, Brandy, white sugar and sour, Bing or Ranier cherries.
Ive brandied peaches, apricots and assorted berries. The berries shrivel up, but you get a nice fruit brandy (strawberries being the exception).
Theres this stuff called Tutti Frutti where you get a crock and keep adding different fruits during the summer with brandy and sugar. Sort of an alcoholic fruit cocktail. Every year in October I do the annual tossing of the rotted out fruit. Not sure whats going on there. Never have been successful with this.
I freeze blueberries, nothing added for those little sherbet like berries. But those only last a month after blueberry season.
Last year was my year to experiment with lavender and six varieties dried from my condos kitchen cabinets. More trouble than it was worth.
I hope this gives you an idea of what I can handle, preserving-wise.