It's the end of the year, and the end of the year brings lists. If you know me in real life, you know I like lists. So, here's a list of things I learned in my first year of canning (in no particular order).
1) A jar will break into 2 pieces. I only broke one jar in the waterbath canner, and the reason is still a mystery to me. But, it broke into 2 clean pieces...the top and the bottom.
2) I haven't found the right pickle recipe...yet. Most of the pickles I made sucked. Some were less sucky than others. The hamburger slices are my personal favorites, but none of them were excellent or even great. I tried so many tricks...grape leaves in the jars, soaking the freshly picked cucumbers in ice water, brining the cucumbers first, using Pickle Crisp. No great successes to speak of.
3) I did not make enough salsa or applesauce to make it through the winter. To be fair, I didn't know that my 2 year old liked applesauce this much or that my husband would eat salsa EVERY SINGLE DAY. Apparently, when you make it yourself it really is that much better.
4) There will never be such a thing as too many Leena's 5 Spice Pickled Cherries. Ever. I tried them as an experiment, not really expecting to like them. Boy was I shocked when I fell in love with them.
5) A bushel of peaches is probably too many peaches. The problem with peaches is that they go from unripe to ripe to over ripe in 2 days. Then you have to take off of work to process them.
6) Speaking of peaches, Vanilla Bean Peach Jam seems to be everyones favorite. I'll have to make a lot more next year. Maybe a bushel of peaches isn't too many...
7) We eat a lot more jam, jelly, butter when it's homemade. Before I canned, we didn't buy much. Now we go through about a jar a week (sometimes more, sometimes less). It's amazing when a jam actually tastes like the fruit it is instead of sugar!
8) Even with the long list of things I canned, I didn't make a dent in the long list of things I still want to can, but haven't. There are so many delicious recipes out there, but only so much time in the day.
And one more list...
Here's the list of what I 'put up' in 2010 (in reverse canning order)