This is the year that I will start canning my own food. That is almost more of a goal than a mission statement. I’ve been saying that for a few years, but darn it, it’s time! We have lived on the farm for 2 years
already, and although we’ve excelled in the animal department, my garden has suffered. With the JOB and all the animals, I just haven’t been able to find the time to concentrate on the garden.
This year has been no different so far, but that’s about to change! I am quitting my JOB so I can have more time for this AND the farm! I guarantee you, this garden is going to bounce back, and I’ll be canning TONS of vegetables from my 100 ft by 100 ft garden.
But what about fruit? We don’t have any fruit on the farm yet. Well, The Hubs found an ad for free apricots (pretty much unheard of for him to look for free stuff – that’s usually my department!).
So we spent a hot Saturday morning picking about 30 lbs of apricots! We decided it was time to make some apricot jam. Sunday canning – here we come!
Canning apricot jam is easy!
Now bear with me here, I am NOT nor will I EVER be a food blogger. And I’m not the best cook. So I’m not going to tell you that I have the best recipe – for anything. I’ll just do a food blogger a favor and link to theirs.
I used this recipe for my “free” apricot jam. It’s really easy, has only 3 ingredients, and doesn’t call for pectin. Seriously, only 3 ingredients! Just apricots, lemon juice, and sugar. So easy! I do think it needs to cook a little longer than the 25 minutes this recipe calls for – it was a bit too runny.
The Hubs peeled and cut the apricots, I mashed them. And then we kinda
cheated improvised and used our Kitchenaid. That’s…..really not the best way to do it. Next time I’ll just mash them the old fashioned way, with a potato masher.
I don’t have an actual water bath canner (yet) so I used my big stock pot to water bath can 10 half-pint jars. And the canning rack I bought for the pressure canner wouldn’t fit in the stock pot.
I read somewhere that you can use canning rings in the bottom of the pot to keep the jars off the bottom. It’s important to raise the jars off the bottom so it doesn’t scorch your apricot jam. The rings worked ok, but they ended up moving a bit too much and the jars wouldn’t stay stable. I think I forgot one thing they said about using canning rings….fasten them together to form a grid!
This lovely “free” apricot jam turned out pretty good, the jars all sealed and it’s a beautiful color. It also tastes amazing, though a little runny for my liking. It’s actually more of a syrup (and I bet it would be excellent on pancakes!). And it was nearly free!
We still have lots of apricots to preserve, so we’re also going to can some pie filling and a few other apricot things. And I’m also going to use my dehydrator. Dried apricot rings sound delicious, as does apricot leather.
Why should I learn how to can?
Canning, dehydrating, and other forms of food preservation are a wonderful way to stock your pantry. You’ll be able to eat the food that you grew during the summer, all year long. You can be free of all of the artificial preservatives in store-bought food. You’ll save money, and be healthier. When you preserve your own food, you know what’s in it and what’s not in it. Talk about security!
I hope you’ll follow along with me this season as I learn to preserve my own food. Food storage is critically important for self reliance, and is a skill every homesteader and prepper should have.
A great free resource that anyone with internet has access to is the National Center for Home Food Preservation. You can go here to check it out.
What have you canned lately? Please share in the comments!
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