Among the many conversations I had during the garden tour was lots of chatter about canning. How to make it simpler especially – which I am all about. Blanching tomatos and peaches? Apparently it’s not necessary as long as you wash well and (in the case of peaches) get off all the fuzz. Sugar syrups? Nah, just put a tablespoon of honey into each jar and fill with boiling water. And on it goes.
Two days after the garden tour, we were off to the interior for some high-alpine camping in Cathedral Lakes Provincial Park – and on the way home from there we picked up our first interior fruits – 2o pounds of bing cherries and 20 pounds of apricots. A tad more expensive than last year, I’m sure the late start to summer has hampered good production – but still Keremeos has the best deals going and we couldn’t resist.
Which means now we have a larder full of the following:
- Cherry pie filling
- Cherry-apricot brandy sauce (for meats, or anything else) – several of these in gift-size for the holidays
- Pickled Red Cabbage (the cabbage from my garden, how satisfying)
August will be the month of peaches and tomatos – salsas and chutneys which we eat a lot of. Not to mention more pickled things and I’m also hoping to get to canned sauerkraut in the fall.
I really do find the late-summer food stockpiling so very satisfying – a lot of work and cost outlay over a couple of months puts so much amazing stuff in our cupboards for the rest of the year. I am also really grateful that my partner does so much of the prep work!
In any case, here is a recipe share:
(almost firm enough for toast, makes a nice sauce for red meats or pork)
Makes 6-8 250-ml jars
3 cups of cut apricots
4-5 cups of pitted cherries
2 cups of water
1 cup of sugar (or more to taste)
1 box no-sugar-needed pectin
Brandy (the cheap stuff is fine)
(alternately, you could omit most of the water and the pectin since this is a sauce – I like a little “set” in my sauces and the water makes it go further)
- Boil the apricots, cherries and water together until the fruit is crushable.
- Add sugar, boil again. Add pectin and boil for a full minute.
- Into sterilized jars drop 1/2 a tablespoon of brandy and 1/2 a teaspoon of lemon.
- Fill jars, process for 10 minutes in water-bath canner.
(Note – this is a completely unscientific recipe, but with the fruit, lemon juice and alcohol – contains lots of acid to prevent the growth of botulism. As with all canning recipes, please follow all sterilizing and processing steps you would normally.)