Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Eeezy Peezy

Eeezy Peezy, puddin' and pie
I canned some Apricots
and I didn't cry!

I ordered some apricots this weekend and canned some 12 quarts yesterday. Of all the fruits there are to can, I honestly think apricots are the easiest. Plus the smell and taste of them take me back to my childhood sitting in my aunt's apricot tree in Moccasin, AZ eating the fruit and dropping the pits on the ground. (She probably didn't like that part when it came time to mow.)

Ok here goes with how I did it. First wash the jars in warm soapy water, or run them through the dishwasher.

After the jars are all clean and shiny, they don't have to be dry, set them on your counter to get ready to fill them. Wash your fruit. I put mine in the sink in about 2 inches of water. Now it's time to start filling your jars. Cut each apricot in half, removing the pit and cut of any brown spots in case there are any. Now put each half in the jar face down. This allows you to pack more in than if they just fall in willy nilly. It looks like this when you are done filling them:

Next you need to make the syrup for the apricots. That entirely depends on how heavy you want the syrup. I did about 3-4 cups sugar to 6 cups of water. You can increase or decrease the sugar to your liking. Place the 6 cups of water on the stove in a saucepan. Heat to boiling. Turn down heat to a low simmer and slowly add the sugar stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar in the water. When that is all done, you might want to get a funnel. They sell them really cheap a Walmart. This just helps keep the sides of the jar clean. Add the sugar water to each jar filling up to the bottom of the rings in the jar. About 1 to 3/4 inches from the tippy top of the jar. It looks like this:

Next get your canner ready. I used a steam canner. You can also use a water bath canner. Fill it with water, place it on the stove, and turn the heat on. You want the water boiling, but not necessarily before you put your jars in. You also need another sauce pan with about 1 inch of water. Put the lids in the water on the stove and heat to boiling. Remove from heat and put the lids on the jars, then tighten the rings over the lids. Now you are ready to put your jars on or in your canner.

Yeah, now it's time to let them cook. I have to wait until steam starts shooting out the hole on the side of the canner then set the timer for 30 minutes. It takes a little while to get the steam up and going so be patient. Then when the time is done, turn off the heat and lift the lid off slowly, aiming the steam away from you. Steam burns are no fun! Now lift your jars off or out of the canner onto a towel on your counter. I use a jar lifter, but you can use your hot pads if you need to. You're done! Now you just have to wait 12-24 hours to let the jars finish cooking and seal the lids. Don't touch them! I know it's tempting but don't! Now you get to sit back and listen for that little pop that tells you the jar is sealed.

There are a few non-human made sounds in this world that are the absolute best! One near the very top is that little 'pop' sound the lid makes on your jar. A couple of my other favorites is the sound of Nath's truck engine turning off in the driveway because that means he's home. Another is the sound of the oven telling me my chocolate chip cookies are done. Nath would say the 'click-click' sound of a shotgun reloding is another one. I'm not sure I agree, but it is the absolute best home defence sound. In any language, that sound says "Watch out! I have a gun and things won't be pretty!"

Well that was a fun trip on tangent lane. Back to canning. Just take a look at these beauties!

Yeah! 12 more quarts to add to my pantry. Canning makes me happy!

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