Last summer I attempted canning for the very first time. I bought a ton of strawberries at the grocery store, made a batch of preserves and have found myself dreaming about U~Pick farms and jam making ever since.
We spent a day picking strawberries and cherries and due to time constraints I properly froze our haul so that I could make jam in the future when I had more time.
Then it was time for blueberries and I was off to another U~Pick with my friend Maria. With some help from her husband and daughter, we picked a pretty good amount of what might possibly be my favorite summer fruit. We headed back to their home and spent the afternoon making two batches of Blueberry Jam, eating a delicious lunch she and her husband whipped up, then sat around talking until I remembered that I had a family at home who was probably starving and wondering where I was. I left with a full box of fresh blueberries to still be dealt with. I knew I wanted to make more jam, but again, due to time constraints I cleaned and froze the berries for future use. I'm trying to be better about knowing my limitations on things and I knew that if I tried to make another dozen jars of jam that weekend I might very well lose my mind.
Today, I saw that Jersey peaches are ready to be picked and I found myself wondering how I can fit a peach picking run into my already crazy schedule (hello, spending this Thursday and Friday in Memphis only to fly home late Friday night and leave on vacation 5 hours later!) because I saw an amazing recipe for canning peach pie filling.
My freezer is already pretty full of pounds and pounds of fruit and yet I find that the possibilities are endless. Brandied cherries for cocktails as gifts? Perfection! In fact, I have already discovered that I can can apples for apple pie filling this fall. You can bet your bottom dollar that I already discussed these apple picking trips with Maria. I just need a quiet weekend at home in August to deal with this summer fruit and make some room for the next harvest.
Have you ever canned fresh fruit and vegetables? And if so, did you love it as much as I do?