Jammin’ in the Summer!

Pin It

This is what I love the most about summer –  all of the great produce and then canning or freezing the bounty for those cold winter days, or to give away as gifts.  As I mentioned a couple blogs ago, my husband, Bill, brought home 8 quarts of Michigan strawberries on his way back home from a fishing trip.  My newest go-to recipe for strawberry jam is in this cookbook.  I made it for the first time last summer and it was fabulous.  Like many jam recipes, it’s pretty basic, but it uses a fresh vanilla bean in the preparation.  The jam is enhanced by the subtle yet distinct vanilla overtones.  I can never make enough of this.

Canning and preserving foods is making a comeback in a big way.  The National Center for Home Food Preservation, a government-funded program that advises consumers on how to safely preserve food, says requests for canning classes are flooding in a rate not seen in many years.  At Jarden Home Brands, the maker of Kerr and Ball brand jars, sales of canning jars is also skyrocketing.

Lately, canning has found a new appeal to consumers, not just because of the slumping economy, but because people are buying fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients to preserve for their own enjoyment.  Many restaurant chefs are also jumping on the canning bandwagon, so their customers can enjoy high-quality gourmet preserves and condiments.  Chefs have offered such items as cranberry ketchup and peach relish to their customers.  A recent trend of some chefs is to can or pickle seasonal produce for year-round use.

This cookbook is a must for anyone who loves canning and preserving.   There are over 400 pages of delectable recipes, along with canning tips.  In fact, on every page of a recipe, there is a special column that has tips for that particular recipe.  I have many canning books, but I think this one is so complete and easy to follow for experts and novices alike.  If you are inexperienced at canning and would like to learn, this book is what you want.  You can also seek out information from a local extension service for canning expertise, or find information online at the National Center for Home Food Preservation.  If you want to learn canning, learn to do so safely and with care. 

I love everything about this entire book, but especially love the chapters on jams, relishes, mustards, and sauces.  I love the lemon-sage wine mustard, the pizza sauce, Oktoberfest beer mustard, and can’t wait to try the harissa sauce, and fresh herb jelly.  I will make many of jams and marmalades, because they are probably my favorites.   I run out of space in my basement for all the canned items, but then they quickly disappear as Christmas comes along and I give many of them as gifts.  I wish I could send every single one of you something.  But I won’t have to if you find this book and make them for yourself!

, , , ,

6 Responses to Jammin’ in the Summer!

  1. June 21, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    That strawberry jam sounds delicious. I like the idea of a touch of vanilla added to the berries. I haven’t canned or made jam in many, many years. But now I feel inspired. A u-pick blueberry patch near me should be open next week, so my most likely jam making project will include them. We also have wild black raspberries growing on our property, but we have to pick them from our kayaks.

    I just ordered Georgeanne Brennan’s Glass Pantry book, which I hope is filled with more delicious ideas for the bounty.

    I haven’t forgotten the apple pie recipe. I’ve had my printer/scanner disabled for a few days while I’ve been doing some rearranging and redecorating in my home office.

    By the way, my Perla Meyers collection is growing. I found The Seasonal Cookbook for $0.01 (plus shipping, of course). It’s listed as used/very good.

    I’m picking Lemon Boy tomatoes and zucchini for tonight’s dinner. I counted 3 tiny Fairytale eggplants today, and the okra looks like its ready to bloom (loves this ultra-hot weather).

  2. June 21, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

    The jam is excellent. How nice that you have wild black raspberries. I love to make jam from them, too, and sometimes can’t find any. Thanks for remembering about the apple pie recipe, but there’s no hurry! Just whenever you find the time. I’m so glad you found the Perla book. I am going to look for the cookbook you mentioned. I wish I could say I am picking tomatoes and zucchini for dinner tonight, but all I have are blossoms at the moment. Your garden sounds amazing!

  3. June 22, 2010 at 7:59 am #

    I thought I replied yesterday, but I may have forgotten to actually post. I found The Glass Pantry at ecookbooks.com. It’s one of my favorite places to shop. Georgeanne Brennan is one of my favorite food writers, and I’m trying to complete my collection of her books.

    The tomato and zucchini were delicious. I used them for a salad — baby greens, wedges of the tomato, zucchini ribbons. Unfortunately, most of my salad greens have bolted. They don’t care for this extreme heat we’re having. So it’s back to store-bought salads for a while, until I plant the fall crop.

    I’ll send you a picture of my garden. You’ll be surprised at how small it is. We bought this contraption called a Backyard Botanical thats 8’x8′, then put 3’x8′ beds on each side. I’m growing a lot of things in tomato bags, which also work very well for pepper and cucumber plants. I spotted a flower on a melon plant when I watered this morning. And I hope to make my first batch of pesto this weekend.

  4. June 22, 2010 at 8:10 am #

    I would love to see a photo of your garden! I wish I could make pesto, too, but I don’t have quite enough basil yet. However, I did buy pine nuts the other day in anticipation of the day I can make it!

  5. June 22, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    I’ve always wanted to start canning and this would be a great push to make me do it! Either way I’ll have to get this book because it sounds like there’s a great variety.

    [email protected]

  6. June 22, 2010 at 3:45 pm #

    You will LOVE this book! I can’t say enough good things about it. The recipes are completely wonderful!

Leave a Reply