I posted about our fruit trees several months ago and how excited I was to start getting fruit. Well, they have outdone themselves and we have found ourselves a bit overwhelmed with peaches and plums. What is completely crazy to me is that we’ve gotten so much fruit from just one tree of each variety! We’ve eaten peaches, plums and blackberries for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. We’ve given away lots of fruit and yet still have had an excess. Therefore, I’ve been preserving the fruit in any way that I can, which means I’ve been canning a fair amount.
Years ago, I took a canning workshop with Marisa McClellan, author of Food in Jars, and I’ve been canning ever since. Mostly, I make jams, butters, pickled veggies and salsa. I always follow a trusted source (I don’t use internet recipes) as I am appropriately terrified of causing illness, such as botulism, through canning (it’s all about the right amount of acid!). This year, I’ve also been using the book, It Starts with Fruit by Jordan Champagne. I like that her jams have a softer set and use less sugar. It’s such a treat in the middle of winter to crack open a jar of summer fresh peaches!
Over the years, we’ve found favorites that I am always sure to make such as Blackberry and Sage Jam, Peach Salsa, and Rose Petal Jelly. This year, I’ve tried several iterations of Peach with Lavender Jam and think I’ve found one we will love. I really love making things with the flowers that I grow!
It’s taken a while, but I’ve learned what sort of set I like (not too hard) and what gets eaten (Dilly Beans, not so much). One of my favorite ways to use the jams and jellies is on an appetizer board with cheese and crackers. It adds a lovely color and pop to the board.
Last year, for Christmas, Grace made labels for me for all of my canned goods. This was a very welcome gift as even if I think I will remember what something is…. I don’t. Turns out that blackberry sage jam looks very similar to blueberry jam (not a favorite). I LOVE these labels and have pestered her to make new ones for every single new thing I preserve.