My First Canning Experience

Preserving food has to be on the list of things to learn for people who grow their own. Last year I had moderate success growing food, but nothing in excess that would need special preparations to preserve and keep.  This year I optimistically plan on having “too much”. I need to learn how to CAN!

Our Nectarine trees have given us good reason to start. The trees were full of fantastic fruit. They were small but plentiful. We had to get this produce off the tree and in the house or we would lose it all to the birds and squirrels.
 Enjoy a few photos of the fruit to whet your whistle before talking about the canning experience 🙂
Young Unripe Nectarines
First Sweet Nectarine of Season

Bowl full of Nectarines

Is your mouth watering? Mine is. Man, these little things taste good!

Our first experience canning was good. Stressful, but good. We were a bit stressed because we didn’t really know what we were doing. Yes, we had the internet, which is awesome… but there’s something about having first hand experience with you to make you feel confident as you take on a new task. I was concerned that we would get it wrong and ruin all of our wonderful fruit.
After a lot of deliberation and consideration we decided to purchase an inexpensive pressure canner to start with. We could have saved a few dollars and just went with the water bath canner for now, but we do intend to can some veggies later so the pressure canner won out. I know we didn’t buy the best canner, but it will do until we learn a few things.
I’m not here to give anyone a “How To”… at least not yet. For now I’m just sharing my experience.
We gathered all the fruit and let them sit inside for a day. This allowed them to sweeten up just a bit. After washing them all in the colander the Nectarines were cut off the pits.

I chose to use my Vitamix to chop the fruit into slurry goodness.

I was hoping to make a Sugar-Free jam, but opted for a Low Sugar recipe instead.  I am pushing away artificial sweeteners in my life. There were no recipes that I could find that would allow me to make the jam without sugar and no substitute. This batch was made with a small amount of organic raw sugar.
Jars were in the dishwasher getting sanitized, lids were in a pot on the stove. The fruit jam ingredients were all being cooked according to the recipe. The water was warming in the Pressure Canner… All is good.

Well, after a little stress and frantic commotion in the kitchen we were able to achieve 12 wonderful little jars of jam.  Funny thing is that after they came out of the put I put them on this towel and they started to “Pop Pop Pop”… I freaked out. What had I done wrong?? I ran to the internet to search for “Why are my canning jars popping?”. HaHa, well, that’s what they are supposed to do! That is the sound of the jars sealing up.

In a week or so, I’ll open one of these to see how it went. So far it appears that they set up just fine. I’ll let you know 😉

Update: Testing & Tasting 

Testing the Preserves
Looks Good on the Spoon!

Bad Picture, but the color of the Preserves is amazing!

What a beautiful sight 🙂
I told him to pose with the spoon and
he didn’t even wait for me to get the
camera ready… he just ate the goods!

Breakfast 🙂

The Sugar and Pectin Used in Recipe

The Sugar and Pectin Used in Recipe.
The Recipe is on the back of the Pectin Jar.

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