Thursday, September 3, 2009

Puttin' Up Pears

Right now, there are pear preserves on the stove. Earlier this week, I made pear honey. And later today, I'm making peach jam.

I haven't done any canning for the past couple of years, but this year I was determined to take advantage of the abundance of Kieffer pears from my in-laws' trees. Kieffer pears are common in older Southern gardens. They are very firm and little bit gritty, so a long slow simmer is required to make good preserves. Recipes are hard to find, but I think I have the confidence now to experiment a little bit. If my efforts are successful, I will report on it here and provide a recipe.

My first canning lessons were more than eleven years ago with my friend, Debbie. She came over to my house and walked me through the process of making strawberry jam. Since that time, I've put up blueberries and peaches, in addition to pears.

Canning is one of those things that the thinking about is actually harder than the doing. Once you get the necessary equipment and practice needed to determine the setup that works for you, all it requires is time and the availability of good produce. To get started, get a copy of the Ball Blue Book. Follow the instructions, and you will be fine.

Do you do any canning? If so, what is your favorite thing to put up? Do you have any favorite books or other resources on canning and preserving?