Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Belated National Can-It-Forward Day

My kitchen has been getting a lot of use on Sunday afternoons. After we pack up at the farmers market at around 1:30pm, I stuff my bike basket full of overly-ripe produce items and race up the hill to my apartment. Then, I proceed to spend the entire afternoon processing the bulk of seconds peaches and tomatoes acquired at the aforementioned market. Whew.

Well, yesterday happened to be National Can-It-Forward Day! While I have to admit that my usual summer canning activities did not differ, I thought I would take a moment to extol the benefits of canning. Canning as we know it really only dates back to mid-19th century, but the premise behind it and other older food preservation methods are the same: make the months of bountiful harvest last during times when plants won't grow. Why do I can? When you see the tables overflowing with tomatoes and peaches at the market, it is a hard to suppress the urge to bottle it up! And honestly, when one's favorite fruits come out in droves too great to consume in one sitting, there really is no other option. And thus we come to the Sunday canning adventures.

Slicing and freezing peaches was my go-to up until this point. Last year I had a good five or six gallon freezer bags of peach slices to tide me over through (half) the winter. However, because of limited freezer space, I have jumped into the marvelous world of canning fruit. Peaches packed in a light, vanilla bean infused, sugar syrup. Yum. Crossing my fingers that they are a success. Learn more about preserving stone fruit here. As for the tomatoes, you can read about my exploits with those last year. I have that canning venture down pat!

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