Let's Talk Canning and Preserving

Over the last week I was busy with canning some pineapple and pears.  I also made a batch of freezer pickles.  I'll probably make some applesauce this year once apples are available to pick.

I haven't made canned pineapple before.  I used four large pineapples from the grocery store at $2.49 each.  I canned them in ultra light syrup using the recipe in the current edition of the Ball canning guide.  My yield was eight and a half pints (could have probably squeezed them into 8 pints), putting them at about the same cost as canned pineapple from the grocery store.  We'll see if the taste is good enough to recommend home canning over purchasing, because let's be honest: canning is a ton of work.
I bought eight and a half pounds of Bartlett pears from the grocery store at 99 cents/pound.  I used the Honey Vanilla Pear recipe from Simply Canning.  I made this same recipe a few years ago and these are the best pears.  I could eat an entire jar by myself per day if I had them!  Anyway, the first time I made these I used the sugar syrup recipe as directed in the recipe (not the honey version).  This time I used the light syrup ratio in the Ball canning guide.  My yield was eight pints. These are worth the time, effort, and cost for me.  They are so delicious.  That being said, I love grocery store canned pears too.  I'm maybe a bit unusual in that I far prefer canned pears of any type over fresh. 

As a side note, my Bartlett pear tree has a handful of tiny, walnut sized pears on it.  I'm not sure they will be edible.  This is the second year we've had the tree and the first year that it has born fruit.

I also made a batch of freezer pickles.  Most of the cucumbers I used for this came from my in-laws.  I think I added two whoppers from my garden to get up to 12 cups, or 3/4 of the recipe.  My yield was five-8 ounce Ball freezer containers.  They are best when eaten within a day of thawing.

We harvested the rest of our potato crop too.  They didn't do very well this year.  The red ones had scab and many were super tiny, as you can see in the photo.
I also tried a new recipe, pecan pie muffins.  They are pretty good the first day.  Second day, okay, third day, dry.  They are easy to make, but very high in calories.  Be careful not to over-bake them.  The recipe said eight muffins; I got 12.  I noticed the recipe I used referenced an original that used half the amount of pecans.  I may try the original too as a comparison.  Regardless, they are definitely a dessert due to the amount of sugar and calories.
I've basically finished up my guild swap projects.  I'll share those next week after she's received her things.

We've also been moving forward on sewing room prep.  We're going to have to level the floor before we can do anything else.  That is not a fun process.  We had to do that in the bathroom area that we just finished and the sewing room is much larger.

We're also finally getting to the point of refinishing/repainting the vanity table my daughter inherited from my grandmother 12 years ago.  We've done many rounds of stripping on it and my husband has been sanding and gluing and patching. My daughter is super excited and has cleared out the alcove in her room where we had always intended to place the table.  We work slowly. 

Today is the first day of school for my kids, so I'm hoping to become a little more productive during the days again.

Do you can?  What are your favorite canning recipes?  

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