Day Two Hundred and Eighty Two: The Canning Project

I’ve had some aspirations to preserving food for the last year or two. Aspirations don’t always turn into preserves, though. It’s become a little bit of a running joke that I have to buy cucumbers three times before I actually make pickles instead of cucumber goo in the crisper.

Yesterday was the magic third round of cucumbers. While I was at it I decided to pickle some red bell peppers, too.

In the pantry rooting around for canning jars, I realized that I have a lot of jars. My equipment, my patience and my family size aren’t up for doing huge batches, but jars come a dozen at a time. Our entire stock of preserves right now is four half pint jars of marmalade, three pint jars of pickled sweet peppers, and four pints of pickles (plus one in progress in the refrigerator). This means I have a dozen 4oz jars, four pint jars, and eight half pint jars sitting in the pantry, empty.

It bothers me. So I made a little goal. By the end of October, I want them all full.

I expect this will take some compromises about ingredients given that I am, even in my hot climate, a little behind the curve. Aside from peppers and citrus, most fall produce needs a pressure canner, which I don’t have. Local citrus may or may not be here by late October. It will be excellent practice for next year, though, and there is still something to be said for taking charge of your own food.

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