This week long hiatus is due to life – those 50+ hour work weeks, and house keeping take far too much time. Why can’t it be the other way around – can all day and work when I want to. Even my poor garden is being neglected but that does mean that the harvests are much larger. At last count we were able to pull 30 tomatoes in one go in addition to the many (large) cucumbers, okra (plus one really funny curved one – see above), and various peppers. Now, the problem is trying to find time to put it all up as well as coming up with new ideas on how to preserve the fresh produce.
First major problem – my pantry had exploded (or is it imploded…hmm) and I could no longer store my canned goods on the shelves without stacking – (Before I get too far – yes, you may stack 2 jars high – per Ball – but should have cardboard in between jars. Although storing jars should seem like a no-brainer, there are actual safety measures that need to be taken into consideration.). I then took it upon myself to empty out my entire walk-in pantry, and reorganize. (Note to self – keep the pantry organized since that took entirely too long to clean!) But once that was done, the Dill Pickles were finally able to make their way into the pantry for storage along with their other home-canned friends 🙂
Next issue – the freezer. I have been (SLOWLY) working my way through all of the fruit stored away in my freezer by making delicious (if I do say so myself) jams 🙂 Last night’s battle was Mango & Raspberry Jam. In the process of cutting up the frozen mangoes I realized two things 1) I always forget how much I hate cutting up mangoes (I GLADLY accept any and all ideas on how to make this a million times easier) and 2) I actually much prefer mangoes frozen than fresh! Once we were able to cut off enough fruit from the pit for our recipe / it started becoming increasingly more difficult, we nibbled on the leftovers and boy was it delicious. Reminded me of a fresh home-made mango sorbet. YUM! Most importantly – you can see how simple canning jams/jellies really can be.
Mango & Raspberry Jam [yield: (7) Half-pints]