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Crazy For Canning

Last week I went a bit bonkers for anything a mason jar can contain.

Perhaps it's my participation in Bitten Word's Cover to Cover '13 (they're cooking the entire September issue of Bon Appetit, y'all), or because We The Eaters invited me to share a post for their canning challenges. I just decided I needed some can-therapy, and put my stash of jars to good use on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.

Scott's wonderful Aunt S. and Uncle J. shared about 10 cups of frozen blackberries from bushes on their property, with a request that I can them. I was a little nervous about finding a way to de-seed two large freezer bags of berries until I did a little research that said, like tomatoes, it's never good to remove seeds. That's where the flavor is, so hang on to those glutamates.

So apologies to the whole famdamily if you don't care for seeds. I did it in the name of science.

After using the Blackberry Preserves recipe from a fave preserving book Putting Up, I must ponder if switching to low-sugar instructions might be wise. FOURTEEN cups of sugar is just downright sinful. Don't you agree? So. Much. Sugar. The end result was definitely sweet but I hope it's not offputting (my sweet tooth never begs for less, so I'm not a great judge.)

I won't give away my guest posts for the two blogs, but I'll just say this: one project was sublime. The other smelled like rotten fish flatulence & exploded all over the kitchen, nearly ruining my nearly-new red dress. So that's something.

One recipe I hoped to try: these delicious pickles that a friend brought to our camping trip during Labor Day weekend. So fresh and light on the brine and very crunchy! All my past pickle experiences result in oversalted and limp (um... yeah) sadness, so I stocked up on cucumbers and filed it away to try it during my canning weekend.

But more sadness: the cukes spoiled after four days in the crisper drawer so I didn't get a chance. Perhaps that's what I get for buying them at Harris Teeter, that overpriced scamp of a store.

Maybe I still have a window of time before all the summer produce fades away into fall? These tomato preserves from Mrs. Wheelbarrow sure do look tempting.


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