Sunday. was. awesome. I had specific ideas for work in the kitchen that day and around noon, I hopped to it. Fresh local peaches turned into peach jam. I need to start a notebook on my canning attempts because I learned several things yesterday:
- Peaches don't necessarily have rock-hard stones (pits).
- Well water may contain noticeable sediment.
- The Ball basket probably works fine for small stuff, like your average jelly jar. But I was working with wide-mouth half-pint jars and the basket only fit two. I fit a third jar outside the basket, and my canning pot has a grooved bottom, so it processed safely; but I'm recognizing that I need to just break down and buy a rack for the pot.
And from now on, I'll use filtered water in the canning pot. The residue on the jars afterward is definitely from our water. I let the water in the canning pot cool and settle afterward, because I was thinking of reusing it on my plants. The sediment settled to the bottom. I felt like a kid doing a science project, seeing that sediment...it just hadn't occurred to me before then, because I haven't had well water since Above All. It doesn't affect the flavor, thank goodness, and I boiled the jars long enough where it's perfectly sanitary IMO, but it does change the smell of the product too, so I'll be more diligent next time.
After the jam was done, I made beef barley soup. I had stew meat from Hickory Nut Gap, a recipe from Martha Stewart, and Bisquick for biscuits. Thought about doing bread from scratch, but I was doing enough that day to recognize where to cut corners. Les is still raving about it. Around 9PM, I was still wired and we needed cookies for the week, so I whipped up some Toll House.
I'm still keeping the kitchen clean, and I'm planning meals so that we eat from home and don't spend money frivolously. Takes a pinch of time, but the benefits are ridic.
Image from here.