Friday, September 30, 2011

A Peary Good Day

I tell you, I was so happy when I could see the bottom of the pear box.   I managed to can all 35 lbs of pears during the hours the kids were in school.  It helps that I can talk on the phone and continue working.  I also fit an hour break in, so I wasn't feeling that overworked. 

Imagine how productive I could have been without the Zumba-induced soreness that I'm suffering from! 

Our favourite pear products (besides eating the fresh pears) are plain canned with a simple syrup and a teaspoon of vanilla and vanilla pear jam.  I've got an aversion to pectin lately, so my jam is always more runny than jammy, but it tastes great.  I ran out of 250 ml jars after filling 7 with jam, so I filled one quart jar of runny jam to be used as a waffle sauce.  That will be a good start to one day this winter! 

I also tried a couple of new things today.  One was to add a bit of cinnamon, ginger and a handful of dried cranberries to the jars.  I just did 7 jars of that mixture in case we hated it.  One jar wasn't quite full so we were able to test it as dessert tonight.  More ginger next time, unless the taste intensifies while sitting in the pantry.  Otherwise it was good.

The other was to can crabapples.  We only get a few apples on our columnar trees, but it was a bit of an experiment.  I'm not sure how successful they are, but they are pretty.  I imagine a few on a plate with pork tenderloin. 

So, the pantry is getting pretty full.  It's not a pretty or organized pantry like many bloggers have, but I thought I'd show you how I store my canned goods.    With the exception of a few jars of sauerkraut, salsa, chutney and many pickles, it's all fruit and jams.  No tomatoes yet.  Ideally I would like a pint or two of tomatoes a week, but I won't get that this year.  Even with Rosa's donated tomatoes again. 

It's not the best pantry storage.  The shelves should be closer together so that I don't stack the jars (apparently you shouldn't do that), but it works for us.  And it's much easier to see things here than in my chest freezer.  I know there's meat in there somewhere, but everything reddish in color seems to be berries when I'm searching.  

Anyway, I proved to myself that I can process 35 lbs of pears in one school day, so I think I'll invest in one more box if the price is still right.  I paid only $.65/lb last week and it's our favourite canned fruit.  Last year 40 lbs wasn't enough, so I'll do 70 this year and feel free not to ration when April comes around.


Patty-Jean from LittleQuiver said...

WOW, I think the word impressive is an understatement! Beautiful!

Rosa said...

hmmm. . .
That middle shelf seems to have a bit of a curve on it!
That's what my book shelves always look like! lol
That many pears in a day is quite the accomplishment! good for you!