Day 3 of the canning is spent with my girlfriend and her Nonie – canning strawberries.  My friend has a daughter that is Ryder’s age- so they played and Saige crawled around while we cooked 3 big stock pots of strawberries. 

These were some of the sweetest strawberries ever!  I got 1/2 a flat from the Friday farmer’s market and the other 2 flats from the local strawberry farm (they aren’t certified organic- but they do not spray or use pesticides). I never buy conventionally grown berries of any kind because they are the ones that farms use the most pesticides with and it just goes directly into them- there is no protective skin (not that the skin keeps the chemicals from getting in). 

We had a lot of fun- canning is definately a process to be shared with others.  It’s a lot of work- even when working together- but it’s more fun when there is someone to chat with.

Unfortunately, the jam didn’t set right- so it’s more like a sauce.  I am going to re-work this batch.  I might save a couple jars as sauce- I actually have been using one of the jars on waffles and in my cream of wheat- which is super yummy.  I think it would be great over pancakes and ice cream too.  But I would really like jam too.  So this weekend I will try re-working it to get a more firm consistency. 

Last night I started jarring up the pears.  The Bartlet’s are really ready- if I waited any longer they wouldn’t be good.  The Bosc are perfect.  I peeled and quartered 4 big jars worth and then my hand couldn’t take it any longer (cramping).  So I will finish the rest tonight. (as you can see above I already busted into the second from the left jar- oh so yummy!!!)

So let’s see, I guess pears were day 4 so next is apple sauce for day 5.  I am borrowing my friends peeler/corer- so hopefully I will get that this week so I can start this weekend.  The gravenstein apples are ready!

Phew, this is a lot of work- but I just keep reminding myself of the rewards.  I do look forward to doing this when the kids are older and they can help.  It will be good bonding time.  Ryder was actually helping with the pears- he would drop them in the lemon water where they waited before jarring up.

We only boiled over the strawberries 2 times- so I’m getting better!

Stay tuned!