I am a true canner at heart. I started when I was five years old cleaning chantrelle mushrooms, preparing for the canner. All farmers and ranchers know this is the way of life. And I plan on taking good food with us. Yes, yes, I know. HEAVY, BULKY jars. I’ll make other sacrifices to accommodate space and weight required for the floating cannery. Last summer I used my niece’s kitchen to pressure can beef, tunafish, various pie fillings and vegetables to take with us. In total we canned about 100 jars of food for the boat. We had a great time together, passed on the canner to another generation. Yeah, I know I can buy it at Costco, for relatively cheap, but the fresh picked and home canned in a jar is superior. Even the beef was raised on the family ranch.
It’s a winter time activity that brings delicious summer smells and tastes, burning off the dreary, foggy weather for a few hours. The boat has been filled with cooked sweet jam aroma for the last couple of days. I made three batches of strawberry and one batch of raspberry, about 20 pints.
Four Blackberry batches are next week’s task. All Oregon berries I might add, the best. We don’t eat this much jam in a year but they may make great gifts when we visit villages in Southern Mexico, the South Pacific and Marshall Islands, or at least a trade for something we need. When we arrive in Fr. Polynesia and missing the PNW berries I’ll pop open a jar of wonderful jam to eat with those famous Baguettes. What a mess to clean up, but worth every biteful. Maybe I’ll borrow a kitchen…
Here is my Limoncello. A cup of lemon zest was steeped in Everclear for 50 days, then mixed with 50% simple syrup recipe and bottled. The steeping process can be dangerous so extra care was taken to safeguard the bottle.
This lemon liqueur makes terrific drinks, much cheaper than Tequila (and no hangover), Whiskey, and other liquors. Less than $20 for 750ml bottle but nearly triples when the simple syrup mixture is added. Great flavoring for pies and recipes that call for citrus flavoring – the alcohol dissipates as it cooks. But a generous splash on ice and seltzer water while cooking dinner is the best!